The misconception that impact investing necessitates a trade-off between profitability and social impact has been firmly debunked. Numerous studies have shown that this myth can no longer be accepted as an argument against the efficacy of impact investing. There is, however, one misconception which has not been adequately addressed: that impact investing is reserved for high net-worth individuals, family offices or financial institutions. This is not the case as the proliferation of impact funds have made it possible for retail investors like you and I to make impactful investments.
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Barclays Multi-Impact Growth Fund
Launched in August 2017, the Barclays Multi-Impact Growth Fund is the pioneer impact investment product from a major UK bank. The fund has GBP 7.1m of assets under management as of 31 November 2017 and employs a ‘fund of funds’ approach where it invests in other impact funds, which in turn undertake a wide range of equity and fixed income strategies. For example, the top 2 holdings of the fund are the Allianz Global Sustainability fund (10.2%) and the RobecoSAM Sustainable Healthy Living fund (10.2%). Since its launch, the fund has won the Award for Innovation (Funds & Portfolios) at the Sustainable Investment Awards 2017. As the fund is less than a year old, no past performance has been reported.
Minimum investment: GBP 500
Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund
Launched in April 2013, the Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund has net assets of EUR 233,663,365 as of 31 October 2017. The fund invests in global equities issued by small and medium-sized listed companies that work to provide pioneering and innovative solutions for sustainability issues. For example, the fund’s top holding as of 31 October 2017 is Vestas Wind Systems (4.1%), a Danish company which is among the largest producers of wind power systems. The fund’s 3-year average return stands at 11.8%.
Minimum investment: GBP 1000
Net Asset Value (NAV) as of 31 January 2018: GBP 39.13
Blackrock iShares MSCI Global Impact ETF
Launched in April 2016, the Blackrock iShares MSCI Global Impact Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) has net assets of USD 30,737,493 as of 30 January 2018. The ETF seeks to advance the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) through exposure to global equities. For example, the fund’s top holding as of 29 January 2017 is Gilead Sciences Inc (4.47%), an American biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercialises innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The fund’s 1-year average return stands at 26.93%.
NAV as of 30 January 2018: USD 61.47
1) Barclays Multi-Impact Growth Fund: https://www.smartinvestor.barclays.co.uk/invest/investments/funds-etfs-and-investment-trusts/impact-investing/barclays-multi-impact-growth-fund.html
2) Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund: https://www.triodos.co.uk/en/personal/ethical-investments/socially-responsible-investments/sustainable-pioneer-fund/about-the-fund/
3) Blackrock iShares MSCI Global Impact ETF: https://www.blackrock.com/investing/products/283378/