Responsible investing

A healthier approach to wealth

Every company has an impact on the world around us. And by investing in them, so do we.

Responsible investing recognises this fact. It picks investments based on principles as well as profits, weighing up the costs your portfolio won’t show – those paid by people, society, and the planet.

For a long time, this approach was considered more admirable than profitable. But not any more. The number of responsible funds is growing apace, and so too is evidence that they can actually post superior returns.

Why responsible can be profitable

It’s a common misconception that investing responsibly means accepting lower returns. The argument goes that since responsible portfolios exclude sectors such as tobacco – which are unethical, but profitable – they can’t hope to match non-responsible portfolios for performance.

Increasingly, though, evidence says otherwise. A responsible investor may have a reduced pool of investments to choose from, but they’re also less likely to invest in companies that suffer stock-price hits from scandals or fines. Similarly, responsible companies typically have more sustainable business models, and are better positioned to adapt to long-term challenges, such as climate change.

How do I invest responsibly?

There’s no single, universal way to be a responsible investor. What is and isn’t ‘responsible’ varies from investor to investor. A company one person considers ethical might be considered harmful by another – and vice versa. So firstly, it depends on your principles, and what you’re happy having in your portfolio.

It also depends on your approach to investing. Building your portfolio from shares rather than funds gives you more control over where your money goes, but involves more research. Conversely, choosing a responsible fund saves you time, but also means handing over the reins to a fund manager.

Choosing funds

Fund manager researches responsible companies for you

Wide diversification – in one investment

Large and increasing number of responsible funds to choose from

Not every investment the fund includes may fit your values

Responsible funds typically have higher charges

Choosing shares

More control over what goes into your portfolio

Different strategies you can follow, depending on how responsible you want to be

Checking a company's environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials takes extra time

Have to invest widely to ensure your eggs aren’t in one basket


A guide to responsible investing

Investing for the greater good can be healthy for your pocket, not just the planet. Our free guide explains how.

Read guide

How we can help

Our responsible fund

Want to keep your footprint low – without the legwork? Managed by us for you, the AJ Bell Responsible Growth fund is the effort-free way to invest in companies that care about more than just profit.

Easier research

Choosing the right fund can take work – but we've done the bulk of it for you. The AJ Bell Favourite funds list is our specialists’ pick of funds across a wide range of sectors, including ethical and sustainable.

Comprehensive ESG data

You can easily check each fund's Morningstar Sustainability Rating to determine its ESG credentials. And every investment has its own comprehensive research page.

Keep up with the latest developments

Responsible investing has gone from the margins to the mainstream. The articles and analysis below can help you keep up with the latest in this fast-moving field.

We make investing easier

For nearly twenty years, AJ Bell Youinvest has helped people invest in the life they want to live. We’re part of AJ Bell, one of the largest investment platforms in the UK, with £74.1 billion in assets under administration.

Our awards

We're a Which? Recommended Provider four years running – in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. In 2020, we were also proud to have won Best Execution Only Broker at the 2020 ADVFN International Financial Awards.

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What our customers say about us

We’re here to make things easier for you

Sometimes tackling your investments can seem like a real headache. That’s why we strive to do one thing here at AJ Bell Youinvest – to make investing as easy as possible for you.

AJ Bell is now one the UK's largest online investment platforms, with £74.1 billion in assets under administration.

We’ve succeeded by staying true to our beliefs, by understanding your needs as a DIY investor and by providing award-winning accounts, backed up with excellent service at a low cost.

Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we take your security as seriously as you do, and have comprehensive measures in place to keep you and your money safe. You can find out more by visiting our security centre.

So whatever stage you’re at, we’re sure we can help you manage your money and your future.

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