Cruelty Free Money

Keep your money cruelty free..

About Us

This site has been set up by Lee Coates OBE, the original founder of the concept of Cruelty Free Money.  For more information on the history or Cruelty Free Money, please click here.

Why have a Cruelty Free Money site?

The list of reasons is almost endless, but here are the main ones which that motivated me to launch this site:

– Most people are not aware of the damage that their money can do and the suffering and exploitation that can be financed in their name, so they don’t invest ethically

– The majority of ‘ethical’ funds around the world generally focus on humanist and moral issues, to one degree or another, then add some environment issues but rarely, if at all, do most funds cover animal welfare issues to any significant degree.

– The financial community provides support to companies and practices that most of those with a social conscience find unacceptable.  Much more needs to be done to raise awareness of what sort of things are being supported, in complete ignorance, when one hands over money to a bank, saving, investment or Super/pension company; a little bit of transparency can go a long way to making life much better.

– The moral vacuum of our current political and financial system has benefited a very small number of people whilst the global financial crises has hurt the majority.  It is time for some ‘responsible capitalism’ and I believe ethical investment is one step on the road to achieving this.

 

What this site aims to achieve:

Put simply, this site aims to raise awareness of the link between one’s money and one’s personal values.  If you have no personal values, no ‘line in the sand’ beyond which you will won’t go, then this site is probably not for you.  If, however, you do believe that we all have a responsibility to protect people, our planet and animals, then this site is very much for you.

I hope that some things posted on this site will be interesting, others will be challenging and some might well be shocking.  There is much that goes on within financial circles that would genuinely shock the average person.  The financial community has come under fire since 2008 and is under much closer scrutiny than ever before.  The industry has a very long way to go to win back public respect.  It isn’t going to achieve this by continuing the ‘business as usual’ strategy that has failed so much in the past.

The financial services industry, globally, needs to become more open and transparent and, dare I say it, honest, with its customers.  A good starting point would be to provide much more information about the sort of companies and industries that it invests in and supports.  If, God forbid, the public are not bothered by where their money is invested and who is exploited, then our future looks bleak.  I believe that the majority of people are good and do care about their own and their families futures and therefore I think that more people will invest ethically if they are made aware of what is done, day in and day out, with their money.

 

My background:

Whilst not wishing to ‘blow my own trumpet’, it might help visitors to this site put my views into context if they understand my background.  I will split this between my UK, Australian and global endeavours:

UK

1989 – founded financial planning business Ethical Investors.  Deals exclusively with advice only to those who wish to apply, social, moral, ethical, faith-based values to their financial planning needs.  The business, with colleagues, has helped to launch some of the most interesting and innovative ethical funds available in the UK.  ethical Investors donates at least 50% of its net trading profits to charities and good causes.  For more information, please visit www.ethicalinvestors.co.uk

1991 – introduced the concept of Cruelty Free Money for the first time.

1998 – with colleagues from Ethical Investors, a separate business was established to provide client-focussed ethical research – Ethical Screening.  This company provides global ethical research and advice to individuals, charities and institutional fund managers based in the UK and overseas.  For more information visit www.ethicalscreening.com

2009 – Ethical Investors forms its own charitable Foundation, Ethical Giving, to receive the annual donation of profits and to pass this on to the good causes and groups nominated by the clients of Ethical Investors.

2011 – I was awarded on OBE for “services to ethical business and finance”.  I am so proud and delighted to be recognised in this way, in particular the mention of ‘ethical business’ in the award.  I believe that it raises the profile of responsible business practices.

Australia

2009 – established the company Ethical Money Pty Ltd in Melbourne.  This company aims to deliver a range of specialist ethical investment funds not seem before in Australia, but based on the experience gained in the UK over 20+ years.

2010 – Cruelty Free Super is launched in Australia; the first ethical fund to be launched in Australia which operates to the “three pillars of ethical investment” principles (see here for more information).  Not only are the ethical values completely unique in Australia, but the marketing strategy for the fund has also never been tried before; go direct to the people for whom the product was designed and use social media to spread the word.  More information on Cruelty Free Super can be found at www.crueltyfreesuper.com.au.

Globally

2012 – launched the Cruelty Free Money web site to bring attention to the principles of ethical investment and, in particular, the “three pillars” approach to apply ethical values – there can be no long term balance in the world if there is no balancing of values.  To assume that one can protect people or the planet by treating these areas as non-interlinked is wrong.  Add to this the general lack of attention paid to the exploitation of animals and the human and environmental impact this has and I believe now is the perfect time to bring some re-balancing of values to make sure that we all strive to see and end to the exploitation of people, our planet and animals.


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