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Rosie Hopkins, Retired Counsellor, Fair Trade Volunteer and Political Activist

10 Years with Ethical Futures
Advice service: Assess

Our Client Stories

Background

Rosie Hopkins, Retired Counsellor, Fair Trade Volunteer and Political Activist

10 Years with Ethical Futures
Advice service: Assess
Other services used: Plan and Select

Rosie is a Fairtrade supporter and member of Women in Black, activists for peace, justice and human rights. Now retired she remains active in many social issues. She approached Ethical Futures for advice on ethical investment as she wasn’t happy with her previous financial advisor.

Why did you think you needed a financial adviser? What were your expectations?
I had a financial advisor before but I don’t think he really had the measure of what I wanted. He put most things into mutual funds and thought that was all that was needed. What I was looking for was someone who had ethical concerns and information about the companies I was investing in.

I’d had investments since the age of 21 in South Africa which is where I was born and grew up. All the South African investments were in what I would consider exploitative and basically immoral investments. Since coming to the UK, I had more or less gone along with people advising me about what was good in terms of returns and I decided that I wanted to focus on ethical investments, so I contacted Julian.

Why have you chosen EF?
It was a big switch when I told Julian what I was looking for. He said that it was possible to be very specific about where money is invested, and he balances ethics and income. He was really looking at what was secure at the same time as ethical which I hadn’t come across anywhere before.

I grew up in South Africa – human rights, justice and fairness didn’t even feature. Just knowing that I have re-invested the money I inherited that felt like “dirty money” is hugely important to me. It has eased my conscience.

Ethics

Why is ethical investment important to you?
I grew up in south Africa – human rights, justice, fairness, didn’t even feature. Just knowing that I have re-invested the money I inherited that felt like “dirty money” is hugely important to me. It has eased my conscience. I can’t change where it came from but I can change where it’s now.

What were your ethical criteria in choosing EF?
I care about the people, I care about the environment, I care about the quality of terms of employment and other people should have as good opportunities as I have. I want to know that people who are producing goods are able to hold their heads up and not be exploited, that they are being treated with respect and kindness. Tobacco and weapons are areas to avoid too.

Advice

How did EF help you tackle your financial problems/make financial decisions/simplify your life?
In the 90’s I was a fairtrader, I was involved as a volunteer and I had a full room of fairtrade products that I put out to churches on a Sunday, so talking to Julian was like talking with somebody who talked the same language, that was very important, I didn’t have to explain myself or find out whether he thought the same way. Very quickly we established that we understood each other and we had similar values.

It’s very important to develop trust in the management of my livelihood and also what I wilI pass on to my children and grandchildren. I think that trust was established very easily and very early because of a more holistic discussion about values. Money is a tense subject!

When it came to looking at how best to manage my estate when I die - I wouldn’t have known where to start. Julian made the plan and talked me through it. He said if you do this - this would happen, and he offered the options. To some extent I was given the ability to make choices, but he was offering information and details and I wouldn’t have known what to prioritise or any of the technical details myself.

It was simple; there were quite a few documents to fill in, there are documents annually when there are changes, but generally I think we are back to the trust. It was a friendly, informal process. If I ever phoned and Julian wasn’t around and I sent an e-mail I’ve always found that there was somebody there to respond.

Outcome

What benefits have you seen from using EF service?
I am far more relaxed. It was a responsibility inheriting money. I felt that I mustn’t waste it and had a responsibility for stewarding the money for my children. To have somebody who I can trust, who ensures that that stewarding is good quality is great. So I don’t need to study the stock market. Even with current financial market instabilities I haven’t phoned, I haven’t emailed, I have not panicked. I know what I am investing in is being wisely invested. I know Julian is overseeing it and that’s what I can relax about. Julian is a financial advisor who I think of as a friend and with whom I feel very comfortable.

Future

What further goals you wish to achieve in the future?
I have three grandchildren so all that is really important for me is to take care of my money to make sure that they will hopefully benefit as I have done.

Clients

We would like to thank Rosemary Hopkins for contributing her experience with us.

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