27th Jan 2016
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Superannuation: fossil fuels may be hurting your financial future
Superannuation: fossil fuels may be hurting your financial future

If your super fund invests heavily in fossil fuels, you may be missing out on higher returns, with new figures showing investments in renewables performed better than average in 2015.

New estimates from superannuation research firm Chant West show that balanced investment funds returned around 5.7 per cent on average in 2015, with Future Super, a fund that avoids any investment in fossil fuels, returning 7.04 per cent. Another such fund Australian Ethical, which also limits investments in fossil fuels, returned 6.5 per cent over the last calendar year.

These figures illustrate how investments in renewables may not only be an ethically or environmentally responsible move for our future, but also a financially prudent one, given the higher returns.

“Fossil fuel-free investment strategies continue to prove themselves as the responsible investment strategy to protect and grow members’ retirement savings,” said Future Super’s Managing Director Simon Sheikh.

According to the Thomson Reuters/Future Super Australia Fossil Free Index, fossil-free investment strategies returned 4.96 per cent in 2015, whilst the broader share market returned only 2.12 per cent.

Tom Swann, a researcher at the Australia Institute, says funds that invest heavily in the fossil fuel energy sector have lost money over the last three years.

“A lot of the large funds are doing next to nothing and that’s just not doing their job properly,” he said. “That’s putting people’s retirements at risk.”

To illustrate this further, Swann pointed out that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would have been $1.9 billion better off if it divested from fossil fuels earlier. He added that fund managers should consider divesting from fossil fuels or at least try to change fossil fuel companies’ behaviour in order to better look after retirees’ futures.

“But most are doing nothing and assuming it will all be good,” he said.

Read more at The Guardian

Read more about the top 10 super funds ranked by known fossil fuel free investments

To find out more about switching to fossil-fuel-free super, please visit Super Switch.

Does your super fund invest in the fossil fuel energy sector? Would this information make you think twice about where your money is invested? Is it time to change where your money is being invested, not only for future posterity, but also for your own prosperity?

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    COMMENTS

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    Saalbach
    27th Jan 2016
    10:36am
    Not only would you be getting a better return on your investment in renewables, but you help the environment. A double win!
    bob menzies
    27th Jan 2016
    10:59am
    folks - before you make judgement on this article note where it has come from - Guardian - may as well be called the Greens daily.
    Anyway the article is predicted with the words "you may"
    Right now nearly all super funds are losing money - its hard to pick an asset class that is making money - maybe listed property
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:28pm
    As normal, shoot the messenger.
    Blind Freddy could have seen the writing on the wall after Kyoto. It takes time to effect change but no amount of propaganda and troll money from the fossil fuel industry was going to kill renewables. Not even coal owned Abbott as he systematically tried to shut down anything and everything which said anything against his benefactors from the coal industry.
    In the end fund managers are responsible because they should have seen the writing on the wall. For the same reason you'd be a game gambler to buy BHP shares given what the company sells. Safer investments available!
    Coal may not be dead but it has terminal cancer. If you think things are bad now then just wait until Tesla storage batteries come online and get cheaper. I'll be in that queue to help bring down the dirty mongrels in the coal industry and their electricity retailer companies. Cannot come fast enough.
    Adrianus
    27th Jan 2016
    11:29am
    Leon, you are about 12 months too late with this article.
    I recently heard the BHP CEO say at the AGM, "We will not stop what we're doing and start making solar panels."
    I also heard the CEO at WBC say, "We are not getting out of mining."
    Australia's biggest corporate taxpayer BHP has had it's value halved in the last 12 months and with a market capitalisation of about half that of WBC it would figure in the balanced portfolios of most superannuation member's accounts.
    So to move out at the bottom of the market could prove costly for all concerned?
    DLJD
    27th Jan 2016
    1:32pm
    This piece of junk journalism is very misleading investment advice. Almost all commodities that the world relies upon for its standard of living are in oversupply not just fossil fuels. When the oversupply disappears in a few years, share prices will recover. Equities are a longer term investment.
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:30pm
    Coal and even oil to a lesser extent are NOT LONG TERM INVESTMENTS. If you think so then buy Whitehaven Coal (that one destroyed a freshwater aquifer in Queensland!) or BHP. Good luck!
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    1:52pm
    So what happened to the PEAK OIL SCARE?
    Gone the way of the GLOBAL COOLING SCARE OF THE 70'S, THE Y2K SCARE, and the OZONE HOLE SCARE amongst many others?
    120yrs of climate change HYSTERIA. ALWAYS DEAD WRONG BUT STILL GOING STRONG! http://tinyurl.com/koh6qo
    Eliza
    27th Jan 2016
    3:10pm
    LUVCO2
    I just love some of the wise old sayings ... don't you.
    one that comes to mind ...
    'There are none so blind as those who will not see'
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:31pm
    Maybe a combination of trying to drive up oil prices and also finding more oil. Don't you just love business 'ethics'.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    1:54pm
    “carbon-free energy” dream creating an ecological catastrophe! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11718550/Why-are-greens-so-keen-to-destroy-the-worlds-wildlife.html
    Eliza
    27th Jan 2016
    3:10pm
    LUVCO2
    I just love some of the wise old sayings ... don't you.
    one that comes to mind ...
    'There are none so blind as those who will not see'
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    1:56pm
    How "green" is a wind turbine? 45tons of rebar.630cubic yds concrete. Dead birds. Eyesores. Subsidies pic.twitter.com/Ni5zetXxwx
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:32pm
    Advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    1:57pm
    STUDY: No access to Fossil Fuels causes millions of Premature Deaths Amongst Poorest

