Sustainable investments in the “credit crunch”

Strangely enough I’ve been thinking about my financial situation given the apparent impending collapse of the global economic system… (Or has it already collapsed? I can’t quite work that bit out.)

Although the tanking Aussie dollar is a little bit of a concern, I have a suspicion it’s going to bounce back a bit in the coming months. (Besides, if it wasn’t for the recent buoyancy of the dollar we probably wouldn’t be too concerned – it’s not like the first time the dollar has been hovering around $0.70).

And despite all the ups and downs of the interest rates, I’ve only actually seen one small increase in my mortgage in the past 12 months, so there’s not much to concern myself with there either.

Most of my “net worth”, though, is in my superannuation – so I’ve been thinking about that a bit.

I recently shifted my super across to a more aggressive fund option that includes international shares. This has increased my exposure to the current volatility – though I’m not panicking and “locking in” my losses by changing strategy just yet. Allow me to explain why…

For a number of years my super has been invested with Australian Ethical Superannuation. This means that my money is invested in businesses geared towards a sustainable future.

As far as I can tell the fund has been a strong performer for some time – and one of the nice things is when there’s a downturn the fund typically doesn’t see as great a loss as the general market (unless tech stocks are particularly affected – there’s a slight bias towards bio- and medical-tech in the fund).

Additionally, I truly believe that sustainable businesses are the way of the future and that as the market recovers the sustainable stocks will recover well, especially as people reconsider their investment options and perhaps put some thought into sustainable strategies, rather than the “growth at all costs” approach that started this whole mess. (Call me naive – but that’s how I view things.)

So while I’m expecting to be a bit shocked at the level to which my super goes backwards in my next statement, I’m confident that over time the value will be restored and I’ll be better off in the long run. And I’m really glad I made the choice all those years ago to invest in a strong SRI fund…