Where’s your money going?
(“To the bartender!” Thank you, drunken members of the peanut gallery.)
But seriously: If you had the opportunity to invest your money, make a nice return and do the world some good, wouldn’t you take it?
Enter Shape, a new type of investment app that allows you to invest in companies that align with your morals while still working with the online brokers you already use.
It takes about a minute to get going. After signing up, the app asks if there any types of companies you don’t want to invest in (e.g. tobacco, alcohol, weapons, nuclear). Then, it’ll ask if you want to connect to a broker you already use (say, eTrade) and finally, offer you different investments by social theme (equality, green, refugees, etc.).
Say you want to do something for people affected by recent weather-related disasters. Tap “Hurricanes” and you’ll see a list of companies that have committed over $1 million in response to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
From there, you can give deeper into each company: Tap “KO” under Hurricanes, for instance, and suddenly we have a 12-month performance tracker on Coca-Cola, the stock’s volatility and a “for what’s it worth” overview that showcases the company’s other social efforts.
Now, this all seems to be targeting younger investors: there’s an entire section (“Learn”) that tells you how to invest, what your risks are and what a price target is. If this is a little 101 for you, you might want to dig a bit deeper into socially responsible mutual funds or do your own research on companies that emphasize environmental, socially responsible and governance (ESG) issues.
If you want to keep things simple, however, there are a number of other sites and apps that offer investment opportunity and higher ideals. A few favorites of ours:
Aspiration: The pay-what-you-want investment firm that suggests socially-conscious banking/investment opportunities — and gives 10% of their payments to charity.
Motif: Aligns your financial goals with your values (sustainability, fair labor, etc.), and also makes the whole process pretty much automated.
Robinhood: Wall Street isn’t just for fat cats. Making investment truly for all people, this is a free stock trading app (with a web version, free options trading and, yes, cryptocurrency investments arriving soon).
Swell: Invest in “curated” portfolios of publicly traded companies in areas centered around renewable energy, clean water and zero waste.
AfricaConnekt: An intuitive web platform where the world’s biggest investors and brightest minds can collaborate with budding African entrepreneurs in areas such as technology, energy, communications and the environment.