South Africans who want superior and sustainable long-term investment returns should consider the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of the companies in their investment portfolios, says Jon Duncan, head of responsible investment at Old Mutual Investment Group. "How we invest today determines the quality of the retirement we all get. There is no point in saving now only to find that the cost of water is prohibitive when you retire and there is such social instability in the economy that you need to live behind three electric fences," Duncan said. "Are you comfortable that the way your funds are being invested for your long-term future is not putting someone else’s or your own future at risk?" The preamble to Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act, which regulates the way that retirement funds are to be invested, states that these funds have a fiduciary duty to invest responsibly. It says: "Prudent investing should give appropriate consideration to any factor whic...

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