“Greed is right.

Greed works.” The words of investment banker Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas in the legendary Hollywood classic Wall Street, have shaped the mantra of making money in the stock market for many years: cash is all that matters.

That may have been true in the golden era of Wall Street in the 1980s.

Today, however, a different wind is blowing in society – and also on the stock market.

A return should no longer be earned by dismissing employees, by polluting the environment or poor working conditions, but by fair salaries, respect for human rights and the protection of nature.

Antonia Mannweiler

Editor in Business.

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The good is booming on the financial market.

The demand and supply of sustainable investments has exploded in recent years: green bonds, green ETFs, microcredits and impact investing are just a few scraps of words and products that savers and private investors are now confronted with when scrolling on Twitter or when talking to their bank advisor.

The promise of the industry is as simple as it is enticing: make money and do good at the same time.

If you want to invest your money according to ethical and social criteria for the first time, you should answer a few questions at the beginning: How important is sustainability to me when it comes to investing?

Should only a small part flow into sustainable investments or the largest?

But the question of what sustainability actually means for you personally is also very important.

For example, an investor may place more value on the environment and not want to invest in fossil fuels.

For another investor, on the other hand, fair working conditions and diversity are particularly important.

Still others focus on good corporate governance to avoid accounting scandals as much as possible.

Contrary to what many people think, the topic is not just limited to ecology.

In the past there was always the fear that an ethical and moral investment meant forgoing returns.

This was justified by the fact that certain sectors or high-revenue companies had not found their way into sustainable portfolios.

This prejudice is now considered to have been dispelled.

Sustainable indices and funds do not necessarily perform worse than those without an ethical and ecological focus.

Last year, the global stock index MSCI World achieved a return of 20 percent, and its long-term counterpart even outperformed by 15 percent.

Even if this is by no means the case for all sustainable products, there are a number of arguments that speak in favor of a good long-term performance of sustainable investments.

Several hundred titles at the same time

On the one hand, companies across all industries are under increasing regulatory pressure to make their business models CO2-neutral or social.

Companies that develop climate-friendly technologies, for example, are currently in high demand, and as a result the share prices of many companies in this area are also rising.

The prices of oil, gas and coal companies, on the other hand, have been in free fall for years.

Fossil fuels are still needed, but the question for the market is: for how much longer?

The stock market trades the future, and it is slowly but steadily turning away from such investments.

One of the most powerful men in the financial industry, Larry Fink, head of the world's largest wealth manager Blackrock, has repeatedly expressed it in one sentence in the past: