Ethical Investments for doctors – Investing with principles – Socially Responsible Investing comes of age.
If you’re a doctor looking to invest your money in a socially responsible way, for example by not investing in tobacco, oil and airlines, then this article is for you. Medics’ Money is a doctor lead initiative to empower doctors to make better financial decisions. Led by Dr Perkins and Dr Cantelo, who is not only a GP trainee, but also a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax adviser.
Last year Medics’ Money spoke to Guy Roper, Director and Chartered Financial Planner from Sunrise IFA, about how he invests doctors’ money in a responsible way. Today with much of the world in lockdown and investment markets under pressure, we checked in to see how he and his clients are getting on.
Hi Guy. Last time we spoke you gave Medics’ Money blog subscribers some guidance on how to go about investing responsibly. What’s the latest?
Well in some ways not much has changed, but in other ways everything has changed! The world looks a very different place now compared to summer 2019, but the fundamental principles of investing remain the same; set objectives, control risk, diversify, monitor and review. We have been busy recently as you might imagine; we haven’t panicked, we have taken some opportunities that presented themselves to tweak some things, and on the whole we’re pretty happy.
And how is investing responsibly working out for your clients when compared to more traditional investments?
Generally pretty well thanks. Investing responsibly means investing in things that are good for society and for all our futures, as well as having good potential for growth. Fortunately, that’s an approach that favours things like remote working solutions and the online economy while excluding things like oil companies and airline stocks, so that has been to our clients’ benefit in recent weeks.
What has that meant for performance?
I can answer that in general terms. A recent report by Morningstar* (a large financial research company) found that more than 90% of ESG (environmental, social and governance) tilted funds outperformed their closest conventional counterparts in Q1 2020. Morningstar said that “more stable, secure, well-managed companies with solid ESG practices have generally responded well to the crisis”. We have seen that reflected in our clients’ portfolio performance.
What do you think the future holds?
For investments, I think the short term could be difficult but the medium to longer term looks rosy. We are yet to feel the full economic effects of lockdown, many companies will struggle and some won’t survive so at Sunrise we are certainly not complacent about the risks. Eventually the world will beat Covid-19 though and the economy as a whole will recover, it always does.
When it comes to investing responsibly, I truly believe we could look back on 2020 as a defining year. Investing responsibly used to be a small poorly-understood niche, but interest has grown hugely in the last year or two and it feels like responsible investing is coming of age. People were focussed on reducing waste, switching to renewable energy, consuming fewer resources etc even before lockdown made us think about shopping more carefully and travelling less, and reminded us what is really important. The world is changing, and responsible investments are often positioned to benefit from those changes, so it is an exciting time.
How different is your approach to other advisers?
Well my clients tell me it is very different! That’s not just because of our approach to investments though, it’s about the way we work. We seek first to understand; every client has an introductory meeting where we fully analyse their financial situation. We challenge our clients on their planning and priorities, this helps them make better decisions as well as helping us give better advice. We build a strategy, communicate it clearly, deliver it efficiently and then we are in touch as much as we are needed to make sure clients are confident and reassured moving forward. These are financial planning basics really, but I know from the reviews I have on Medics’ Money that working this way is what my clients value.
And all reviews on Medics’ Money are verified by GMC number, so they are proven to be authentic. That was very important to us when we set up Medics’ Money.
Absolutely, it is a great system and I get a notification pop up every time one is posted. They make my day!
Do you only advise on socially responsible investments?
No, Sunrise is completely independent so we can advise on any investment in the marketplace. Many of our clients prefer investing responsibly, I guess that’s why they came to us, but we are conscious that investing responsibly means different things to different people and we mustn’t force our own views on others. We are happy to advise on traditional investments too.
Is there anything else you want to mention?
Yes. The value of an investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the capital you invest.
You said that last time!
Yes, and I will say it again next time too! It’s an important point, at Sunrise IFA we are expert in controlling risk, but you can’t remove risk entirely. And besides, the Financial Conduct Authority quite rightly insists that we mention it 😉
My pleasure, speak to you again soon.
Guy Roper is Director and Chartered Financial Planner at Sunrise IFA based in Bristol. Sunrise IFA is one of the approved advisers listed on Medics’ Money. You can see more details for Sunrise IFA including reviews from other doctors and the fees for advice here:
Looking to get into investing? This is a good place to start https://www.medicsmoney.co.uk/7-top-tips-on-investment-advice-for-doctors/
Educate yourself with the information on our blog here https://www.medicsmoney.co.uk/medical-accounting-blog/?catname=financial-advice
Sunrise Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
*Source: Morningstar Sustainable Matters 3/4/20