11 Feel-Good Ways to Invest Your Savings
Before making any investment decision, it is wise to consider the risks involved. Investors should speak with a financial adviser or planner first.
By investing in municipal bonds, investors essentially loan money to state and local governments, which can use the funds to pay for public projects such as a new school or repairs to a city's water system. The earnings from some municipal bonds are exempt from federal income taxes. Investors that buy a muni bond issued in the state where they live also may be exempt from state and local taxes on the earnings.
B Corporations are certified for-profit businesses that make a commitment to do no harm and benefit all. There are more than 1,400 B Corps and several, such as Etsy and Brazilian company Natura, are listed on public markets. Companies with the certification, which comes from the nonprofit B Lab, must renew it every two years.
Using Motif Investing, investors can choose a theme -- or motif -- to invest around and buy a group of stocks with a single trade. (There's a minimum deposit of $250 to make trades; after that, purchases come with a $10 commission.) Some motifs for investment include water shortage, high-yield dividends, and smart grid. The social responsibly motif does not hold businesses involved in alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons, or pornography. Some of its largest holdings include Microsoft, Alphabet (formerly Google), and Coca-Cola. Investors can also create their own motif of up to 30 stocks.
This investment firm lets clients choose how much to pay in fees, even if it is zero percent of the assets managed. Aspiration also donates 10 percent of its earnings to charities around the country. It currently offers two funds to investors, each with a $500 minimum investment: The Flagship Fund seeks long-term growth with limited volatility, while the Redwood Fund is made up of companies with environmental, workplace, and governance practices that Aspiration considers sustainable.
This crowdfunding platform lets people invest directly in commercial real estate in their communities. Most of the investments are available only to accredited investors, and the minimum investment is often $5,000. But Fundrise also offers an eREIT, an investment in a portfolio of commercial real estate properties, which has a minimum investment of $1,000 and is open to all U.S. residents. The one stipulation is that the investment must not make up more than 10 percent of the person's gross annual income or net worth.