You can help good causes by choosing the right investment

 

We get sent a lot of information about new investment opportunities in The Independent's office. Most of them go straight in the bin, as I'm not inclined to pass on news about "opportunities" that I think are too risky for most readers.

My view is that our responsibility is to inform you of as much of the investment universe as space allows, while not giving publicity to anything we have doubts about.

So we have written about many of the fad funds mentioned in Rob Griffin's feature (right) in the interest of keeping readers informed.

But – I hope – we have kept things balanced and pointed out the risks as strongly as the attractions of any investment schemes which we've included within the pages of Your Money.

We have to trust that you'll use common sense when handing your money over to any financial firm. No matter how interesting an opportunity looks – or how much hype it comes with – if you're going to take a risk with your cash, then you must be fully aware of what that risk is.

Against that background, a new launch caught my eye this week that I felt was interesting enough to pass on. It's an investment trust that intends to donate 1 per cent of its net asset value each year to charity.

Specifically, the trust will hand over 0.5 per cent to the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), with the other half going to a number of other good causes.

In addition, the Battle Against Cancer Investment Trust (Bacit) will use 1 per cent of its net asset value to invest in the work of the ICR.

It has been set up by some big City names, including Tom Henderson, formerly of Cazenove, Jeremy Tigue, manager of the Foreign & Colonial investment trust, and Jon Moulton, the founder of Alchemy Partners.

In launching the fund, Mr Henderson said: "For many years I have wanted to find a way to combine my background in fund management with supporting the work of the ICR."

It looks a compelling deal. But, hang on, why does it seem so appealing? Because of the investment returns it offers?

Let's have a look at what's promised through Bacit. The fund's launch announcement states: "Bacit will target an annualised return per share in the range of 10 to 15 per cent per annum."

That sounds great! Where do I sign! But just a minute, how are they going to achieve such great returns in the current climate?

Back to the announcement: "The group intends to achieve the investment objective through long-only funds … hedge funds … private equity funds … and real estate funds."

Sounds promising. But which funds? The document fails to clarify.

Further, the closing date to apply – with a minimum investment of £1,000 – is 19 October.

So you'll have to make up your mind quickly without knowing where your cash will be invested. In other words, you won't know what kind of risks the management team will take with your cash chasing returns of 15 per cent.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't consider adding this fund to your portfolio. With the thought of all that money going towards fighting the battle against cancer, it could help to improve your soul as well as your bank balance.

However, investment decisions should not be based on emotions. That's like backing a long-shot horse because it has the same name as your old nursery school or your favourite colour. That's a recipe to lose money.

If you want to avoid putting money into activities you deplore, then you should choose an ethical fund. You'll be able to find one that refuses to back the arms industry or tobacco firms, for instance.

But if you want to find an investment that will give you the best available return, then you need to be happy with the investment decisions that a fund manager will make. For the moment, Bacit has no track record, and has not offered enough information about its specific intentions for you to be able to make an informed decision.

Let's face it, you could put your money into a fund which gives a greater return and then make a contribution to the charity of your choice. That way more of your money could go to good causes, especially taking into account the tax relief you can earn on contributions.

I wish every success to Bacit and its aims, but the fund's launch serves as a reminder of the importance of careful consideration of investments, not simply signing up to the latest thing.

s.read@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Almost 15,000 people died last winter through living in cold homes that they couldn’t afford to heat

Social tenants locked into energy tariff for 40 years

Many Londoners who live in social housing estates are not allowed to switch because their landlord has ‘locked’ them in to buying from one supplier

Will your credit card rewards be scrapped following new EU rules on charges?

Providers are unhappy with new EU rules - but ultimately it is customers who will have to foot the bill
There remain more than a million unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth collectively around £48m

Have you won £1m in the May Premium Bonds draw?

More than £60m was paid out to more than 2 million prizewinners this month

The 0 per cent introductory deals that credit cards offer are one of the most odious tricks

Beware credit card firms’ odious tricks

Why can’t we just have open and honest charges, without all the cross-subsiding?

The pound’s recent strength against the euro could be hit by economic uncertainty under a new government

How planning can make your travel cash go further

With the pound at a high against the euro, it pays to buy now before uncertainty post-election

Put the phone down on the coldcallers who see pension liberation as an opportunity to liberate your pension from you

Pension freedoms: How to deal with cold calls from scammers

Sean O'Grady offers advice on keeping your money safe
Switching to a better bank account is much easier than it used to be

More people are switching current accounts – but what do the figures mean?

Experts disagree about the 7% increase over the past year

The chance of getting what appears to be free money can be hugely attractive, especially to first-time buyers who can be fooled into thinking it’s extra cash to buy the essential new items they need for their dream home.

Beware the boom in cashback mortgage deals

Too many mortgages are being sold with misleading gimmicks

The firm’s revenues slumped by a third to £217 million in a disastrous 2014

Wonga results could get even worse this year, chief admits

The firm’s revenues slumped by a third to £217 million in 2014

The cost of a buildings policy has dropped by 10.1 per cent over the year, with the cost of a contents policy falling by 8.2 per cent

Simon Read: Mild winter cuts the cost of home insurance

The average quote for a buildings and contents policy has fallen by 3.6 per cent

Don't count your retirement money yet: employers will stop receiving a pension rebate next year and their staff may lose out

Defined-benefit pension schemes: Rebate change in 2016 may leave you out of pocket

Employees in defined-benefit schemes are held up as the lucky ones, but the state pension scheme will be overhauled in April 2016
Labour will raise the national minimum wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019 (EPA)

Barclays new Blue Rewards hands cash to customers. What’s the catch?

Joining Barclays Blue Rewards costs £3 a month but then lets customers in for handouts of up to £15 a month

New research reveals that despite the recovering economy, four out of five low-income households have seen no sign of their financial situation improving

Hard-up families could be eligible for financial help

A charity is urging anyone struggling financially to see if they could get help from the state

When is the best time to buy foreign currency?

Video: With an election looming, a hung parliament could hit sterling

General Election 2015: Vote for the party that will boost your finances

Experts warn that the general election is unlikely to lead to stable markets. Simon Read talks to two investment managers who are advising caution
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

    £215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

    Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before