Now It’s Easier Than Ever to Invest in Stocks for Social Good

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It’s often said that the average millenial is more socially-conscious than previous generations. They are more likely to care about the environment and more interested in global challenges like poverty, for example. So it’s not surprising to see companies trying to channel that with new marketing approaches. If you’re trying to build a future-facing business, it makes sense to tap into the concerns of the next group of people with money to spend.

That, at least, is the rationale behind a new online brokerage called Swell. Aimed specifically at millennials, Swell offers baskets of stocks with themes like “Improve Education,” “Fight Cancer,” “Uphold Human Rights,” and “End Poverty.” For a minimum of $250, you can put your hard-earned dough towards good causes, while hopefully making a decent return at the same time (and don’t worry, you can be any age).

Swell is a partnership between Pacific Life, an insurance firm, and Motif Investing, an online brokerage that allows people to invest “thematically.” Say you think that drones are going to be big in the future because Amazon is going deliver everything from the air. You can invest in a basket of stocks based around the drone theme. Or, maybe you like the idea of companies headed by women CEOs. There’s a basket called “No Glass Ceiling.” And so on. Moreover, you can do it at a fraction of the cost of a traditional online brokerage. Instead of paying many dollars per stock, you pay a flat-rate $9.95 for a “motif” that includes 30 of them.

Source: Co.Exist (link opens in a new window)

Impact Assessment
impact investing, poverty alleviation