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/lack-of-access-to-fossil-fuels-causing.html?m=1 …
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:34pm
    Advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?

    Have a real read about what Chevron has done all over the planet when it abandons its oil wells.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    1:59pm
    LOVE THIS! UK Wind Farms idling &Taking power from grid to prevent icing!

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/01/02/as-britain-freezes-wind-farms-take-power-from-grid-to-prevent-icing/
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:36pm
    Crap!
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:00pm
    Wind Farms Paid £53M To SWITCH OFF Last Year! VERY EFFICIENT!

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/wind-farms-paid-53-million-to-switch-off-last-year/
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:01pm
    ULTIMATE MOTHER OF ALL LIES, that renewables could answer global energy needs

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/shredding-stupidity-on-renewable-energy/story-fni0d8gi-1227054547625
    Eliza
    27th Jan 2016
    3:11pm
    LUVCO2
    I just love some of the wise old sayings ... don't you.
    one that comes to mind ...
    'There are none so blind as those who will not see'
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:38pm
    The ultimate crap from a deeply worried coal industry. Are you stupid, a troll (well?) or what?
    South Australia and Queensland were producing 25% of their power from renewables. That is why the Abbott government was elected: to stop this.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:03pm
    RENEWABLES: Polluting the East to "clean up" the West!

    pic.twitter.com/SRuFWjtWGt
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:38pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:04pm
    Brutal Truth About “Clean”, “Green” Wind Power, Disastrous Pollution!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:39pm
    The Daily Mail??? Ha, ha, ha!

    Advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:05pm
    Wealthy western leftists/warmists condemn the poor to energy poverty & DEATH!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/11/video-why-renewables-equal-death/
    Eliza
    27th Jan 2016
    3:12pm
    LUVCO2
    I just love some of the wise old sayings ... don't you.
    one that comes to mind ...
    'There are none so blind as those who will not see'
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:40pm
    Advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?

