Either way, we put our hard-earned money in the funds to be invested so that it will grow…hopefully faster than other options like leaving it in the bank.
We trust our fund managers to make the right decisions by us…to make investments that will grow and generate income for us over the long term.
But how many of us know exactly where our money for retirement is invested?
Sure, we may have chosen particular ‘pre-mixed’ options like ‘balanced’, ‘high growth’, ‘capital guaranteed’…or even DIY mix options like ‘international shares’, ‘cash’, or ‘property’, ‘international sustainable shares’…
But exactly which stocks, cash and property is our money supporting?
Unless you have your own self-managed superannuation or retirement fund (in which you make all the investment decisions yourself), I would be that you – like me – have no idea beyond the broad categories I’ve just mentioned.
Now, of course we want our money to be generating sustainable income for us when retire.
But is our money generating a sustainable environment in which we can live and enjoy our retirement?
Or is it adding to destruction of local and global environments?
So…how have I found out where my superannuation investments are?
I started by looking at annual reports.
But…they were like almost all corporate annual reports I’ve ever seen.
They provide a brief overview of investment categories and how they performed over the reporting year…and the outlook for the year to come.
They don’t say exactly which stocks, cash and property they invested in.
Now, I could be generous and say that they don’t do that because the investments are ‘actively managed’. That just means that the fund keeps an eye on the investments and changes them with a view to maximising the returns. In other words, the investments change. So you could argue that it would be hard to report all the investments over the course of the year.
So, you might think that they could report what investments that they held at the start or end of the reporting year…and maybe even what they bought or sold.
But no. Not even that.
I wrote to my funds…and asked them.
I can’t remember how I wrote the first time, but the second time I used The Vital Few to help me.
The Vital Few makes it easy for you to ask your superannuation or retirement fund where they are investing and growing your money. 🙂
I just went to The Vital Few website and clicked on Send A Letter.
Then I chose my Country from the drop-down menu…
And when I went to the Fund Name drop-down menu, there was a list of funds for me to choose from. There are even options if you don’t have a fund or you don’t know your fund’s name! 🙂
Then it was just a matter of filling in the rest of the fields…choosing the letter option…and clicking Send.
So now my letter is with my superannuation fund. (Actually, I have two letters, because I have two funds…due to an anomaly of history.)
And I am waiting for the response.
Because, by law, the fund’s trustees have to consider members’ requests. 🙂
And that is how we can use our power as individuals to change institutional investing…to be more sustainable.
I haven’t heard back from my funds yet but I’ll keep you posted.
Will you join me?
I recommend that you use The Vital Few to:
- Let your superannuation or retirement fund know your concerns about the sustainability of how they make investments.
- Ask the fund’s trustees where they’re investing your money
- Ask them to stop funding fossil fuel projects
I’d love to hear how about your efforts to make your superannuation or retirement fund more sustainable. Just contact me…or send me a voice message by clicking on the tab on the right.
Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world