INVEST IN THE BEST
Ethical investment services align with users’ values
Modern youth have very different views on finances than previous generations—Millennials and Gen Zs even differ significantly from one another—and new tools are emerging to help them manage their finances and introduce them to investing. As young consumers often engage in wallet activism, investment services are offering ethical options that allow them to invest in funds that align with their values and support causes they believe in.
Startup impact investing firm Newday Investing launched its app last month, allowing users to start a portfolio with just $5. Targeting Millennials, the California-based app offers investors the opportunity to put their money toward six themed funds—global impact, climate action, gender equality, animal welfare, ocean plastic, and freshwater—each of which has explicit guidelines as to where and how the money is spent and what causes it supports. Newday recognizes that young consumers often shop brands that align with their values but don’t always realize where their investments go, and it aims to change that.
As racial, ethnic, and religious diversity becomes increasingly widespread—and accepted—more products, from food to fashion, are being offered specifically for Muslim consumers. Services are reflecting this shift as well, and NYC-based Wahed Invest aims to fix the issue often faced by Muslim investors who, if following Sharia guidance, can’t use many traditional investment options because Halal investing forbids investing in debt. The new company follows Halal standards and runs an ethical filter over all investments to screen for such things as alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pornographic material, and excessive debt. Users can get started with an investment of just $100.
London-based fintech startup Plum is expanding its functionality—in addition to helping users save money with the A.I.-powered chatbot, it is giving consumers the opportunity to invest their money based on themes including ethical markets, technology, emerging markets, nutrition, A.I., and robotics. The investment feature is currently available on an invite-only basis, but users can join a waitlist. Plum is charging £1 for the feature, plus an additional fee for investors opting into the themed options, and users can invest as little as £1 at three different risk levels.