Identification of ethical issues
We look at the complete portfolio listing to identify any potential ethical issues that may be of concern to investor, highlighting these where appropriate. These might include fossil fuels, controversial finance, animal testing, intensive agriculture, genetic modification, misleading marketing, military contracts, nuclear power, mining and human rights controversies. This is of vital importance, since funds employ avoidance criteria, but investors may not be aware of what this allows. And the proof is always in the pudding, or in this case, the actual investments made.
Financial track record
Our focus is on the proven ability of the fund to deliver returns that are in line or better than the average for the sector. This means that we look for predictability, consistency and a level of returns that is within expectations for the sector over the longer term. In practical terms this means that we look at performance attribution, performance versus the index on a year by year basis, fund manager experience and fund strategy. The aim of all of this is to assess how confident we are in the fund to deliver expected returns in the future. Consideration is given to both relative and absolute performance, since this absolute performance is the ultimate goal of the investor.