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Ethical investments have great appeal

Ethical investing is a great way for financial planners to sign up younger clients, co-chair of the Ethical Investment Association Janice Carpenter says.

Sunday, September 9th 2001, 10:23PM

From her experience ethical investing tends to appeal to the "younger than average financial planning client."

She told delegates at the Ethical Investment Association in Melbourne last week, that ethical investors tend to be female service professionals (teachers, nurses, architects, and engineers etc) and they are accumulators, as opposed to being retirees.

Carpenter says that financial planners tend to ignore the socially responsible tendencies of their clients and stick to the numbers stuff.

Her advice to the conference is that planners should ask their clients some leading questions to find out what their attitudes to ethical investing are.

The idea being that the planner should try and rate a client's ethical profile, like they do with risk.

She says advisers who sell ethical investments need to be fully informed about the funds they use. This includes knowing what stocks they hold, how socially responsible they really are, and how the funds treat environmental issues.

One of the good things to come out of SRI is that fund managers are being far more open about what is in their portfolios.

She says investors tend to prefer funds which have both positive and negative screens.

Ethical investors tend to be very loyal, and SRI funds may be of interest to the children of a planner's client, Carpenter says.

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