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Vegan investment funds – do they perform?

Performance Update to 31 March 2014  Performance

Cruelty Free Funds around the world continue to perform well.  I have contacted the three main cruelty free funds (2 UK and 1 Australian) for up to date performance.  The figures are provided below.

If investors in cruelty free investment funds can make money over the long term without exploiting animals, people and our planet, why on earth would anyone choose to make money by abusing animals, people and our planet?  It makes no sense. The old saying “what goes around, comes around” applies really well to long term investment.  I like to think of long term investment as a reflection of my personal values; it speaks about the person that I am.  If everyone followed a responsible investment philosophy, we would all notice the difference really quickly.  However, most people are either ignorant of the impact that their money has or choose to make it someone else’s responsibility to make things better, whilst they continue to make things worse.

Think carefully about the implications of the following statement that I like to use:

“We will get the future we invest for”

If one’s money is invested in destruction of the environment, human rights abuse and the exploitation of animals, then one’s future will be a very sad place – a degraded environment that can’t be enjoyed, dispossessed people migrating to find a better life and a lack of biodiversity threatening our long term survival.  If someone wrote this down as their long term aim, we’d think they were quite mad.  And yet, society considers it completely normal to invest money in a way that virtually guarantees these outcomes. It’s a crazy old world but at least those who invest ethically are working to make it a little more sane.

Anyway, let’s look at the figures that I have gathered:

Australia

Cruelty Free Super Balanced

Australian Financial Year to date: 11.59% (Benchmark 11.49%);

1 Year: 9.89%

3 Years: 9.47%

UK

Henderson Global Care Growth

1 Year: 17.5%

3 Years: 28.3%

Kames Ethical Growth

1 Year: 11.6%

3 Years: 47.4%

 

All three funds are quite different, have different investment objectives and therefore should not be compared to each other.  The figures have been taken from investment web sites or direct from the fund managers. This information is provided simply as a point of interest and does not constitute financial advice or a personal recommendation.

 

 

FIRST PUBLISHED 5 AUGUST 2012……

As you will see on the “CFM around the World” section of this site, there are three stock market funds which can be classed as Vegan-friendly.  Two of these are available as investment funds in the UK and in Australia there is Cruelty Free Super.

The big questions asked by so many people is can one invest in a fund with vegan criteria and still make money?  In a completely non-scientific way, I have asked each of the three companies to give me information about their performance over the last few years using the most appropriate benchmarks for their own funds.  As Cruelty Free Super was only launched in October 2010, I haven’t asked the much longer established companies to provide performance information before this, to keep the comparison between all three funds to roughly the same time period.  I am not trying to compare the funds against each other, as they are all different.

In alphabetical order, the results are:

Cruelty Free Super (Australia)

Return for CFS from 10/10/2010 to 16/06/2012 was positive 5.38%, versus the ASX 200 negative 13.0% (Gross)

Return for CFS from 1/7/2011 to 12/6/2012 was positive 3.02% versus the ASX 200 negative 11.61% (Gross)

Return for CFS from 1/7/2011 to 30/4/2012: Net positive 4.45% versus gross ASX 200 negative 4.59%

Since the end of April 2012 investment markets have been very poor (CFS 1/7/2011 to 12/6/2012 positive gross 3.02% versus negative 11.61 from the ASX200).

Henderson Global Care Growth (UK)

 Henderson Global Care Growth A

Year to Date *

 

1.83%

1 Year *

 

-8.94

Benchmark

-3.12%

-8.11%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Kames Ethical Equity (UK)

Ethical Equity

1 Year *

 -4.53%

2 years *

10.04%

Median

-3.83%

8.84%

 

 

 

 

 

* – figures to 16/7/12

 

 Conclusion:

The above is rather simplistic and only a snapshot but what it shows is that against their appropriate benchmarks/markets and non-ethical peers, the Vegan funds have performed really well. Is it because they are Vegan?  I’d like to say yes, but I am not sure that there is enough evidence to prove this.  It is more likely that the funds are all run by good managers who have to work harder within the ethical criteria to pick the right stocks and this extra hard work pays off.

So, if you’ve been holding out from investing in line with your values, isn’t it about time you chose the option which isn’t going to exploit animals, people and our planet?  If you are in Australia or the UK, now is the time to stand up and invest in line with your values.

 

Note – past performance is no guide to future returns.  There is no element of financial advice or recommendations in this comparison, it is purely a way of answering the big question posed earlier.

 

 


9 Responses to “Vegan investment funds – do they perform?”

  1. Fred says:

    And here in Amerika the home of capitalism we have no alternatives! A few “socially responsible” mutual funds, but nothing any vegan or cruelty-free advocate would consider. I put most of my money in municipal bonds that way no taxes to the federal government which funds most of the animal research here. Fred

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  4. Michael says:

    Hi, I’ve had a look at the UK funds you sugegst and Kames Ethical Equity seems to include GlaxoSmithKline, while the Henderson Global Care one has both GlaxoSmithKline and Astrazeneca. As both of these companies are heavily involved in animal testing I can’t really see how these funds could be considered cruelty free. Please advise if I have misunderstood anything as I am going solely on the factsheets provided on each company’s website. Thanks.

    • lee says:

      I think you might be looking at the wrong Fact Sheets. The last time I looked at the entire holdings for both funds there were no pharmaceutical companies in sight. Kames has lots of mainstream funds and Henderson has a number of different ethical funds so getting the right Fact sheet is essential.

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  7. Alex says:

    So can I invest in these even if I’m in the US?

    • lee says:

      Unfortunately there are no fully cruelty free options available in the US as far as I can see and given increased tightening of the tax rules in the US it is very difficult for US nationals to invest in overseas investment funds. Many investment funds in the UK, for example, won’t accept applications from US nationals. Sorry for the bad news, but I am hoping things will change sooner rather than later – watch this space!

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