18 Sep 2018

KiwiSaver users face 'major barrier' getting ethical investment advice

3:26 pm on 18 September 2018

KiwiSaver investors overwhelmingly want to put their money into ethical investments but may be being obstructed by a lack of information and unhelpful financial advisors.

Retirement savings

Retirement savings Photo: 123RF

A survey commissioned by the Responsible Investment Association and Mindful Money shows nearly three quarters of respondents want their money to be invested ethically, and close to two-thirds are ready to shift their funds to achieve it.

Mindful Money chief executive Barry Coates said investors wanting to do the right thing are facing barriers.

"A lack of independent information is the major barrier to a greater uptake of responsible investment by the public. The other major barrier is a lack of time to compare the options."

He said animal cruelty, human and labour rights, were among the top concerns of investors, ahead of more established concerns about gambling, pornography, fossil fuels, weapons and tobacco.

Mr Coates, a former Green MP and head of Oxfam, said support for ethical investing was broad-based among all age groups.

The recently established Mindful Money is developing a website to assist investors in making ethical investment decisions.

Separately, a KiwiSaver switching platform, BetterSaver, will be launched this week offering savers the ability to select their retirement fund according to an independently verified environmental, social and governance grading.

The platform compares more than 240 responsible investment options.

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