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The only way is ethics for investors with a conscience

By Jeff Salway, The Scotsman

Investing in line with your principles doesn’t mean sacrificing profit, new research shows – yet demand for ethical funds remains relatively sluggish.

Funds that steer clear of controversial industries or which invest in line with ethical and socially responsible criteria have typically outperformed over the past 12 months, according to figures published to mark Good Money Week, which ends today.

Data from Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts found that the average ethical/socially responsible investment (SRI) fund is up 8.2 per cent over the last year, comparing favourably with returns from the average non-ethical fund of 6.8 per cent. The pattern is repeated over three and five years too, although non-ethical funds prevail over the ten-year timeframe.

“Ethical funds have enjoyed a productive 12-month period,” said Richard Eagling, head of pensions and investments at Moneyfacts. “A renewed focus on climate change and the strong performance of ethical funds will hopefully encourage more investors to grasp the opportunities offered by the ethical fund sector.”

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