Liesel Pritzker Simmons
Founder of Blue Haven Initiative
ImpactAssets donor since 2013
Impact investing can sound overwhelming. Many assume that every dollar you invest has to change the world. With so many sustainable investing funds around, it can feel like you need weeks of research before taking action.
I’ve found that a good place to start is to look at what you already own. See what companies are in your portfolio, and spend a little time reading up on their business practices. Do they care about climate change? How do they treat their employees? Have there ever been any controversies? Knowing what you own and making a few, simple decisions based on this knowledge can go a long way in turning a standard investment portfolio into one geared for positive impact.
When you’re ready to make an investment, take a good look under the hood before you buy. Don’t just assume that all companies in that ESG index fund live up to your standards. Explore the companies in those funds and ask some questions. Being an impact investor means being an informed investor.
Starting small is OK. Yes, when we think of impact investing, big world problems like hunger, rising sea levels, and poverty come to mind. But the truth is, those things are big problems for a reason: They’re difficult to solve. And with the growing number of funds and investment choices out there, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Investing in a company that is solving a problem — even a small one — can be an exciting and rewarding opportunity. Impact investors shouldn’t let “perfect” be the enemy of the good. Find investments that influence something you care about and start from there.