How to Become an Impact Investor | Net Impact

How to Become an Impact Investor

How to Become an Impact Investor | Net Impact

In this current environment, the world needs some positive change. Fortunately, participating in impact investing is a great way to use your dollars to support social and environmental change.

What Is Impact Investing?

At its simplest, this type of investing means making investments to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact while also making a positive financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging (third world) and developed (Western capitalist) economies. The investments target a range of returns, depending on the particular investor's goals. This industry also represents important future opportunities in the world of finance and jobs.

Potential Impact Investment Industries and Jobs

Of course, it's not just about investing. There are also many interesting and challenging jobs in impact industries that can lead to fulfillment in more ways than one:

          Environmental and climate change scientists.

          Sustainable agriculture and biodiversity experts.

          Financial professionals working in impact investment.

          Architects and builders in sustainable housing.

All of these and more make impact investing attractive as both a career and an investment style.

How to become an impact investor

There are lots of ways to become an impact investor. One way is to open a brokerage account into which you make small regular deposits. As an investor, you can then use the account to purchase impact-style investments. But, to make this effort effective, investors need to take a few steps into consideration:

Talk to Those Who Can Help

Investors who want to start impact investing should begin by talking to those who can help make it happen. An interested company can, for example, make sure that those running its employee retirement plans know that the company wants to make impact investing a part of its programs. The plan operators should know that the company expects to see options made available to its employees. Individual investors can, in the same way, work with their own brokers or investment advisors to ensure that their interest in impact investments is clear.

Don't Settle for Small Victories

While impact investors don't always see profits as a priority, there is no reason for an investor not to earn good returns. An impact investor, whether an individual or a company, has every right to expect that the professionals they work with should generate profits. This is still true, even if the emphasis is on socially-responsible investments.

Start With a Smaller Account

Investors who are not sure about jumping in to impact investment can start small. It isn't necessary to commit large amounts of money when there are already environmental, social, and governance investing or sustainable investing mutual funds for sale. Many of these mutual funds will allow quite small monthly purchases of shares if done on a regular and committed basis. Likewise, a person can open a small personal brokerage account just for doing impact investing. Making regular contributions to it will be a good starting point.

Get Involved

Net Impact is an impact investment educational membership group. It offers a national leadership program called "Up to Us," available to undergrad and grad students, in impact investing. In addition, Net Impact engages in training and education with over 4,000 chapters worldwide. Through these groups and more than 130,000 members, Net Impact continues to work toward increasing awareness of and participation in impact investment. Getting involved with Net Impact might well be the best place for an impact investor to start.