Looking to make some money, and to do it in a sustainable manner? There’s an app for that.
The app is called “Swell,” and it only invests in campaigns that are in line with the United Nation’s 17 sustainable development goals. Here’s a closer look at Swell and the concept of “impact investing.” If you’re trying to be a more environmentally conscious consumer, it could be the right app for you.
What is Impact Investing?
The world as we know it is changing. And while there’s some debate over what’s causing the change and who is responsible for it, there’s no denying that it’s changing. In order to reduce carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle, many consumers — especially younger ones — have altered their day-to-day activities to minimize any harm they do to the environment. This might consist of driving hybrid or electric cars, recycling more and switching to LED light bulbs, among other things.
But one thing that many consumers are also very cognoscente of are the sustainability efforts of the firms that they’re doing business with as well. That’s where impact investing enters the picture, as it’s the concept of only investing in a socially responsible way.
Previously, it’s been fairly easy to identify problems and then help spur the action to solve them when it comes to sustainability. Now, that opportunity is there with investing and finance as well. And reports indicate that socially responsible investing has just as much potential for big returns as conventional investing does. In fact, despite reports that impact investing isn’t likely to yield the same returns as other types of investing, several reports indicated that this wasn’t true based on last year’s returns. In fact, according to CNBC, many sustainable funds outperformed traditional benchmarks.
How Swell Works
Swell actually launched as a software for desktop computers in 2017, and has more recently been made available as an app. At the time of this writing, it has about 14,000 users, and invests across seven portfolios, which include initiatives such as zero waste, disease elimination, green tech, healthy living and more. Users can be as specific as they want with their investments, as the app permits them to more closely look at each of the portfolios and exclude any companies that they don’t agree with.
All you need to get started on Swell is $50. After that, users are only subject to 0.75 percent annual fee to continue to use the service — not a bad deal for some help in investing more responsibly.
The U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals
Like we noted above, Swell invests only with firms that are in line with the United Nation’s 17 sustainable development goals. Here’s a closer look at some of these goals that have been outlined:
- No poverty
- Zero hunger
- Good health and overall well-being
- Gender equality
- Clean water
- Affordable and clean energy
- Economic growth
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Reduced inequalities
- Sustainable cities
- Responsible production/consumption
- Climate action
- Ocean health
- Life on land
- Peace, justice and strong institutions
- Partnerships to achieve the goals
Impact investing isn’t for everyone, but there’s something to be said for consumers who want to invest money and grow their wealth — and want to make sure that they’re doing it in as an socially-conscious way as possible. That’s what is so cool about a service like Swell, as it takes the guesswork out of determining where to make these investments.
Like we routinely say, growing your wealth isn’t about one ace-in-the-hole, get-rich-quick strategy — it consists of executing a number of strategies efficiently to grow the entire pie, and not just pieces of it. Investments matter, and if it’s a strategy that you want to explore, impact investing might be the strategy for you. Growing your wealth and doing your part for the greater good can be a nice win-win.