10 Top Performing Ethical Investment Funds in 2018

Investing your money ethically doesn’t mean that you have to accept low returns. Here are ten strong performing ethical investment managed funds and exchange traded funds, based on their 1-year performance as of August 31, 2018.

1)    Pengana High Conviction Equities Fund

Pengana’s High Conviction Equity Fund made a strong return of 41.91% in the past year. The fund invests primarily in small companies listed on both Australian and international exchanges and is typically highly concentrated, investing in no more than 20 individual companies. Pengana employs a negative screening process for the fund, with the aim of avoiding investing in companies that make money from:

  • the manufacture or sale of weapons and weapons components
  • tobacco manufacture
  • gambling outlets or systems
  • intensive animal farming
  • animal testing for cosmetics
  • activities that give rise to human rights violations
  • unremediated destruction of the environment
  • uranium mining and nuclear reactors
  • fossil fuel exploration, production, refining, storage and transportation

The fund charges an annual management fee of 1.8%.

2)    BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF

The BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders Fund is an exchange traded fund that made a 1-year return of 30.17%. It actively seeks to invest in 100 large global companies, excluding Australian companies, that have been identified as leaders in climate sustainability. This includes companies with high carbon efficiency or involved in reducing emissions and excludes companies that are exposed to the fossil fuel industry. It charges an annual management fee of 0.59%.

Related article: Which ETFs Have the Highest Return on Investment?

3)    Nanuk New World Fund

Nanuk’s New World Fund is focused on investing in a diversified portfolio of global companies that contribute to environmental sustainability and resource efficiency. The fund both positively screens in favour of companies with sustainable practices, and negatively screens to avoid companies involved in environmentally destructive practices. Its 1-year return was 24.04% and it charges a management fee of 1.2% per annum.

4)    Pengana WHEB Sustainable Impact Fund

The Pengana WHEB Sustainable Impact Fund offers investors access to a diversified set of global companies that the WHEB group has identified as providing solutions to the challenges of sustainability. This involves actively seeking companies that work to solve environmental and social problems identified by WHEB as impacting the global economy. Its 1-year return was 23.94% and its management fee is 1.35% per annum.

5)    AMP Capital Responsible Investment Leaders International Share Fund

AMP’s Responsible investment Leaders Fund made a return of 17.97% over the last year. It is a multi-manager fund that invests in international equities. Individual managers are vetted by the fund’s Ethics committee to ensure the companies they invest in are positively contributing to combatting climate change, supporting human rights, have a strong record of ethical disclosure or show responsible corporate governance. It charges a management fee of 1.2% per annum.

6)    Morphic Global Opportunities Fund

The Morphic Global Opportunities Fund made a 1-year return of 17.47% over the last year. The fund seeks to invests in global shares while screening out companies involved in:

  • armaments, tobacco and alcohol production
  • gambling
  • coal and uranium mining
  • oil and gas extraction
  • intensive animal farming and aquaculture
  • logging of rainforest or old growth timber

It also seeks to invest at least 5% of funds in companies with a positive global impact. It charges an annual management fee of 1.35%.

7)    Australian Ethical Advocacy Fund

The Australian Ethical Advocacy Fund aims to not only invest in global and Australian environmentally or socially responsible companies, but to also use its investments to advocate for companies to improve their practices and governance. This means that it invests in companies that might otherwise fail the ethical screening in order to advocate for change. It made a 1-year return of 16.71% and charges a management fee of 1.9% per annum.

8)    Australian Ethical Diversified Shares Fund

Australian Ethical’s Diversified Shares Fund invests in Australian and international companies that have been identified as having a positive impact on the planet. This includes combatting pollution and poverty, preserving endangered ecosystems or developing sustainable land use practices. It also avoids investing in companies that have a negative environmental or social impact. It made a 1-year return of 16.66% and charges a 1.9% per annum management fee.

Ethical investment funds
Image: Pixabay (Pexels)

9)    Pengana International Fund – Ethical

Pengana’s International Fund – Ethical made a 1-year return of 16.4%. The fund invests in a selection of international equities that have been negatively screened to avoid connections to weapons, tobacco, gambling, animal testing, human rights violations, environmental destruction or nuclear and fossil fuel production. Its annual management fee is set at 1.35%.

10)    Australian Ethical International Shares Fund

The International Shares Fund applies Australian Ethical’s Charter to invest in international companies that practise responsible environmental and social practices. This involves both actively seeking to invest in companies making a positive impact, while screening out those that are involved in wasteful or harmful practices. It made a 1-year return of 16.2%, and charges an annual fee of 1.85%.

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All ethical managed funds and ETFs featured on Responsible Returns were considered for this list.

Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Cover image: Aaron Burden (Unsplashed) 

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