My ethical investment strategy

This may not be good, but it is what I did. Back at the start of 2018, in terms of savings and pensions, I had:

I read Checksies (probably issue 2? Or 6?), on Vanguard Lifestratey, and asked Rod if he knew anything about their SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) fund (they have two, European and Global). I spent far too long reading about them.


Generally, I thought there were two main ways I could approach ethical investment – positive (only ethical, by whatever criteria that might be), or negative (don’t invest in e.g. guns or oil, otherwise whatever). I put myself in the “I only want to invest in ethical things, on principle” camp, as why bother having a few quid more when you retire if there’s no world left, eh. My Aviva pension had been decided by Ethical Investors asking me questions about my personal ethics and outlook and then picking funds from that.

The two main UK ‘comparison’ things I found were: and (their site appears to have been hacked). The latter’s site also didn’t work well, so I made a copy of the page at my own website: 3dinvesting table copy and made it work (though it will now be nearly two years out of date, of course). You can hover over things and filter using numbers using || for OR (e.g. "3 || 4 || 5" for 3-5 stars in a star-based column). Suitability is ranked 1-3.


This was certainly an overwhelming amount of information and I spent far too long reading about random funds, what they invest in, falling down rabbit holes. Fundamentally, in terms of fees alone, it boiled down to:

So on, I dunno, £100 a month for 20 years, that could be the difference between £37k and £40k at the end (assuming same 5% growth, might not be true, who knows). And I didn’t know how to answer the question as to whether that was worth it, so felt like I had wasted a lot of time!

But I carried on reading a lot of ethical policy statements, removed a few I just didn’t the name/look/website of, and narrowed funds down to six:

And bonds down to four:

At this point of well approaching had-enough-of-this I was tempted to divide my ISA equally amongst the ten of them (both initially and any monthly investment), rather than make any more decisions.

But it turned out I had forgotten about my work pension (Nest if you’ve forgotten), which I had switched to their “ethical” fund at some point, and that is 60%... F&C Responsible Global Equity Fund (one of the ones I’d picked!), 20% F&C Responsible Sterling Bond Fund, and 15% L&G Managed Property. So I’d already been investing in that one without realising.

The end

I picked Kames and Threadneedle as the nicest bonds (though Threadneedle does have 3% in Manchester Airport, hmm...), and dropped Jupiter, leaving me with a totally non-passive six choices (fee in brackets):

This goes totally against the general passive advice which I also still do agree with :) I split my Nationwide ISA 50/50 bewteen funds and bonds (as my existing pensions are much more equity weighted now I’d looked at them) and each split equally inside them. I set up an account with Interactive Investor and set up a regular payment through them as well. I then don’t really look at them, apart from if Rod asks for an update :)