kōura's approach to ESG investing and your KiwiSaver

26 January 2022

kōura's approach to ESG investing and your KiwiSaver

If you are already a member of kōura then you’ll probably already know most of what we are about to talk about, but for those of you who aren’t or are just a little curious about us and where we invest your KiwiSaver funds, then this article is for you! 

What can you invest in?

kōura offers six different funds, which we combine to build you your own personalised KiwiSaver portfolio. All these funds are the core building blocks of a portfolio, which when combined give you exposure to the world's markets, allowing you to own or lend to thousands of underlying companies from around the world.

On average, a kōura member will invest in over 2,000 companies from over 30 countries all over the world and every sector you can think about. As a kōura KiwiSaver member you could own some of the New Zealand favorites such as Spark or Fisher& Paykel Healthcare. Whilst on the international front, you could also own a small part of some large global behemoths such as Alibaba, Microsoft, or Walmart.

By fully using our six funds you will have a diversified portfolio which means your portfolio should be well insulated against any major falls in a single market.

Our investment style

We invest with a passive investment strategy, this means that we look to follow the market rather than try to actively beat the market. It has been proven that it is very rare to beat the market by taking views on market cycles or individual companies (I.e., active management).

The majority of actively managed funds don’t end up matching their index benchmarks after fees over long periods of time, even though they might do better in certain years. If you want to know more about passive investing and the kōura investment strategy, you can read our blog on passive investing here.

Our approach to sustainability

We are big believers in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and take it into consideration and account in all of our investment decisions.

We apply the New Zealand Super Fund exclusions list to our portfolios where possible and continue to be vocal on ESG issues when they come up in the companies we invest in. We are one of the few KiwiSaver schemes that also take into account companies' behaviors when looking at whether to invest in them.

Some recent examples of companies we no longer invest in due to their behaviors include; Facebook due to issues with freedom of speech laws, Rio Tinto for destroying sacred Aboriginal land in Western Australia, and more recently, Tesla - due to poor treatment of workers.

Where we invest our funds

kōura invests all of its international funds exclusively into passive funds managed by the world’s largest fund managers – BlackRock. The shares in these three separate funds are screened for ESG factors, and are as follows:

  • USXF-USA - you can find more information on this fund here.
  • DMXF-USA - you can find more information on this fund here.
  • EMXF-USA - you can find more information on this fund here.

On the domestic front, we manage the funds ourselves with the help of our strategic partner Hobson Wealth. Though for our NZ equities we follow the Morningstar NZ Equities Index.

The kōura difference

We understand it can be a lot to take in, but this is why before you invest in our portfolios, we give you an indication of what your KiwiSaver fund might contribute toward your goals.

Hopefully, this has given you a better picture and some insights into how kōura works and how your KiwiSaver might help you towards your goals, whatever they may be! Give kōura a try now and see how things might look for you.

All investments are made in line with the kōura responsible investing policy. For more information on our responsible investing policy here.

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