Have you felt satisfaction when your money is swelling because it is invested in alignment with your values? Have you felt the joy of working for an organization or client that fulfills your purpose while you are generously compensated? These experiences are too rare in the modern investment market, where success is measured by the quantity of money gained, not the quality of achievement. However, the tides are changing.
Amplify the influence of your money with impact investing.
“Money-Wise Women” guest Amberjae Freeman has been a financial activist for a decade. She brings an interdisciplinary approach to Swell Investing, where she analyzes companies with two important factors in mind—impact and performance.
What are some big investment trends of 2018 that you should know about? Women and millennials are increasing their financial power this year. They are demanding investment options that align with their values. Many prioritize environmental and social benefits.
Women and people of color need a stronger voice in the financial fields, because they are largely underpaid and underrepresented. When people value diversity and inclusivity, there is innovation. Amberjae discusses her experience as an African-American woman working in finance. Swell Investing has a gender-balanced team who values diversity. Feminine qualities of empathy, listening, collaboration, and holistic perspectives set them apart from the traditional culture of Wall Street.
What are options for investing in alignment with your values? Socially responsible investing (SRI) is predominantly about screening out “bad” companies who participate in business that you don’t morally agree with. Impact investing takes screening a step further by analyzing the impact of each company through ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors. Evidence shows that ESG factors, when integrated into investment analysis and portfolio construction, offers investors long-term performance advantages. Money managers are rapidly expanding research and expertise of ESG factors as tools for analyzing risks and opportunities.
Swell offers thematic, active management that fully integrates ESG and impact concepts. That means you don’t have to do the research needed for buying individual stocks. Options include green technology, renewable energy, zero waste, clean water, disease eradication, and healthy living.Swell hosts live “Purpose Meets Profit” events, which bring together local, socially conscious entrepreneurs to talk about how they do business. This event brings greater intimacy to investing. There is a joy and satisfaction that comes from aligning your values and purpose with your finances. People are discovering that at the intersection of money and morals is a more vibrant economy.
Amberjae Freeman brings more than a decade of experience in public and private sector research to her role at Swell Investing, including a stint at the Royal Bank of Canada, where she specialized in ESG investing. She’s also spent time working in developing countries with cash-strapped NGOs—an experience that led her to believe that financial markets should be used as a vehicle for social and environmental change.