Responsible Investment returns in general

Get competitive and sustainable returns while investing in what you care about

Responsible investing delivers a sound investment strategy, competitive returns and much more.  Your money is invested in line with your values and can contribute to positive, sustainable outcomes in our world. Many Responsible Investments have proven they can deliver performance in line with the very best managed investments in the world, while helping to bring about positive change in society.

There is now substantial evidence and research in Australia and internationally, to support the argument that Responsible Investment generally performs on a par with, if not better than, the broader investment market. The old misconception that investing in accordance with what matters to you personally will mean sacrificing returns is no longer credible.

Savvy investors are also seeking out the Responsible Investment sector not necessarily because of their personal convictions but because it includes forward-looking investments with excellent potential for future growth: the clean energy sector, better healthcare services, mass transport or education. 

Why? Because events in our natural world and in our economy show us environmental and social issues impact directly on the performance of companies. Adopting a responsible investment approach is about ensuring you are minimising your exposure to the financial risks increasingly associated with climate change, changing energy needs, poor ethical and governance practices, water shortages or exploitative labour practices.

In the future it’s likely those companies that fail to manage their environmental and social risks will perform poorly. Those that pay close attention to these issues and are committed to sustainability will be able to tap into investment opportunities.

For example, the end of cheap oil, and the depletion of reserves will lead to higher oil prices, favouring companies that can supply competitive energy alternatives and localised energy security. The need to transfer large volumes of water from water-rich to water-scarce areas will benefit companies specialising in the financing, management and engineering of large pipeline and purification services.

Performance of Responsible Investment Funds

The table below is from the RIAA 2019 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report Australia. The report highlights the continuing strong performance of Responsible Investment strategies.  The comparison of responsible investment funds against mainstream equivalent funds and their benchmark index indicates outperformance across the majority of time periods: 

  • The responsible investment Australian share funds surveyed outperformed mainstream Australian share fund benchmarks for all periods except the three year term. 
  • Responsibly invested international share funds outperformed the Morningstar average mainstream international share fund over each time horizon, however, when compared with the MSCI World ex Australia index, the RI funds only outperformed over three years.
  • Multi-sector funds that were responsibly managed outperformed mainstream multi-sector growth fund average over the one, three, five and ten year periods.

Responsible Investment Funds vs Mainstream Funds 

Returns to 31 December 2018 (net of management fees) % pa
Please Note: these are not the returns for Rise RI Portfolios.

Australian Share Funds
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years 
10 Years
Average RI Fund (17-34 funds)
-1.24
5.70
6.43
12.39
Morningstar: Australia Fund Equity Large Blend
-5.49
4.87
4.42
7.95
S&P / ASX300 Total Return
-3.06
6.65
5.60
8.91

International Share Funds
1 Year 
3 Years 
5 Years 
10 Years 
Average RI Fund (7-38 funds)
-0.03
11.18
9.48
9.50
Morningstar: Equity World Large Blend
-0.68
6.37
8.42
8.97
MSCI World ex-Australia NR AUD 
1.52
7.49
9.81
9.57

Multi-Sector Growth Funds
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
Average RI Fund (7 funds)
-1.13
4.75
5.65
7.66
Australia Fund Multisector Growth
-2.26
4.39
4.92
7.02
 
 
Elements of the information appearing on this page were kindly provided by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia.

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