    You haven't heard? The coal sponsored trolls have stopped posting their flat earth anti-climate change lies. Haven't you heard that people do not believe this crap any more and understand where it is coming from?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:07pm
    “Investing” in “green” energy requires taking money from taxpayers & delivering it to crony corporatists &campaign contributors for hefty profits from global warming scares & renewable mandates
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/23/driessen-phony-environmental-justice-at-epa/#ixzz3EIvc6r8s
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:42pm
    An article straight from the big end of town.
    The truth is that JUST LIKE A NEW COAL FIRED POWER STATION there are costs to set up. The difference with renewables is that they are essentially free after that. Coal not only COSTS FOREVER but also is destroying all that most people hold dear. Not you LUVCO2!
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:08pm
    Half-Truths, Lies & climate change

    http://www.thegwpf.com/doug-hoffman-half-truths-lies-climate-change/
    Eliza
    27th Jan 2016
    3:12pm
    LUVCO2
    I just love some of the wise old sayings ... don't you.
    one that comes to mind ...
    'There are none so blind as those who will not see'
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:43pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:10pm
    Warmists want every possible global warming intervention except one which “solves” their useful crisis

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/09/dont-mention-the-nuclear-option-to-greens/
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:43pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:12pm
    Your family's paying $260 a year on useless "green" power

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/08/19/renewable-target-is-not-sustainable/
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:44pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:14pm
    "sustainable energy" is a euphemism for costly, inefficient, intermittent, unreliable renewable energy--such as solar or wind: a heavily subsidized, first-world luxury which no developing country could possibly afford because it makes no economic sense.
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:44pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    2:15pm
    Green Energy Not Fit for the Grid! "Green" Germany now using more coal than in 2009

    http://climatism.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/shock-news-green-energy-not-fit-for-the-grid/
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:45pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?

    Germany is going to be coal free in 9 years you idiot. Cannot even get that right. How stupid are you really?
    Peking
    27th Jan 2016
    2:23pm
    There is a lot of adherence to "blue chip" investing in the comments below on asset classes and sticking with large companies, including miners because they are a large part of "balanced portfolios" in super accounts. This is adviser speak.
    Contrast that to the approach of value investors who eschew companies who do not have proven return on equity (ROE), sound management, a history of paying dividends, projected profits and low debt. What is "balanced" about slavishly following index weighting and asset class investing?
    Adrianus
    27th Jan 2016
    3:09pm
    Agree with that Peking, but I couldn't find the comments below. They must have been deleted?
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:47pm
    India will be 'modernising' and will need iron ore and oil/coal in the short term.
    Smart investors look ahead and only those who exist in the now get badly burned. Never changes. Just like bad governments which cannot see over the end of their noses.
    Adrianus
    28th Jan 2016
    2:11pm
    mick, does that mean you will add to your portfolio some of the $16 billion Carmichael coal mine to your portfolio when the QLD Labor Government extinguish the native title at Moray Downs?
    Some may call that hypocritical? But what the heck some may call you a "smart investor?" That's worth the trade isn't it?
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    2:55pm
    ANybody who invests in coal is nuts. Maybe short term but even then forget it.
    If you are about the blame game again then maybe have a look at what Whitehaven coal did.......the darling of the Abbott government. It gave assurances that it's mining practices would not impact the aquifer. It has flooded and destroyed this fresh water aquifer. Now environmental vandal and Liberal Party liar Greg Hunt is pushing to let a Chinese coal company mine adjacent to the Liverpool Plains, the most fertile and productive farming land in the country which relies on the aquifer below it. All for a predicted mine life of 30 - 40 years.
    Methinks that talking about contentious native title is the sign of stupidity when you consider that the current government is a rubber stamp for its owners, big business. Disgusting behaviour which should be rewarded with life imprisonment, not a parliamentary pension.
    Eliza
    27th Jan 2016
    3:07pm
    LUVCO2
    I just love some of the wise old sayings ... don't you.
    one that comes to mind ...
    'There are none so blind as those who will not see'
    Adrianus
    27th Jan 2016
    3:16pm
    This article shows just another example of why we shouldn't allow lefty ideology to influence the investment decisions of Super Funds.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:40pm
    "Blind" leftists can't see the OBVIOUS! "Blind" to global warming fraud as well!

