Mutual funds are a collection of various stocks, bonds, and other investment securities. When you invest in a mutual fund, you own a certain share of the fund. While fund shares are constantly being traded, the piece that you own is valued as a piece of the total fund. In other words, the total value of all of the stocks, bonds, and securities in each fund is divided by the number of shares owned.
Why mutual funds?
Mutual funds inherently have less risk than investing in individual stocks and bonds because they are a diversified investment. With the tumultuous retail world we live in right now, it’s important to be diversified in your investments. Should one of the companies you are invested in go bankrupt, you have many more securities (stocks, bonds, etc) in your mutual funds to protect your overall investment.
If you don’t want to research each individual company before investing (let’s be honest…most of us planning for retirement don’t do this full time), mutual funds are a great option! At Invested Interests, we utilize actively-managed, socially responsible funds which provide many distinct advantages to the average investor.
Advantages of Socially-Responsible Mutual Funds
- Help build a diversified portfolio
- Can be built based on your own individual retirement goals and timeline
- Are actively managed based on current market standings
- Integrate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into investments
- Allow for minimum investments that can grow and be added to over time
- Require less individual research
- Address and lessen the inherent risks of stock investing
ESG Mutual Fund & Portfolio Options
We hand-select from 400+ available ESG mutual funds based on the companies represented, impact opportunities, and, of course, past and future performance measurements. We utilize mutual funds from a variety of world and national funds including Trillium, PAX, Domini, and Calvert.
Each of our investment portfolios holds many different types of mutual funds focused specifically on the investment cause you’d like to pursue including World Peace, Environment, Equality & Diversity, and Human Rights. You can choose to invest in one or many of these portfolio options. In addition, we provide custom portfolios and can build in each of the various funds that apply to your retirement goals, timeline, risk tolerance, and socially responsible investment platforms.
In the early stages of your career, you may have had the benefit of an employer-sponsored 401(k). If you were really lucky, you may have even had contributions matched by an employer or two. And while you were focused on climbing that ladder, your 401(k) sat idly in the background beginning the foundation of your future retirement accounts.
Now your focus is on planning for retirement. It’s time to tune into those accounts and see how they’re faring. You may be surprised to learn what you’re paying to hold on to them…and what your money is actually being invested into…
How to Rollover your 401(k) into an Impact Investing Account
Typically, rolling over your 401(k) means moving your retirement assets into a traditional individual retirement account, or IRA. You can also roll over into a Roth IRA, but doing so may result in a large tax bill due to the fact that your original contributions were likely made on a tax-deferred basis and are subject to tax upon withdrawal.
When rolling over into a new impact investing account, there are a variety of social responsibility portfolios we offer to accommodate your social investing interests:
Made up of a variety of known environmentally conscious companies, our environmental portfolio incorporates those willing to rethink the status quo, addressing their long-term environmental impacts, and choosing to operate on an eco-first and eco-friendly basis.
Our human rights portfolio is comprised of those companies that have corporate policies and practices focusing on promoting a fair and equitable workplace. Many of these companies have won accolades and recognition for confronting issues with employee, customer, supplier, and community interaction.
Our peace portfolio is the one that started it all for Invested Interests. The companies in our peace portfolio play a positive role in furthering peace on our place and limiting conflict. While the methods vary, we invest in companies that have taken positive steps to limit support of governments and regimes promoting violence.
Our diversity and corporate governance portfolio is made up of companies working to create a culture of inclusion, new ideas, and foster strength in their team through inclusive policies. Whether by broadening their board of directors or establishing human resources policies of inclusion and support, these companies are taking the right steps to the fair and ethical treatment of employees. Many of the companies included in our portfolio are leaders in sexual harassment training and provide information, seminars, and resources to their employees.
Reasons to Consider a 401(k) Rollover
- High Fees
There are no fees to roll over a 401(k) into a traditional or Roth IRA. In fact, you’ll likely save money on management fees over the duration of your investments. Left unmanaged, many 401(k)s end up with high management and maintenance fees. Investment opportunities and understanding has changed dramatically since the rise of online trading and robo-advisers. While these two options still have their shortcomings, they did pave the way for more aggressive fee structuring.
Most traditional 401(k)s do not support ESG (economic, social and governance) rated social investments. Rather, most focus on the very large-scale businesses that are generally focused on revenue-focused, not socially responsible business practices.
When setting up your 401(k) you likely had a choice of a few mutual funds. However, with an IRA, you have a full-selection of funds to choose from and can create a better long-term strategy based on risk management, ESG ratings, and your retirement goals.
