Ethical investing may seem like an oxymoron for many seasoned shareholders. The fact that ethically-minded companies tend to focus on principles rather than profit often leaves investors with a sense of sustainable doubt akin to the company’s sustainable ethos. However, as renewable energy becomes increasingly prevalent throughout the world, ethical investing is beginning to take off in a big way, offering investors the chance to earn decent returns and keep a clean conscience.
One organisation offering socially responsible investment opportunities within the UK is Abundance Generation. Based loosely around the crowd sourcing concept, Abundance Generation offers investors the opportunity to cut out the middleman and directly fund renewable energy projects. The beauty of the project is that, for the more frugally minded, investors can begin with as little as £5 and build a portfolio of “Debentures” from this minimum investment.
Rail Road to Riches
If sustainable energy is not quite your thing then a popular choice within the US is buying shares in rail companies. Whilst the 1970s and 80s saw stock prices plummet, a resurgence in interest within rail, particularly in the US, has seen share prices more than double for some companies. This is almost exclusively due to fuel economy, which is currently around three times more efficient than freight by road, and with fuel prices continuing to rise, it seems that rail is good investment for the future.
Of course, such investments require a high level of commitment since share prices remain high. However, for those looking at lower commitment investments co-operative schemes are beginning to appear on both sides of the Atlantic. Typically requiring minimal investment in a business that is local to you, co-op businesses generally retain a sense of community not found in larger corporations.
For anyone interested in investing in more traditional stocks and shares whilst retaining an ethical edge then information regarding up-to-the-minute share prices for regular stocks can be found over at Quotenet. Naturally, to ensure the company you choose to invest in meets your standards, a little research may be required, however, many companies now proudly wear the socially responsible heart on their sleeve, making it a relatively easy process.
As attitudes towards sustainability begin to change, it seems that profit may indeed have to take a back seat to principles. However, the good news is that money is still there to be made, and those of us with very little might just take advantage of the initial skepticism found in the wealthy.