Financial advisers should be doing more when it comes to educating clients on responsible investment, Australian Ethical believes.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, the superannuation fund’s chief investment officer, David Macri said there was still a misperception that investing responsibly would mean compromised returns.
“I think that advisers will also have a part to play in educating their clients and ideally we would like them to ask their clients every time they sit down ‘what do you think responsible investing is and do you want investments aligned with your values?’,” he said.
“More questions the adviser can ask the more awareness is out there and the better, and better for financial markets.
Macri said the fund would provide advisers with peace of mind through their rationale that dictated why they were or were not in certain sectors and companies, and that this would help answer client questions.
“We think advisers should be doing more and we are seeing a lot of demand from advisers, and questions are being thrown at them so there is a need for them to come up with a solution.”
Also at the briefing, Australian Ethical’s managing director and chief executive, Phil Vernon, said one-in-five Australians believed their super was invested ethically or sustainably.
“However, when we interrogated the data, of the one-in-five, many didn’t know where their super was invested, let alone whether their provider actually offered an ethical or sustainable option,” he said.
“This shows there is a disconnect, and education can play a strong role in fixing this. We believe that advisers will play a critical role in the next phase of growth in the ethical investing sector. They can show leadership by helping customers choose a fund that aligns with their values.”