Morningstar's Ethical Investing Week 2013

Investors no longer have to choose between ethics and profit. In our ethical investing week, we explain how you can make money - and a difference

Emma Wall 11 October, 2013 | 3:55PM
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Do you recycle cardboard? Give to charity? Invest responsibly? Once the sole concern of commune-living hippies, the concept of ethical investing has now entered the mainstream, and this week we've focused on the movement. 

Just as for many supermarket shoppers the default option is now to plump for free-range eggs and chicken, investors increasingly understand the need to scan companies’ ethical credentials before they deposit their cash. 

Furthermore, investors also have learned that you do not have to choose between investing ethically and chasing profit. Sceptics argue that performance would be compromised by imposing restrictions – yet analysis has quashed such doubts. There have been times when ethical funds have outperformed. And, as in any sector, there are some good funds and some not so good. Ethical investing in 2013 means you can sleep easy at night - and expect healthy returns on your initial investment. 

While hard-core ethical and ecological investing can mean choosing to support companies that are directly involved in managing climate change and reducing the global carbon footprint, socially responsible investing can mean ensuring that you back the most socially responsible company within a certain sector. 

This week we deciphered the jargon, heralded the good-guys of the investment world and named and not-so-shamed those sin stocks that deliver profit despite their moral ambiguity.

Monday: The Basics

What is the difference between ethical investing and socially responsible (SRI) investing?

What is Ethical Investing?
Choosing to invest ethically does not mean you have to say goodbye to a diversified portfolio. Going green equals more than just renewable energy and fair trade coffee

What is SRI?
Socially responsible investing - known as SRI - is the modern face of ethical investing. We explain how an ethical fund can legitimately invest in mining stocks and banks

Half of FTSE 100 is 'Unethical'
Unknown to them, 17 million investors hold stocks that they would consider unethical - and only 20% of investors know how ethical their portfolio is

Ethical Funds Outperforms World Indices
After dropping off the radar during the credit crisis, ethical investing has undergone a quiet revolution and is offering guilt-free profit to those in the know

Tuesday: Stocks that Deliver

Which companies operate by an ethical code – and return profits to their shareholders?

3 Ethical Stock Tips
Jupiter Ecology fund manger Charlie Thomas gives his three stock tips for investing ethically and profitably

How Ethical Investments have Outperformed
Ethical funds beat non-ethical funds, index trackers and the FTSE 100 over the past year - thanks to their lack of exposure to failing sectors such as mining

Ethics Reduce Risk in Investment Portfolios
Incorporating environmental, social and governance analysis into investment decision-making reduces downside risk and maximise returns

5 Ethical Stocks for Income
Want an attractive dividend and a clean conscience? Here are five ethical stocks for an income portfolio

Wednesday: Alternative Energy and Climate Change

How you can make money from renewables – and other global warming industries

Renewable Energy: Risk or Reward?
Utility companies offer investors a proxy for bonds - reliable income with capital preservation. Can renewable energy firms do the same?

Energy Retail Bonds: Should You Invest?
Tempted by the promise of 7% income? We take a look at the latest way to access the renewable energy sector: mini bonds

Stocks that Profit from Climate Change
Global warming, a growing global population, dietary changes in developing economies, and declining arable land create potential investment opportunities in agriculture

Thursday: Sin Stocks

Which morally ambiguous companies deliver profits?

What are Sin Stocks?
Put your ethics to one side because these so called 'sin stocks' are delivering big profits and paying out healthy dividends

What do E-Cigarettes Mean for the Tobacco Industry?
Tobacco, arms companies and animal testing may be banned from ethical funds but they can deliver attractive returns. Do e-cigarettes spell the end to these dividends?

Sin Stock Special: Rio Tinto is Undervalued
Analysts have reduced the 'fair share price' of Rio Tinto due to a stronger pound and moving commodity prices - but the mining giant is still significantly undervalued

British Gas Share Price Reacts as it Raises Bills
Sin stock energy companies are in trouble with the Government as price hikes from British Gas and SSE prompt political outrage

Friday: How Ethical Investment Can Influence a Portfolio

How to integrate ethical investment into your financial plans

How to Invest in the Big Society
There has been a growth of real social investment opportunities in the UK that provide a social as well as a financial return, investors should take note.

How Ethics are Affecting Investment
From pension funds to high street banking, social responsibility is shaping our investment world - and your portfolio.

Do You Bank Ethically?
Dissatisfaction with poor customer service and City scandals have led many consumers to vote with their feet and abandon the big banks in favour of ethical substitutes.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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About Author

Emma Wall  is former Senior International Editor for Morningstar