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/patterns_emerge/
    Eliza
    27th Jan 2016
    6:02pm
    I did mention that I do love a good quote ot two ...
    Some that come to mind lately ... can't think why at this time ???
    But consider the following.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts - Bertrand Russell


    “In the long run I certainly hope information is the cure for fanaticism, but I am afraid information is more the cause than the cure.” - Daniel C. Dennett


    “A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.” - Winston S. Churchill


    Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt - Robertson Davies


    Aren't words just delicious.
    Adrianus
    27th Jan 2016
    6:25pm
    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. - Albert Einstein
    Peking
    27th Jan 2016
    7:39pm
    So it goes
    Kurt Vonnegut
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:50pm
    One for you Frank.

    Albert Einstein: "there are only two things certain: human stupidity and the the infinite universe....but I'm not sure about the universe".
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:42pm
    NOTHING banishes poverty like cheap, reliable (COAL) power!

    http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/tony-thomas/2014/09/coal-theres-just-alternative/
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:50pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?

    Nothing cheaper than FREE renewable energy.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:44pm
    "Progressives" bitch about fossil fuels, until they can't get them

    pic.twitter.com/zANIeXlapQ
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:46pm
    global warming agenda?
    Fastest way to kill off large no's of people:
    Ensure energy poverty
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:52pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?

    Actually destroying climate and causing crops to fail will kill people real fast. They also drown real well when water levels rise, let alone destroying thousands of years of infrastructure.

    One of the dumbest posts I have ever read....even from a paid coal troll.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:47pm
    The poor are collateral damage in the MISANTHROPIC green "war" on coal

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_poor_are_collateral_damage_in_the_green_war_on_coal/
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:53pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:49pm
    DIVEST!

    Colleges should immediately turn off all Fossil Fuels & teach students an incredibly valuable lesson
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:54pm
    And trolls who pervert our society should be made to live in Syria.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:51pm
    Blocking reliable, cheap energy from 6 BILLION humans in Undeveloped Nations is the most dangerous movement in the world
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:55pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?

    And killing off the rest of humanity is 10 times as bad?
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:53pm
    "Sustainability" religion

    http://wmbriggs.com/post/15605/
    abstention, fasts, purity rituals to cleanse guilt & improve mortal rectitude
    Blossom
    27th Jan 2016
    6:14pm
    What has got to do with fossil fuels??
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:56pm
    This guy's a brain dead troll Blossom. I bet he has a job posting this crap on every site he finds.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:57pm
    “Every 10units of wind power installed has to be backed up with 8units of Fossil Fuel Capacity”

    http://www.globalwarming.org/2014/12/02/eu-climate-policy-boomerangs-subsidizes-coal-gas/
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:56pm
    Another advertisement from our sponsor the coal industry?

    Crap.
    Adrianus
    28th Jan 2016
    2:17pm
    LUVC02 seems to make more vsense than you mick with your raving insults.
    LUVCO2
    27th Jan 2016
    3:59pm
    THE GREAT GLOBAL GREENING:
    Our new lush Earth THANK YOU CO2!
    http://ow.ly/H0AU7
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:57pm
    Next piece of crap.
    Peking
    27th Jan 2016
    5:33pm
    Sorry Frank. Should have been "above". Only "below"as I entered the comment.
    Adrianus
    27th Jan 2016
    5:51pm
    Oh, here you are down here Peking :)
    You make a good point about a so called "balanced" fund. All the usual blue chips show up in the share register of these funds.
    I have a theory as to the reason for this. In some cases it may be laziness. However, I suspect more often than not it is because of costs and economies of scale. The little guys not wanting to reinvent the wheel. Or they simply do not have the recourses to do their own research.
    It may be unwise to rush out of commodities given that the downhill run may soon be over. It's also worth remembering that many of the "Green Energy" stocks have been well capitalised by public funds. Be very careful.
    Peking
    27th Jan 2016
    7:33pm
    I guess you mean they don't have the "resources". Ah, what it is to be human.
    Back on topic, I don't think it is to do with laziness, costs or economies of scale. I'd go for FOMO and ratings, and the knowledge that many super members will not invest time in understanding the makeup of the comfortable sound of "balanced" for funds, even when it is totally inappropriate.

