INVESTING

Funds avoid tobacco and controversial weapons

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Funds avoid tobacco and controversial weapons

Global and local ethical investing is easier with the launch of six passive UBS IQ exchange traded funds (ETFs) with an ethical tilt. The funds screen out companies involved with tobacco and "controversial weapons".

The new funds are UBS IQ MSCI Australia Ethical ETF (ASX: UBA), UBS IQ MSCI World ex Australia Ethical ETF (UBW), UBS IQ MSCI Europe Ethical ETF (UBE), UBS IQ MSCI USA Ethical ETF (UBU), UBS IQ MSCI Japan Ethical ETF (UBJ) and UBS IQ MSCI Asia APEX 50 Ethical ETF (UBP).

Defensive tactic

Perennial Value has launched Wealth Defender Equities (ASX: WDE), an Australian shares listed investment company (LIC). The fund uses derivatives and cash to cushion the portfolio through market cycles to reduce exposure to significant negative returns.

The fund's current underlying portfolio price-earnings of 13.7 times compares with the market PE ratio of 15.3 times (2015-16). The LIC is a listed version of Perennial's Wealth Defender fund and charges a management fee of 0.98%. It closes on May 5 with a minimum raising of $50 million.

Nominate beneficiaries

Make sure you have nominated your beneficiaries for your superannuation death benefit. The main reason is that, when you die, super is treated differently from other assets and it is crucial to express your wishes and provide the right information. With balances climbing, super is one of the biggest assets in most households.

To help with the process of nominating beneficiaries, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has produced a fact sheet (see superguru.com.au).

"We know that these sorts of conversations can be confusing, and it's difficult to know where to start," says Pauline Vamos, ASFA chief executive. "This is why we have produced a fact sheet to give people basic information about the different types of beneficiaries they can nominate, and the processes for making them."

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Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She's also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.
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