Ethical Investing — 4 Crucial Tips To Make Sure Your Investments Match Your Values
When you make an investment, it’s more than just a way to make some money.
You’re putting your money into a project, program, or business that’s making a change in the world, for better or worse.
For some people, that may not be a concern, but most of us like to make sure that our investments match our values.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell exactly what that money is being used for.
For example, the company you believe is making furniture could actually be involved in destroying the habitats of endangered animals for their lumber.
There are different ways of evaluating this, and some excellent advisory services that make it their job to determine exactly where the money is going, and what investments align with your values.
We all have different values, and often want to invest with companies that are working towards different goals, so finding a company that fits your personal values is sometimes a real trick.
Here are a few important tips that can help:
- Precise Goals
If your aim is to not support projects you’re morally opposed to, this isn’t really necessary — if you want to specifically support projects that align with your values, it can be quite helpful.
It’s a fine line, but an important one.
If you want to support specific goals, then having a concrete list of those goals can make it easy to narrow the options and find a few investment opportunities working on those types of projects.
For those who want to specifically not support certain types of companies, having a list of which values you oppose can make it easier to avoid them.
If your list is fairly small — for example, child labor and slavery — then you can probably just do a bit of googling to make sure the companies you want to support don’t include those practices.
To really make sure your investments align with your values, your best option might be to make use of a professional service that can do some serious fact-checking for you.
This can also be helpful for finding investment opportunities that match your ethical framework, that you might not otherwise be aware of.
4. Dive Deeper
It can be tempting to dismiss entire industries because they don’t seem to align with our values, but sometimes that can lead to missed opportunities that could do a lot of good.
If you don’t have the time, or the inclination, to do a deep dive into each of your investments, this is also a place where a professional service can help.
You might come across a “diamond in the rough” that’s helping to transform an industry that you may find unethical into something that’s doing good in the world.
It’s natural to be concerned about where your money is going, and what causes you’re supporting.
In a perfect world, it would be easy to tell exactly what you were getting involved in when you put money down, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and that’s why we have specialists.
If you don’t invest much, or have a lot of time to do research, you might be able to keep it ethical on your own — to be honest though, it’s a lot easier to let a professional do all the hard work for you.
They can keep you from being surprised when you find out the humble company you thought you were investing in is actually attached to a mega-corporation that’s involved in cutting down the rainforest.
Ethical investing is easier than you think, with just a little help.