Thursday 20 October 2011

a green super fling

I don't know about you, but nothing puts me to sleep quicker than talking about financial matters.  Don't get me wrong, I love money (and wish I had more of it) but topics such as mortgages, exchange rates, interest rates and the Dow make me start to yaaaawwwwwnnnnn. . . 

I have no idea how I ever finished my business degree.

Topping off my list of dull financial topics would have to be superannuation.  I know it's incredibly important but I'm also happy not to have to think about it too much.  In fact, I ignore it so much so that it took me over three years since learning about ethical super funds to finally transfer over to one. I'm happy to report that I am now a proud member of Australian Ethical Super.

Ethical super funds are run similar to regular super funds but they only invest in organisations that are sustainable socially, environmentally and economically.  For instance, Australian Ethical's list of benefits include:
  • Investing in companies with positive environmental, social and governance practices
  • Investments are chosen based on both strong ethics and solid financial performance
  • Transparency - you know what your money is funding. 

So my money will now be investing in companies that share my values and I'll still get good returns - thankfully it's not an either/or proposition as Australian Ethical returns are similar to non-ethical super funds - I was even able to invest some of my money in 'Climate Advocacy' shares.

To tell you the truth, I'm sort of embarrassed to be sharing this with you. I mean, I work for an environmental non-profit organisation, write this blog and am writing a book, and yet I paid no attention to where my super was going. Australian Ethical came to my office twice and convinced me both times to make the switch, but I was so lazy about it and never made it a priority. Even more embarrassing is the incident that finally tipped me over the edge: while glancing at my latest super statement I learned - horror of horrors - that I had been investing in BHP, Rio Tinto, Exxon Mobil and Shell. Ahhh! I try and live an ethical, environmental lifestyle and I'd unknowingly been contributing to a number of organisations that go against my ideals all because financial matters bore me.

I filled out my Australian Ethical forms the next day.

Signing up for an account was terribly easy, done online, and the most time consuming part of the process was locating a JP to certify my identification on my rollover form.  Sure, there was a bit of administrative homework, but now it's done and I feel a huge weight lifted and one step closer to leading a completely sustainable lifestyle.

If finances don't bore you to tears you'll be pleased to know that Australian Ethical is not the only ethical super fund so you can shop around; a few other ethical funds include:
So remember, even though super is compulsory, it doesn't mean you don't have a choice in where you invest your money. Invest in organisations that share your values, make competitive financial returns and it's a completely win-win situation (don't you just love it when that happens?)!

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this! I agree.. ugh, finances.. but on yr advice i've also joined this fund! thanks for doing the research for me :) are you liking them?