Mindful Money wants to boost ethical investment

The founder of a new responsible investment platform wants to get all KiwiSaver members to think about where their money is invested.

Mindful Money, a new charitable social enterprise that wants to help people invest ethically, launched today.

It is a free platform allowing investors to check what is in their KiwiSaver funds and find one that aligns with their values.

Founder Barry Coates said only 1% of KiwiSaver funds had policies to avoid sectors such as gambling, pornography and alcohol.

Only 2% avoided fossil fuels.

“The KiwiSaver scheme has been important to help us all save. Now everyone with a KiwiSaver can also ensure their savings aren’t being used to harm people or destroy our environment.”

When Mindful Money users enter the name of their KiwiSaver fund, they are shown the companies and proportion of their funds that are invested in issues of concern – fossil fuels, weapons, gambling, alcohol, pornography, tobacco, GMOs, palm oil, human rights and animal rights.

Those highlighted concerns are based on a survey done last year by Mindful Money and the Responsible Investment Association.

"The public has a right to know where their hard-earned savings are invested. Two thirds or more of New Zealand investors have said they want to avoid issues of concern like fossil fuels, weapons, human rights violations and animal cruelty. Now they can find out which companies are making profits from their savings," Coates said.

The platform also allows users to find funds that align with their values and to easily switch to a more responsible fund.

There are nine providers and 23 funds that have been verified as meeting the high ethical standards set by Mindful Money. Users on the website can set the criteria they are looking for and find the fund that fits.

“The time has come for a massive shift towards investing responsibly. It is growing rapidly worldwide. Now New Zealanders can feel good about their investments, do good for people and the planet and earn good returns.

"The relevant question isn't why invest ethically, it's why not?”

The following providers are featured on Mindful Money’s platform:
•       Amanah KiwiSaver Plan
•       AMP KiwiSaver Scheme
•       Booster KiwiSaver Scheme
•       Christian KiwiSaver Scheme
•       Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme
•       Mercer KiwiSaver Scheme
•       QuayStreet KiwiSaver Scheme
•       Simplicity KiwiSaver Scheme
•       SuperLife KiwiSaver Scheme