10 years with Ethical Futures
Advice service: Ongoing Annual Review
Our Client Stories
Conrad, self-employed IT professional
10 years with Ethical Futures Advice service: Ongoing Annual Review
Why did you think you needed a financial adviser? What were your expectations? Initially I was looking to set up an ethical pension, but my needs have changed over time - and Ethical Futures have changed with me.
I was aware that my pension was invested in awful ways that I didn’t agree with, in particular arms trading but other issues as well. I recognised that it wasn’t my area of expertise, I could see there were a lot of options available and I had no idea how to compare them.
After a while I became more knowledgeable so I switched to a different way of doing business. I managed my own investments but had an advice session with Martin once a year.
Several years later, I reached a conclusion that again - there’s a question of expertise. I felt that I had to invest a lot of my time and I didn’t really want to because I am self-employed. Instead of spending a day of my time doing this I could spend an hour of an expert’s time so I switched to a service where things are fully managed by EF.
Why have you chosen EF? Locality, other ethical advisers I could see were based in England, and it’s nice to go and see someone in person.
your money isn’t passive, it’s actively out there in the world, screwing up other people unless you are deliberately taking a choice not to do so.
Why is ethical investment important to you? Ethics are more important than returns for me.
When ethical investment started out it was built around avoidance screening. Recently they seem to be more engaged, so you could buy shares in a firm who could be ethical or moving towards satisfying positive criteria. I think that's a much more proactive and positive way of going about things.
I think the problem nowadays, is that people can do damage without experiencing or understanding the consequences of their actions and investment is a gigantic means by which you can do it. So, if a topic comes up I try to impress upon people that your money isn’t passive, it’s actively out there in the world screwing up other people if you are not deliberately taking a choice not to do so.
What were your ethical criteria in choosing EF? Arms and animal welfare, I am vegetarian, tobacco.
How did EF help you tackle your financial problems/make financial decisions/simplify your life? The process of advice is relaxed and straightforward. Nowadays it is mostly just a regular check-up. Martin will mention some new ideas and I might go away with them. We arrange a big meeting annually and I will go in with some ideas of what I want to talk about, then I spend a few hours after that thinking through it.
It is a pretty smooth process. I have peace of mind, at different times I wanted different things and all of them were satisfied.
What benefits have you seen from using EF services? How was your experience with EF? The overriding purpose of engaging with Ethical Futures was that I wanted to conduct my finances in a mindful ethical fashion. I sorted out my pension and I have a decent amount of savings. As a result of this, I’m thinking that I might change the way that I work, even if that means a period of not earning a lot of money. I feel that I am well prepared for that because I have a flat and savings, so I feel very secure.
It gives me a good foundation on which to move on with my life. So it goes back to that peace of mind again I guess. I don’t worry about money so that helps me have a much freer life to do the things that I enjoy like going to festivals and travelling.
What were you able to achieve as a consequence of service provided by EF? I had the confidence to go self-employed because I had decent amount of savings and I already had a pension under control, it just meant that I didn’t feel panicked about stuff.
What further goals do you wish to achieve in the future? I am thinking about changing the way I work and I feel that I have the resources for such a change.
We would like to thank Conrad for contributing his experience with us.