Screenwriter Richard Curtis Wants Everyone to Rethink Their Life Savings

“Where does our money go? Are we investing in a better future?” These are the questions that keep Richard Curtis, 64, up at night. — As told to Jess Shankleman

I got caught up thinking about which bits of my life could be most effective. I had this weird revelation that the most powerful tool that people have to change is all the money they’ve got in their pensions and in the bank.

There’s so much money there — 2.6 trillion pounds in the U.K. pension pot. So all that time when I’m worrying how we turn the billions into trillions, there is this solution waiting there. If all pension funds actually shifted over and if we could help make people push pension providers then there’s just a huge swath of money that could be reapplied.

What should be keeping us up at night is if you’re trying to protect the planet, you’re probably invested in deforestation. If you’re a vegetarian you’re probably invested in animal farming. And if you’re a peace campaigner, you’re probably invested in makers of Kalashnikovs.

People with power who have a lot of money should make it a priority to their financial advisors to redistribute their money into the best banks and the best pension providers. And normal people should put pressure on at work. There is a consumer revolution going on, and the change will come faster the more people do it.

What kept me up when I first thought about this campaign was: Is it a luxury? Is this morals versus money, or values versus value? But everybody seems to say that is not the case. There is more money moving into sustainable investment.

Then it worried me that the pension providers would kick against it. But actually they are on that journey. We’re part of an effort that has meant 15 of the biggest pension providers have already committed to net zero, which is 400 billion pounds – already 25 million pensions.

The thing that might keep you up at night, if you’re worrying about it, is “What if I lose money?” The answer is probably that you’ll make more. And is it very complicated? Yes, it is, but it’s not complicated for the finance person. He or she can work it out and will be able to shift things.

I never thought I would get to pension age but now I’m the third-oldest person on the planet. It comes around faster than you think.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.