    Fear not, but I take your caveat to be well meaning. I will not "rush out" of commodities, just as I did not rush in.
    I certainly will not rush into clean coal, improved asbestos, healthier poisons, and advisers working in my interests without further study.
    Adrianus
    28th Jan 2016
    3:01pm
    Peking, if you think it's fear of missing out and ratings which has all share portfolios indexed to the market, then you may be missing the point?
    Try this little exercise..... ask how much your advisor spends on market research.
    Blossom
    27th Jan 2016
    6:15pm
    Nobody has bothered to mention that there is different qualities of coal.
    Some is more effieicnt and burns cleaner than others.
    Adrianus
    27th Jan 2016
    6:32pm
    Correct Blossom. And Australia exports the cleanest coal in the world!
    DLJD
    27th Jan 2016
    7:54pm
    Not to mention there is met coal used for steel making which has limited substitution and energy coal for power generation, cement manufacture, etc
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    2:08pm
    There are different grades but none are clean. It's a relative scale.
    I cannot believe anybody would use the word "clean" with coal. Defies basic intelligence and a comment which might be more suited to a coal industry spokesperson selling his poison to the world.
    LUVCO2
    28th Jan 2016
    2:48pm
    Hey mick you wrote "Next piece of crap. "

    So NEW SCIENTIST is printing "crap" now eh?
    LUVCO2
    28th Jan 2016
    2:51pm
    Hey mick YOU WROTE"
    "And killing off the rest of humanity is 10 times as bad?"
    Really?
    How so?
    Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives On A Cleaner Planet http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/04/us-life-expectancy-in-an-era-of-death-trains-and-death-factories/ …
    LUVCO2
    28th Jan 2016
    2:52pm
    Hey mick YOU WROTE"
    "And killing off the rest of humanity is 10 times as bad?"
    Really?
    How so?
    Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives On A Cleaner Planet http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/04/us-life-expectancy-in-an-era-of-death-trains-and-death-factories/
    LUVCO2
    28th Jan 2016
    2:57pm
    Hey mick you wrote "Nothing cheaper than FREE renewable energy."

    global warming HYSTERIA hitting the poor hardest pic.twitter.com/A7o4ngQtDI
    NOT CHEAP!!

    BARKING MAD! leftist/warmist legislated “energy poverty” KILLS! http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/14/barking-mad-a-rave-prompted-by-facing-insane-heating-costs/
    NOT CHEAP!

    Wealthy western leftists/warmists condemn the poor to energy poverty&DEATH! http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/11/video-why-renewables-equal-death/
    NOT CHEAP!!
    LUVCO2
    28th Jan 2016
    3:01pm
    HEY MICK ....
    “Investing” in “green” energy requires taking money from taxpayers & delivering it to crony corporatists &campaign contributors for hefty profits from global warming scares & renewable mandates http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/23/driessen-phony-environmental-justice-at-epa/#ixzz3EIvc6r8s
    LUVCO2
    28th Jan 2016
    3:03pm
    HEY MICK
    The cost del sol: Sustainable energy meets unsustainable costs http://www.economist.com/news/business/21582018-sustainable-energy-meets-unsustainable-costs-cost-del-sol
    NOT CHEAP!!
    LUVCO2
    28th Jan 2016
    3:05pm
    HEY MICK..
    "Germans spend 10x more for "green"
    electricity. Their big achievement is rediscovering coal" http://feedly.com/k/1ijCMQM

    NOT CHEAP!!
    Mez
    28th Jan 2016
    11:43pm
    Certainly makes for a better return if you do your own selection online of where and how much gets invested in the asset classes.
    I have done better than the super fund itself plus discovering some anomalies in their figures.
    As a result I have made a detailed complaint to their Complaints Tribunal so yes.....it is better to check and print out your investment performance at least monthly and I wish I had started doing this much earlier in order to have gained higher returns.


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