Whether you have $100 to your name or $100,000– whether you’re 20 or 40– it’s important you begin to recognize the power of compound interest and investing as early as possible. I won’t take the time orspace here to expound some of the reasons why, I’ll simply say, I wish Jaimee and I had started sooner. Even though we began thinking about vehicles by which we could save pretty early in our 20’s I can still hear my father ringing in my ears telling me to put more away. When I think about how even an extra three years on the front end can change your entire portfolio it just baffles me. I believe every teenager deserves to be shown how much even a few dollars could accrue the sooner they start. Ok, but enough about that because if you’re reading this you are probably already sold on the benefits of saving in different types of financial vehicles. But, and it could be a pretty big but for you, you’re nervous about investing because you don’t know what, or where rather, your dollars are actually going. You may not have the time, energy, or know how to invest in individual stocks (besides the fact that you shouldn’t rely solely on this anyway) and yet it’s important to you to know where your dollars are going and what they are actually supporting. And I resonate with that. As much as possible I think we should be concerned with where our money is doing and how it is working for other companies.
And so, the question becomes, how and where can I invest while still controlling where my dollars are going? Well, I’m so excited to tell you about two platforms out there that I’ve used that make this a reality. Socially conscious investing has not only become a reality with these platforms, but more than that, an automated and extremely simple reality!
The first platform I would like to highlight is WealthSimple, an online professional investing service in both US and Canada, also sometimes called a robo-advisor . Wealthsimple uses low fees and incredibly complex algorithm technology to keep your investment costs as low as possible. Instead of trying to beat the market they invest in the market as a whole. This diversification allows you to avoid putting all your eggs into one stock and can smooth out your returns and minimize your losses. Beyond simple diversification though, what I want to highlight here is Wealthsimple’s “Socially Responsible” Funds.
Wealthsimple offers six different funds that they have classified in this way. These funds revolve around doing good by lowering your carbon footprint, cleantech innovation, local initiatives, affordable housing, and more. These six different funds provide you, the investor, with the peace of mind that your dollars are backing ethical initiatives throughout the world.
One of the best parts of Wealthsimple as well as the other robo-investors we have used and recommend is that the fees are so much smaller than traditional investment platforms. I realize some of the pros of still having a traditional advisor so please no lectures. But the price and approachable nature of a robo-platform like Wealthsimple is so attractive in the high paced world we live in. Your first $5,000 is automatically invested for free. After that your their fee is only 0.5%. Once your account gets above $100,000 you the fee is reduced to 0.4%.
Other Reasons to Invest with WealthSimple
- Your first $5,000 is managed free. They know that you work hard for your money and they get it. You get a personalized portfolio based on your answers in the set up.
- 0.5% Fee on your account up to $100,000 and then it drops to 0.4%
- You can call, text, or email for help or money advice and speak with a real person.
- Automatic dividend reinvesting and portfolio rebalancing.
- Backed by Power Financial Corporation, one of the worlds most highly ranked institutions.
- SIPC insured for coverage up to $500,000 (and $1,000,000 CIPF insured in Canada)
- Low fees, they use ETFs to create the right portfolio for you based on your needs. The ETFs are also registered in your name so there is no concern should Wealthsimple decide to close their doors.
- Everything is encrypted. They use 128 bit encryption on all their software. The same as all big banks.
Motif Investing is a platform that I was first exposed to late in 2015 I believe. The concept at Motif is that investors should be able to take advantage of their networks by helping one another build and maintain investments around certain niches. When I first opened my account these niches were made up of small investments in 30 different companies. For example, let’s say you are really into farming technologies. Rather than selecting one or two companies you could create or buy an existing Motif that included positions in as many as thirty different companies. I found this to be a really neat way for someone who was relatively new to the stock market at the time.
More recently Motif has unveiled their Impact Portfolios and those are want I want to highlight here. For a low monthly subscription fee you can buy into these portfolios and be positive that every dollar your own is being invested into companies that have values that align with yours. Motif says that they are committed to keeping these as socially responsible and values driven as possible, curating the portfolios regularly.
Motif Impact Portfolios are the first fully automated portfolios to align your financial goals with your values. Absolutely nothing’s hidden. See exactly what you own, all for a flat, monthly subscription.
With this portfolio you are able to choose investments in sustainably run companies doing their part to lower their global carbon impact, companies promoting fair labor practices and advancements, and companies selectively chosen for their strong track record of ethical behavior across the board.
We’re confident that you will enjoy your experience with either of these platforms and that you can invest your dollars in either portfolio knowing that your money is being used to not only build your long-term portfolio, but also so that companies doing good will be able to expand their missions throughout the world.
Do you know of other platforms that have portfolios like these? We would love to look into them and consider trying them out. Comment below with some recommendations!