34 New Year, New You Personal development, finance & legal resolutions

Promotional Content • Saturday 9th January 2021 Impact investing

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted interest in social and environmental investments, but not everything is as good and green as it seems. Words: Selin Bucak


vents of last year prompted a re-evaluation of people’s priorities, particularly when it comes to decisions about

how their money is being invested, driving a new interest in impact investing. “Coronavirus has increased people’s

recognition of the power of impact issues, some of which have led to the pandemic,” says Amy Clark, chief impact officer at wealth management firm Tribe Impact Capital. More people want to see their

wealth deliver not only financial returns, but also a social or environmental benefit. Indeed, the proportion of wealthy investors allocating more than 20% of their portfolio to impact investing is set to increase from 27% to 39% next year, according to a survey by Campden Wealth and Barclays Private Bank. In the next five years, 27% of investors expect to allocate more than 50% of their portfolio to impact strategies. But in an ever-growing marketplace


— with approximately 1,720 organisations managing $715bn in assets based on the latest estimate by Te Global Impact Investor Network — it’s tricky to find investments that are actually making an impact and not just being touted as such.

Green Singles connections blossom during Covid-19

Green Singles, the go-to dating site for vegans, vegetarians and animal rights activists, has been a godsend for eco-conscious singles during the pandemic

online platforms to help ease the feel- ings of isolation. Green Singles has provided the venue for eco-conscious singles to meet others with passions and principles centred around living sustainably. New friendships have been forged, and relationships have been created during the lockdown. After 10 months of being in and out


of self-quarantine and doing much soul-searching, many singles are now craving a deeper, conscious, loving relationship. Hookups are out and relationships are in. is not a superficial,

swipedy-swipe app, but a truly ‘help singles meet their match’ dating site that gives each member control over which profiles they view and whom they

ingles in the UK have reported feeling much lonelier than pre-Covid, and have flocked to

choose to initiate contact. Te in-depth profiles allow members to read and learn about potential matches, which makes meeting someone compatible more possible and probable. Green Singles owner, Jill Crosby, says, “It may take a little more time up-front, however, with our targeted pool of envi- ronmentally conscious singles, and all of the tools we provide our members, it really does work, so it’s definitely worth it.” Green Singles has been responsible for thousands of success stories over the decades, so yes, they know it does indeed work, and it works well!

In the four years since Tribe Impact

Capital was launched, Amy said the team has analysed more than 160 funds, but have only included approximately 40 in its buy list. Funds that overstate their impact or environmental credentials are a problem and there are significant variances in how embedded impact truly is in some equity strategies. Jeannie Boyle, executive director

at wealth manager EQ Investors, says more than 300 funds have been renamed over the last two years to emphasise their sustainable credentials. Tis makes it even harder for a regular ISA investor to distinguish between those that mean it and those that just repurpose for better marketing materials. Another problem is there’s no

consensus on whether impact investing can deliver financial returns. Research by the London School of Economics last year found that only a small proportion of funds consistently generated market rate returns and measurable social and environmental impact at large scale. Jeannie says her three top picks

are: the Columbia Treadneedle UK Social Bond, the BMO Responsible Global Equity and the Fidelity Sustainable Water and Waste funds.

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