Former employers go out of business. Their retirement options and advisors change. Whenever you change positions, you always have the option of moving your account into a new employer’s 401(k) or to an IRA. While you can sometimes leave it where it is, for most individuals, rolling over to an IRA is the best choice.
If you are like most Americans and change positions every few years, it may be time to gain control and oversight over all of your retirement accounts. Diversification is powerful. So is knowledge. Especially when it comes to retirement planning.
Considering a 401(k) rollover? Request a FREE impact investment consultation, and we’ll be in touch!
In 2017, global carbon emissions climbed to a record high. Just this month, a report was released by the United Nations urgently warning that in order to prevent further increased global warming, dramatic steps were going to need to be taken. They estimated that human activities have caused an increase of 33.8°F of global warming compared to pre-industrial levels. If this continues at the current rate, as 2017 data indicates, it could reach an increase of 34.7°F by as early as 2030!
Potential Impacts of Climate Change
So what does this change in temperature mean, exactly? Well, scientists have high confidence that not only who this create an increase in mean temperature, but hot extremes, a probability of increased drought, decreased precipitation, and an increase in sea level. Further impacts due to these considerations include an increase in wildfires and destruction of homes and habitats, species loss and extinction, and risks to health, livelihood, and food and water sustainability.
That sounds terrifying. What can I do?
To halt climate change at the current rate, it is going to take not only a national movement but a grassroots acceptance and lifestyle changes. We’ve put together a list of things you can do within your daily life to help mitigate climate change on a local level – share, tell your friends, and together we can make being green a popular choice.
- Choose Green Transportation
Fossil fuel use is one of the largest human contributors to global warming. Stop and consider the difference in emissions if every person who owned a car changed over to an electric or hybrid vehicle, ride-shared, or choose energy-efficient public transportation. While this may not be a cost-effective avenue for you just yet, take a look at the affordability of electric transportation. It’s rapidly declining, while vehicle styles are becoming popular choices for urban and suburban professionals.
- Change Your Diet
Don’t get us wrong here. Diet is not only a health choice but a very personal consideration at that. We can certainly appreciate a good Juicy Lucy here in Minnesota. However, land-intensive animal products and processing use a fair share of consumables. Consider a plant-based diet, grow a backyard garden, and eat local to help reduce your eating imprint on the world.
- Renewable Energy
A significant section of the UN report focused on renewable energy use. Their staggering requirement: that renewable energy account for 85% of electricity production by 2050, with gas energy being just 8% and coal at 0%. Solar, wind, and electrical technologies have improved significantly the last decade, but are still vastly underutilized due to the societal, economic and political pressures by large industries. At home, consider solar panels for energy generation and reach out to your local energy co-op for sustainable options.
- Invest in Sustainable Business
On a larger scale, step back and consider your investment choices. Do you know where your 401k investments are held and who they are funding? Most traditional 401ks do not support ESG (economic, social and governance) rated social investments. Rather, most focus on the very large scale businesses that are contributing to climate change with non-sustainable business practices.
Our environmental portfolio is made up of companies addressing their long-term environmental impacts, focusing on sustainable business practices, and prioritizing their effect on the surrounding environment – at a local and national level.
At Invested Interests, we believe that a national conversation regarding the truth about climate change needs to be brought to light, across party lines, for the good of our lives and the lives of future generations.
Questions about our climate change or environmental investment portfolios? Ready to get started with no minimum investment? Request a FREE impact investment consultation, and we’ll be in touch!
Just like typical investment options, impact investing can be done in multiple ways. You can walk into your local investment office, find an advisor online, or consider a robo-investment platform or app. With each, come a spectrum of services, products, and fees.
Your decision to invest your money is more than a financial one, it’s very personal. At Invested Interests, our goal is to provide you an overview of advisor options so you feel comfortable making a decision on where you invest your money.
In a way, the “old-school” approach to investing. You’ve seen this in the movies. Rows of tables, computer screens, lots of phones. Brokers pacing back and forth while telling their clients about the next hot stock tip. These brokers were paid when investors bought or sold a security. They made a commission and the only reason you’d keep working with a broker is if their last stock tip made you money. But remember, they spent their time on the phone selling, not researching. The stock tip was usually just the trendy trade that the other brokers were talking about that day. This option really isn’t around anymore, at least not that we’ve seen.
