Highlighting the importance of transparency in investing, impact investing platform Swell Investing has invited the public to vote on the final security in the Impact 400, a portfolio with the goal of offering investors 400 companies poised for impact and returns. Both Apple and Starbucks meet Swell's selective rules-based criteria, and the community will decide which will be included.
In the process of building the Impact 400 portfolio, Swell’s impact team evaluated thousands of companies, making sure the portfolio is optimized to capture long-term financial returns stemming from solutions addressing the greatest challenges we face as a society. The criteria include:
- Derives revenue aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Scores highly on one or more third-party Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) rating methodologies
- Shows strong diversity and inclusion practices, with at least one woman or minority on their board or executive team
“It’s important for investors to understand the selection process that goes into socially responsible investment options. Swell is dedicated to providing opportunities for investors to put their dollars behind companies that are contributing to a positive world,” said Dave Fanger, CEO of Swell Investing. “But there’s nuance to the process. Transparency in investing should extend to the selection process that goes into building those investments."
To further engage their community, Swell has opened the decision about the final security to be included in the Impact 400 to the public. Voters can see Swell's arguments for and against each as a company driving positive impact, and they can vote on whether they think Apple or Starbucks is doing a better job responding to global challenges. The winning company will be included in the portfolio, which will be available soon after the voting closes.
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“The future of socially responsible investing is radical transparency. We think investors should know what companies they own and why,” Fanger said. “At Swell, transparency is one of our core values. Through our platform and content, we share how each company is making an impact and why we're including them.”
In addition to providing a transparent approach to investing, Swell's portfolios are also customizable. Investors in Swell are able to deselect up to three companies from their overall “mix,” or the combination of portfolios they are invested in.
To teach investors about the SDGs, Swell also recently introduced a new tool for investors to discover how their dollars are supporting the companies solving each of the global goals. Investors and visitors to Swell’s new “Our Approach” page can now navigate through an interface with each of the global goals and explore companies solving those goals. The company says it is part of its “aim to offer the most accessible way for investors to take advantage of the $12 trillion investment opportunity represented by the [SDGs].”