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What are the best ethical funds to invest in?

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Suzanne Greener

Head of Data Collection

How does a Star Rating help me find the best ethical funds?

Moneyfacts Product Experts undertake an annual review of the ethical funds sector focussing on features, fees and performance. Their whole-of-market analysis is independent, impartial and free to access. After an ethical investment fund has been assessed, it is assigned a Star Rating. Only the very best funds receive five-stars.

What elements of ethical funds do we look at?

  • Flexibility of investment amount
  • Initial entry charges
  • Ongoing charges
  • Linked products available
  • The level of involvement with the investing companies
  • The avoidance of negative investing, including that which benefits from animal testing, armaments, environmental damage and oppressive regimes
  • The support of positive investment, incorporating employee welfare/rights, packaging reduction and sustainable forestry.

Ethical Funds Star Ratings 2023

Looking for the very best ethical funds to invest in?

Click the headings below to see the full list of Star Ratings awarded.

Ethical Funds - Five Star

abrdn - Ethical Corporate Bond Fund
abrdn - Europe ex UK Ethical Equity Fund
abrdn - UK Ethical Equity Fund
Columbia Threadneedle - Responsible Global Equity Fund
Columbia Threadneedle - Responsible Sterling Corporate Bond Fund
Columbia Threadneedle - Responsible UK Equity Growth Fund
Columbia Threadneedle - Responsible UK Income Fund
EdenTree - Responsible & Sustainable European Equity Fund
EdenTree - Responsible & Sustainable Global Equity Fund
EdenTree - Responsible & Sustainable Managed Income Fund
EdenTree - Responsible & Sustainable Sterling Bond Fund
EdenTree - Responsible & Sustainable UK Equity Fund
EdenTree - Responsible & Sustainable UK Opportunities Fund
Jupiter - Ecology
Liontrust - Sustainable Future Cautious Managed Fund
Liontrust - Sustainable Future Corporate Bond Fund
Liontrust - Sustainable Future Defensive Managed Fund
Liontrust - Sustainable Future European Growth Fund
Liontrust - Sustainable Future Global Growth Fund
Liontrust - Sustainable Future Managed Fund
Liontrust - Sustainable Future Managed Growth Fund
Liontrust - Sustainable Future UK Growth Fund
Liontrust - UK Ethical Fund
Premier Miton - Responsible UK Equity Fund
Stewart Investors - Asia Pacific Sustainability
Stewart Investors - Global Emerging Markets Sustainability
Stewart Investors - Worldwide Sustainability

Ethical Funds - Four Star

Aegon - Ethical Cautious Managed OEIC
Aegon - Ethical Corporate Bond Fund OEIC
Aegon - Ethical Equity Fund OEIC
Columbia Threadneedle - Sustainable MAP Balanced C Acc Fund
Columbia Threadneedle - Sustainable Universal MAP Growth C Acc Fund
Columbia Threadneedle - Universal MAP Adventurous Fund
Columbia Threadneedle - Universal MAP Cautious C Acc Fund
Columbia Threadneedle - Universal MAP Defensive Fund
Janus Henderson - Global Responsible Managed
Janus Henderson - Global Sustainable Equity
Janus Henderson - UK Responsible Income
Jupiter - Responsible Income

Best performing ethical funds March 2024

Moneyfacts Product Experts look at monthly performance too.

Here are the best performing funds based on the return generated from a £1,000 investment made over one-year. Please note, past performance is not an indication of future performance. 

 

Rank

Fund

Value of £1,000 lump sum over one year (no charges applied)

Growth %

1

Polar Capital Global Tech £1,425

42.5%

2

GAM Disruptive Growth Fund £1,383

38.3%

3

Morgan Stanley Investment Funds - Global Opportunity Fund C

£1,340

34.0%

4

Brown Advisory US Sustainable Growth Fund USD Class A Dis

£1,328

32.8%

5

Janus Henderson Sustainable Future Technologies Fund G GBP Acc £1,306

30.6%

Source: Lipper/Moneyfacts Investment Life and Pensions Magazine. Note: the table above is ordered by the best performance 1 March 2024 over the past 12 months.

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A guide to investing in ethical funds

What is ethical investing?

Ethical investing is when individual investors choose the assets and stocks they will invest in based on their own ethical values and beliefs. This can exclude firms that operate in areas such as gambling, tobacco, adult entertainment, weapons or alcohol, or by selecting funds that consider a range of ethical factors and/or deliver positive ethical outcomes. These positive ethical outcomes can include social and environmental benefits.

How to invest ethically

Investors can choose their own investments, selecting stock in individual firms based on analysis of their ethical considerations. However, this is time-consuming and requires regular research to help make sure your choices remain relevant and offer a good return.

Instead, you can opt for a suitable investment fund that aligns with your ethical ideals. These funds will include a range of ethical investments and are based on a set of guiding principles or rules for managing the fund, and you can see which perform best by keeping an eye on our ratings.

Why invest ethically?

Making a choice to invest ethically is not only good for wider society and the environment, but it can be good for your portfolio, too, as ethical investments have been shown to outperform the returns of their non-ethical equivalents.

In July 2020 Moneyfacts revealed that 140 ethical unit trusts had grown by 4% in the 12 months to 1 July 2020, compared to a contraction of 1.5% for those not in the ethical category.

 

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