Traditional Investment Advisor/Bank/Financial Institution
We’ve grouped quite a few professionals together here. The reason? They offer a similar service and charge a similar fee. When you see ads (and maybe you’ve been their client) of your local investment advisor, Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, etc you’re working with a traditional investment group.
They provide investment advice and charge a fee based on the total amount of assets invested. Some advisors will continue working closely with their investors, some do not. But with an advisor, the idea is that you are paying for an ongoing professional relationship/resource that will help you monitor and make changes to your portfolio. Advisors charge higher fees because they typically have large overhead expenses (offices, staff, research, travel).
Fee-Only Investment Advisor
What makes fee-only advisors different from traditional advisors is that they charge a one-time upfront fee for a plan or recommendation. They do not charge an ongoing fee based on the total amount of assets. However, once the plan is in place, it is up to the investor to monitor and make changes. Typically the fees are lower, but the ongoing service and relationship are non-existent.
This is the “new thing.” Websites that use software to generate investment advice. The fees charged for these services are typically lower. And the recommendations offered by Robo advisors, the reputable ones, is generally good. A big reason for this is that for many people, in typical situations, good investment advice is also generic investment advice. A one-size-fits-all approach works for many people.
However, there is very little human interaction and no opportunity to develop a relationship with a professional. There is also very little ability to help investors with unique situations or requirements. If you have questions that fall outside of the software, you are left to read FAQs or perform your own Google searches.
Why Invested Interests
We are a focused investment advisor firm that specializes ONLY in impact investing. We do one thing and we do it well. Our four established portfolios are created based on long-term potential, influential social issues, and with our client’s financial futures in mind. Though we have established portfolios, we work on your behalf for ANY social issue you may be passionate about, investing your money where it will be most impactful.
Unlike many online platforms, we build a long-term relationship with our investors. We routinely check-in for an update, and as your investments grow, your interests and advocacy naturally shifts, and your investment and outcome needs changes, we provide advice given your current situation, place in life, and goals.
Finally, because of today’s communication technology, we are able to offer our high touch service at a competitive fee. Whether you are just starting out with a minimal investment, looking to roll-over a lifetime of 401k plans into a social investment fund, or have another investment strategy or goal, you’ll find our fees lower than a typical investment firm.
2017 began a movement that has forever changed the culture for women in the workplace. The #metoo movement started back in October 2017 when media mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment. The “me too” twitter-storm began with the tweet “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write “me too” as a reply to this tweet. Thousands of replies later, it quickly turned into a movement, with charges being filed, women being heard, and appropriate workplace environments being brought to the center of attention.
The post #metoo movement has now begun. Now what?
Like many women’s rights movements before, the process is constantly unfolding. Our role moving forward is to advocate for women’s rights, hold conversations, and not allow the momentum created halt. There are many things you can do as an individual, an employee, and an organization to help with this progress.
Create the change you want to see in the world. There are many local and national women’s rights organizations that fight for equality. Many are women-led and deliver services, projects, and support within a large spectrum of issues facing women globally. These issues may include sexual harassment or violence, but many organizations also focus on other women’s rights issues including economic inequality, lack of education, and leadership opportunities.
Donate to organizations and causes you’re passionate about. Use Charity Navigator, or a similar charity-rater, to choose top-rated organizations that you can feel confident in donating towards. The top organizations push the limits and help advance women’s rights and empowerment on a daily basis, but often lack funding to continue their efforts.
Invest in a cause. And for your financial future. Rather than a traditional investment, at Invested Interests, we offer two investment portfolios that focus specifically on women’s rights. The companies involved in our portfolios promote equality in the workplace, diversity at every level, and sexual harassment training initiatives.
Our diversity & equality portfolio is comprised of companies that have corporate policies and practices focusing on promoting a fair and equitable workplace. Many of these companies have won accolades and recognition for confronting issues with employee, customer, supplier, and community interaction.
The Diversity & Equality portfolio is made up of companies working to create a culture of inclusion, new ideas, and foster strength in their team through inclusive policies. Whether by broadening their board of directors or establishing human resources policies of inclusion and support, these companies are taking the right steps to fair and ethical treatment of employees. Many of the companies included in our portfolio are leaders in sexual harassment training and provide information, seminars, and resources to their employees.
At Invested Interests, we believe that diverse workplaces are indicative of healthy corporate cultures. We’re proud to invest in companies that aim to support gender equality throughout their company.
Questions about our women’s rights investment portfolios? Ready to get started with no minimum investment? Request a FREE impact investment consultation, and we’ll be in touch!