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“There’s a lot of good you can do with your actions, such as going vegan, and there’s a lot of good and bad you can do with your money.”

Laziness was a strong factor in his decision to reach out to financial advisers Path Financial, Stephen Paul admits. After working for years in a range of roles such as IT, insurance, and consultancy, the retiree wanted to look into how he might make his money align better with his morals, and decided he needed some extra help to do this.

Having been a vegan for 34 years, and an environmentalist for almost as many, Stephen had always opted for the ‘most ethical option’ at the time when it came to money, such as opting for the Co-op Bank when it was seen as the best in terms of ethical credentials. But after retiring, Stephen realised the time and effort it would take for him to really find the most ethical way to invest his money was the one thing preventing him from doing so.

“It was much easier for me to go to knowledgeable advisers, talk about what I wanted for my finances, and they could find out what was right for me. If I didn’t have financial advisers like Path as an option, I’m not sure I would have gotten round to it,”

After being referred by a friend to Path Financial, the UK’s only impact-only investment advisers, he started with a few chats with founder David Macdonald.

“What struck me when meeting David was that he immediately asked about my values and what was important to me, before discussing my money and finances. From that, I could tell where his priorities lied, and I could tell he was both transparent and honest.”

Stephen’s veganism – arguably the start of his environmental advocacy – started with dolphin-friendly tuna. Having switched to the dolphin friendly tins in his twenties, he then wondered why he cared about the tuna and dolphins, and not the manta rays. And when he became vegetarian, he asked the same question about the milk and dairy industry.

Like veganism, putting your money in impact investments is a continuation of ‘looking for a moral consistency’, where your money aligns with every other moral value you have. For Stephen, who keeps his flying to a minimum and supports a variety of environmental campaigns including being involved in Extinction Rebellion, moving his money wasn’t a difficult decision, it was just a matter of getting organised.

Stephen has been with Path since last summer, after his first few chats with David, Stephen chose a medium risk portfolio.

One aspect that the Path portfolio allowed was for Stephen to have a more intimate relationship with specific investment projects – a way of better understanding how his money is being used for good.

By moving his money, Stephen said it was an opportunity to mitigate some of the things in life that you do imperfectly.

“While you don’t always have responsibility for external factors that affect your ethical impact, such as working for a big corporation with questionable practices, moving your own money is something you do have some control over.”


As always with investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice.

Path Financial are leading ethical financial advisers based in the UK.

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