investing with your values and beliefs
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Investing with your values and beliefs

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If you want to engage in socially responsible investing, there are a number of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds ETFs that enable you to do so easily. These funds pool your money with other investors and use the combined pot of cash to buy into companies that meet specific guidelines. In this case, these guidelines would include behaving in an ethically responsible way. This investing strategy focuses specifically on screening companies based on the following ESG criteria:.

Investors who are particularly concerned about the use of fossil fuels or renewable energy, equality and corporate governance, and human rights may be drawn to ESG investing. With impact investing, the key is to achieve positive outcomes through your investment dollars. For example, the goal may be to invest in companies that benefit the environment or society, such as businesses that develop renewable energy or that aim to make education more widely available.

Investors who are less concerned about earning good financial returns and more concerned about helping to achieve good outcomes may be drawn to impact investing. The Global Impact Investing Network can help you learn more about what to look for in impact investing funds. There are both advantages and disadvantages to values-based investing that you need to consider.

Today, it's easier than ever to get started in values-based investing because many services make it simple to pick investments that don't go against your values. These include:. The US SIF Foundation is a non-profit organization that conducts research and offers both live and in-person courses to educate people about the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing and to support this forum. It promotes sustainable investing across all asset classes with the goal of achieving positive societal effects.

A study from the Boston Consulting Group on the total societal effects of impact investing found that companies with high economic, social, and corporate governance scores tended to outperform similar businesses without such scores. Thus, impact investing can provide a good financial return for those who do it. A growing number of companies are also paying attention and responding to these factors as investor demand for socially responsible investment increases, so impact investing could also work to effect desired change.

Impact investing focuses on investing in companies that offer positive solutions to global challenges. ESG involves systematically considering the impact a company has on the environment and society as a whole, and screening out companies that don't meet ESG criteria. The simplest way to get started in values-based investing is to open an account with a robo-advisor that offers portfolios made of investments that comply with a certain set of values.

You can also open an account with a brokerage firm and buy exchange-traded funds that only include investments that meet certain requirements regarding environmentally and socially sound corporate practices. You could also take a more complicated, self-guided approach and buy stock shares in individual companies that you believe support your values. This is a riskier strategy that will require you to do more research into specific companies before purchasing their stocks.

Investing is always a risky venture, so you'll want to do your due diligence before making any investment choice. That means not only considering whether an investment aligns with your values, if that's important to you, but also taking a close look at the potential impact of your investment choice and the businesses and financial institutions behind it. When it comes to how to choose a brokerage to work with, these considerations may also come into play. The good news is, there are many brokers that not only make investing easy but also provide educational material to help you make more informed choices.

You can review your brokerage firm's information on values-based investing to see whether it's right for you. Make sure you feel comfortable investing in something before you hand over your money. If your advisor gets frustrated or angry, take your business elsewhere and find another investment pro.

We recommend investing your hard-earned money in stable, long-term investments that consistently perform well over time. Spread your investments over four classes of mutual funds —growth, growth and income, aggressive growth, and international. If one sector tanks for a while, the funds in the other sectors can help balance things out and keep them moving in the right direction.

When you invest, you have to think long term and wait patiently for your portfolio to grow over decades, not overnight. A financial advisor can help you make confident decisions about your investments so you feel good about your retirement plan.

Need help finding a qualified pro? Try our SmartVestor program. With SmartVestor, you can find top-rated financial advisors who understand your goals and can help you make smart investing decisions. Find your investment pro! Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books including 12 national bestsellers published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

Learn More. Here's how to make it work for you. Guided Plans. Trusted Pros. Free Tools. Sign In Get Started. We're Hiring! See Openings. What Is Value-Based Investing?