When you look at global politics today it seems like the world has gone crazy. The British voted to leave the European Union and the Americans and French elected leaders with no previous political experience. Populist issues dominate news cycles and politics rather than credible policy. Extreme views within political parties paralyse governments even when they hold a majority (eg Australian Liberal/Nationals and US Republicans).
There is a clear backlash against mainstream political parties. People are feeling disenfranchised because they do not believe their elected representatives are acting in their best interests. We are witnessing an incredible electoral revolt globally, but even still, it seems like the problems are getting worse.
Income inequality is growing, yet many governments continue to push through policies and legislation that make the matter worse by cutting taxes to large corporations and the super wealthy while gutting essential services to the middle and lower classes.
People do not believe that their vote makes a difference. They feel that no matter which party they vote for, the outcome will be the same. They believe that their elected representatives listen to corporate lobbyist rather than their constituents. In Australia, bank, superannuation, and big pharma lobby groups, and bodies such as the Business Council of Australia, the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association spend hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to influence government policy. Their purpose is to promote the profitability of their own industries rather than the good of the Australian people.
We see their effects in government proposals and legislation. These organisations have been major players in financial services reform and energy policy. These policies are promoted as benefitting all Australians, but when you read the details you see the industry groups that these lobbyists represent are the real winners.
So what can we as individuals do to reclaim our power when we feel the system is rigged against us? We first must recognise that money speaks louder than our vote. This might not provide comfort when individually we will never have the money to compete with corporate lobbyists. Together, however, we have an incredible voice.
Within superannuation alone there is $2 trillion. If each Australian made a conscious effort to understand where their superannuation funds are being invested, we could begin to make positive change. If they then made sure they directed their superannuation funds into companies that generate profits from ethical and socially responsible practices we could diminish unethical corporate influence by denying those companies access to capital.
The good news is that this is quite easy to do and is proven to have no negative impact on long-term investment returns. In fact, responsible investment funds have outperformed their mainstream equivalent over the past 10 years.
So why not take the first step and have a careful look at how your super is currently invested. Get your money working for you even when our politicians won’t.
Give us a call and we can show you how.
Information contained within this document is of a general nature only. Individuals should not act upon any such information without prior consultation with a qualified financial adviser to ensure that any action meets their personal financial needs, situation and objectives. No responsibility is accepted for those persons acting on information contained herein and persons do so at their own risk.
Responsibility is disclaimed for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Particular investments or insurance policies are neither invited nor recommended. All expressions of opinion are published on the basis that they are not to be regarded as expressing the official opinion of any other person or entity unless expressly stated.
Ethical Assets Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative No. 1238510 of MyPlanner Australia Pty Ltd AFSL 345905