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NEWSLETTER | 29 Apr 2021  

Positive performance: In search of investments that count

As the ESG investment market continues its inexorable expansion, retail investors are shifting from a 'do no harm' to a 'do some good' mindset with impact investing becoming an increasingly popular choice.

According to a study by OnePlanetCapital, the size of the impact investing market has grown by 42.4 per cent since 2019 and is now worth USD715 billion. And with the overall ESG investment market set to double this year, further significant growth is inevitable. 

As investors become more discerning in their hunt for the 'right' investment opportunity, financial services providers are to beginning adjust their offerings accordingly. "The new generation is looking for something more appealing to invest in," says Namir Yeroham, Senior Business Development Manager at Fundsquare. "They are looking for filters, ratings to make sound ESG investment decisions. Companies like Morningstar are starting to open up more data that is accessible to both institutional and retail investors.”

As the old adage goes, knowledge is power, but according to a new survey by MBH Corporation, a lack of information from brokers and analysts is making it increasingly difficult for UK wealth managers to find 'hidden gems' in the micro-cap sector. Callum Laing, CEO of MBH Corporation, says: “Since the Coronavirus crisis started, some of the best performing individual stocks around the world have been micro caps. However, given the limited level of coverage many of these receive from brokers and analysts, most investors won’t have heard of many of these companies."

A lack of knowledge too is preventing many UK savers from taking the investment plunge, with a new survey from Wealthify revealing that over a third (38 per cent) don't understand how investing works, while a huge 72 per cent are "not confident enough" to try.

Lack of confidence is most evident amongst millennials (84 per cent) and women (77 per cent), with both groups saying “not understanding the process” led them to feel this way (53 per cent and 44 per cent respectively).

Ninety per cent of UK 11 to 18-year-olds meanwhile, want to understand how pensions work and believe they should be taught about retirement planning in school, according to a recent survey by Scottish Widows. "This study is very encouraging in that children of secondary school age are looking ahead to the future and already thinking about their finances," says Stuart Price of pension and employee benefit consultancy Quantum Advisory. "Financial education should be included in the national curriculum as a matter of course alongside maths and English."

For those who find the volatility of cryptocurrencies – and bitcoin in particular – to much to stomach, but believe the digital assets space has the potential to generate investment returns, eToro has launched  BitcoinWorldWide, a thematic portfolio based on the companies in the value chain behind bitcoin. While it includes some exposure to the cryptocurrency itself, the portfolio’s core focus is the companies operating to support further adoption.

And finally consumer champions Gina and Alan Miller of the True & Fair Campaign were back in the headlines this week with a call for Charles Randell CBE to step down as Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Millers believe Randall should resign in the light of anti-consumer and potentially unlawful steps taken by the FCA on his watch in relation to compensating victims where the regulator was itself at fault.  

Wealth Adviser


Study reveals growing demand for impact investing among retail investors
Wed | 28 Apr 2021, 14:46
As more people look to make a positive influence on society and the environment with their investments, impact investing is becoming an increasingly common practice  among retail investors. The size of the impact investing market has grown by 42.4 per cent and as of last April is worth USD715 billion, compared to USD502 billion in 2019. 
Research reveals UK professional investors say it is becoming harder to find ‘hidden gems’ in micro-cap sector
Tue | 27 Apr 2021, 14:25
Some 60 per cent of wealth managers, fund managers and other institutional investors in the UK say because of shrinking coverage of micro caps from brokers and analysts, it is becoming harder to identify ‘hidden gems’ in the sector. 
Confidence gap revealed among UK savers
Wed | 28 Apr 2021, 10:05
New research published by online investment service Wealthify has exposed a confidence gap among UK savers, with 72 per cent saying they are “not confident enough” to try investing their money. Only 16 per cent of  people with GBP5,000 or more already in savings but no investments had considered investing in the past twelve months, despite 58 per cent having saved more since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
90 per cent of UK kids want to be taught about pensions
Wed | 28 Apr 2021, 14:46
A recent Scottish Widows study has found that around 90 per cent of 11 to 18-year-olds believe they should be taught about pensions at school to help them in the future.
eToro offers exposure to crypto market with new stocks portfolio
Mon | 26 Apr 2021, 10:05
Social investment network eToro has launched BitcoinWorldWide, a thematic portfolio based on the companies in the value chain behind bitcoin. 
Gina and Alan Miller call on FCA Chair to step down over 'anti-consumer behaviour'
Tue | 27 Apr 2021, 10:10
Gina and Alan Miller of the True & Fair Campaign, have called on Charles Randell CBE, Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to step down in the light of anti-consumer and potentially unlawful steps taken by the FCA on his watch in relation to compensating victims where the regulator was itself at fault.  
Global ETF launches 22-29.04.21
Thu | 29 Apr 2021, 11:48
Sustainability and ESG investing dominated ETF launches this week. Invesco expanded its thematic environmental suite by listing the Invesco MSCI Green Building ETF focusing on the entire green building ecosystem, and BlackRock debuted two Paris Aligned iShares UCITS ETFS designed to capture opportunities arising from the transition to a lower carbon economy. Amundi also added fixed income exposure to its Climate Paris Aligned ETF range with the Amundi iCPR Euro Corp Climate Paris Aligned PAB – UCITS ETF DR. Digital assets also featured again this week with WisdomTree debuting the WisdomTree Ethereum ETP (ETHW) on Borse Xetra and Six, a low priced physically-backed ether ETP. Elsewhere investors turned their attention to Asia as Qontigo licensed the EURO STOXX 50 Index to KBSTAR ETF to serve as underlying for an ETF listed on the Korea exchange. Finally, FinEx launched the Fallen Angels ETF, allowing investors to capture risk premium in USD bonds that have recently been downgraded from investment grade to high yield while belonging to the relatively attractive BB+ to BB- rating segment.

ETF Trading: New trading tools have emerged, accelerating the growth of on-exchange execution

Ivan Gilmore (pictured), Head of Securities Trading, London Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) writes that stock exchanges have shown resilience through mixed times and looks forward to a golden age of ETFs that lies ahead…


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