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Know what you own

By
The Swell Team
May 6, 2019
1 min
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 There’s a fundamental issue with investing in America: Your money might support companies that harm people and the planet, and you probably don’t even realize it.

When we buy products, say for example a smartphone -- we’re essentially giving that company a ‘thumbs up’ in approval.

We’re saying, ‘Hey, I like what you’re doing, and here’s more money to keep doing it…’  
Well, the same can be true for investing.

When we buy stocks, we're saying that we approve of that company’s products and policies.

What if I told you the majority of retirement accounts and index funds invest in big oil, coal mining, and tobacco… and the list goes on and on.

Would you give these industries a ‘thumbs up?’

If we look at the state of the world, we can see we’re not always funding what’s best for the planet.

So let’s look at some crazy numbers:  

In 2017, over 480,000 people died from tobacco.

We’re actively pumping 96,000 oil and gas wells on public lands for fossil fuels that create 2/3rds of our carbon emissions.

And we dump 1.5 million pounds of trash into our oceans every hour.

So, if we care about climate change, we can stop funding fossil fuels.

And if we want to prevent lung cancer, let’s stop investing in tobacco.

Look, it’s simple. If we want to see change in the world, we don’t have to wait every four years to vote.

We can vote every day by choosing what products we buy, and investing in the things that we care about. It’s called impact investing.

With impact investing, your money supports companies that solve global challenges, instead of causing them.

These are companies that eliminate and repurpose plastics.

That build infrastructure for clean water and solar energy.

That aim to cure cancer and heart disease.

That support diversity, inclusion, and equality for all employees.

And if you’re wondering -- Yes. Investing with impact also means good business.

Studies show that stocks of companies with high environmental and social impact have actually outperformed the market for 25 years.

So, if we don’t have to compromise our values to build our wealth, then what are we doing?

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