The world around us is changing, whether we like it or not. When we look to make a positive impact in our world, it’s often with our time and energy.
This includes volunteering for ocean cleanups, mentorship programs and other hands-on activities. While they are meaningful on a micro-level, it doesn’t change the fact that there are humanitarian, climate and economic issues that are far greater than we can manage with our own two hands.
At the same time, we also have a millennial generation that is overworked and overextended. Therefore, finding time and energy to devote to these give-back opportunities can be quite the challenge.
The good news is that there are financial professionals who can guide you to make that impact you’re looking for. Plus, it will also help get you a competitive return on your savings and investments.
Ethical Savings For Millennials
Decarbonize Your Portfolio
Did you know that the average $10,000 investment portfolio produces an annual carbon footprint of 900 kg a year? That’s more carbon than driving 3,000 kilometers in your car or going down the block to Fatburger and hammering back 263 quarter-pound hamburgers.
If we conclude that to a $100,000 investment portfolio then the carbon footprint is around 9.3 tonnes of Co2 emissions per year.
But it’s not that hard to find the right mix of publicly traded companies committed to a zero-carbon future instead. You could also do some reading on ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). ETFs use screening methods to give the public low-carbon alternatives to those traditional carbon producing companies.
These actions can drastically reduce the carbon emissions of your investment portfolio.
Insert green bonds, which finance clean energy investment infrastructure and other sustainability-related objectives.
Various green bonds and green bond funds can provide competitive returns and also offer a 100% guilt-free conscience. These investment vehicles are tough to beat!
Micro-Financing & Impact Investing
Micro-what? Micro-financing is taking your cash and lending it out to small businesses that are in need of funds to scale their business (think coffee shops or expanding fruit markets in impoverished areas).
Quite often these companies are in economically unstable countries or areas experiencing extreme poverty. Fortunately for us, there are institutions guaranteeing that if we lend our savings to those striving entrepreneurs, we will get our cash back, plus a modest return.
In the meantime we are stimulating a small economy and helping others get off the ground with their own small businesses.
Impact investing echoes those sentiments. The idea is very simple: If you’re going to invest your money, you’ll want to invest it in companies that are building the future you believe in.
By directly investing in these companies in the areas of your concern, you provide easier access to capital. This allows those companies to do more—find new markets, build new products and take educated risks for expansion.
Don’t have savings to invest? Don’t worry—the oceans still need cleaning, you can eat fewer burgers and take public transit a little more. Every small action contributes to a more sustainable future.
The contents of this article reflect the personal views of Joss Biggins, an Investment Advisor with Leede Jones Gable in Vancouver, BC.
If you’d like to learn more about investing, or make a measurable contribution to sustainability with your investments, visit EthicInvest — Leede Jones Gable online and learn about their lowered investment minimums for the month of April and May, 2019.
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