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  • Martyn Johnson

The Good, the Bad and the Sustainable

Like or loathe the subject, regulators around the World are all over sustainability and it will affect both your investment choice and performance. More below. In my postscript - Tom and Jerry.

Markets Commentary

UK exits recession. House prices fall. Thematic investment rises.

Sustainability Q&A

What is it?

Sustainability takes in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues which will increasingly affect all aspects of our lives and our finances.

How will it affect your investments?

People are getting interested in this subject which means that fund houses are fascinated, scenting business. Regulators around the World are looking closely at funds which label themselves as ‘sustainable’ with the intent of making sure that they do what it says on the tin. There will be a scramble to get on the ethical bandwagon. All of this will affect investment returns.

What are investors attitudes?

Our clients fall broadly into one of three groups:

  1. Those who have no sustainable directives for us when investing.

  2. Those who have some interest and ask us to avoid certain areas or invest a certain amount in sustainable funds.

  3. Those who are committed to promoting sustainable investment and ask us to work towards this for them.

As an investor, what should you do?

Ask your advisor what they are doing about this - sustainability / thematic investment is here to stay.


There will be a scramble by professional investors to get on the (ethical) bandwagon. Don’t ignore the ‘S’ word since it will impact on your investments; if you want more detail then visit our page on sustainability -

What’s the big picture? Here it is – stick to the basics for the core of holdings - but thematic investment will become much more important in faster moving investment markets.


Ethics. I like Tom and Jerry cartoons. Often, I see the adversaries in a struggle with their consciences - with imaginary angels on one shoulder and devils on the other.

I use religion as an example only; I have religious beliefs, but I do not believe in trying to ram these down the throats of others. I was amused when some years ago I was approached by a Catholic Priest on investment matters; I explained to him that I am not a Catholic. His response, ‘that’s ok my son – you will be doing God’s work in spite of yourself’ – hopefully we can all learn from this sort of tolerance.

My point? When I am perfect, I will judge; you are safe from the judgement of Steve for the foreseeable future.

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