Looking For A Way To Invest In Sustainable Companies?
A lot of us are looking to become more conscious consumers in our daily lives.
We carry around our reusable shopping bag. We think about how our products are made. If we find out our favorite skin scrub is polluting the ocean with microbeads, we ditch them.
We are open to change. We want to save our planet.
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), Environmental, Social And Governance (ESG), and impact investing are all hot buzzwords in the news. It’s exciting to see a new approach to combating the world’s social and environmental problems, especially where governments and policymakers fail.
But let’s be honest. When it comes to socially responsible investing, many of us cannot. Why?
Because we don’t have that kind of money.
The Barriers To Sustainable Investing
Everyday people concerned about the planet and interested in getting involved in impact investing often can’t meet the price of entry.
To invest in socially responsible companies we generally have two choices: buy individual stocks from companies that do good, or buy into a socially responsible mutual fund which screens the companies in their portfolio using SRI criteria.
To buy stocks, we have to open an account with a broker. That means we’re going to pay broker’s fees.
We also have to do research on lots of companies. We have to research a company’s impact and its financial outlook. We have to diversify so we can balance risk. Complex financial terminology can be yet another barrier. There is a lot of DIY here that many of us don’t have time for.
This pushes a lot of folks into the arms of active brokers who do the research for us. That means our money is often placed in mutual funds. But they can come with high expense ratios along with a plethora of other fees which can eat up our returns. This is especially true for investors with smaller budgets.
The result? Socially responsible investing has been out of reach for everyday people who don’t have a ton of time to research, are not as fluent in financial terminology, and don’t have substantial liquid asset.
Sustainable Investing Is Now Available To Everyone
Well Wallet has talked about Aspiration’s free online account that pays up to 2.00% APY Interest and reimburses ATM fees worldwide.
Now let’s take a look at Aspiration’s investment products.
Advantages of Aspiration Investment Products
Aspiration’s investment products are in line with its mission to Make Money and Make a Difference.
Their $100 minimum for their investment account means everyday people can invest in products that are usually only accessible by the wealthy.
- No front load fees.
- No back load fees.
- No per transaction fees.
- No performance fees.
- No redemption fees.
- Third Party fees capped at 0.05%.
Minimum investment to open? $100
The Aspiration Redwood Fund REDWX is a fossil fuel-free fund investing in sustainable businesses. The fund looks at multiple environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and uses a rigorous analysis of companies’ sustainable environmental, workplace, and governance practices to find investments poised for growth. They also offer an IRA.
The Aspiration Flagship Fund ASPFX is mutual fund designed to provide “one stop” access to a range of strategies once out of reach to everyday investors. The Fund is made of other mutual funds, each employing different strategies, that try to make money whether the stock market is heading uphill or down. As transparency and trust are paramount at Aspiration, the full list of what funds make up the Flagship Fund are posted on their site. They offer an IRA for this fund, too.
In a world where investment opportunities are limited to those who already have a lot of money, Aspiration offers investment opportunities to everyday people who have been previously shut out by fees and minimum investment requirements.
They Also Commit to Donating 10% of Their Earnings, and Make it Easy for You To Give to the Charity Of Your Choice
Beyond investing, Aspiration also gives offers a convenient way to directly impact the cause of your choice.
Aspiration Commits to Donating One Dime for Every Dollar of Their Earnings
Aspiration gives you a chance to make an impact on an issue you care about.
If you want to support a cause that you are concerned about, Aspiration makes it easy. You can decide which charitable cause you want to give to, how much you want to give and you can track the impact your donation is making. You can choose from:
- The Global Poverty Fund is comprised of charities battling hunger and homelessness as well as those focusing on empowering people around the world through sustainable employment and emergency aid.
- The Water Fund is made of nonprofits working to bring clean and convenient water to developing countries.
- The Education Fund is made up of organizations that train teachers and principals and that provide programs for students in some of the toughest neighborhoods – and they get results.
- The Environment Fund acts across the globe to preserve our fragile planet. The charitable organizations in this Fund defend our depleting natural resources and stem the course of climate change.
- The Health Fund focuses on organizations working to create and deliver vaccines, medical supplies and health education to those that need them most, and research on diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and AIDS.
- The Human Rights Fund consists of charities battling trafficking and torture and advocating for the rights of women, immigrants, and people with disabilities.
- The Aspiration Opportunity Fund provides micro-loans of $5,000 and less, as well as mentorship and support, to struggling Americans looking to start a new small business that will provide for a better life for themselves and their families.
If you have been thinking about how you can make a difference in both the world and your financial future, it may behoove you to give Aspiration’s investment products a look.
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), and impact investing – these movements are not a temporary trend. In fact, they are changing the financial markets.
Now anyone can get involved.
The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) associated with the Aspiration Summit Account is variable and accurate as of [January 2019]. Rates may be changed from time to time without notice.
All ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Aspiration Summit Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using an Aspiration Debit Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Mastercard®, Interlink®, Cirrus®, or Maestro® logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.
Aspiration Partners, Inc. and its affiliates are committed to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that we’ll only charge you what it costs us to provide the extra service (such as a wire transfer), and not a penny more. Besides these at-cost service charges, the only account fee you pay is the fee you choose, even if it’s $0, which is why we call it Pay What Is Fair.
Deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor. For more information about FDIC insurance coverage, please visit the FDIC website.
The Aspiration Redwood Fund is a fossil fuel-free fund investing in sustainable businesses that are leaders in their industry when it comes to caring about their people, the planet, and their company’s purpose and mission. Learn more here: https://funds.aspiration.com/redwood/