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  • Writer's pictureNet Impact Philadelphia

a review of openinvest…an impact investing platform

BY   Casey hall

Hey Impact Investing enthusiasts! I’ve heard a lot of my friends say they would love to gear their personal investments towards causes they are passionate about via socially-driven funds or stocks, but no one is really sure where to start. So, I wanted to write briefly about my first experience delving in with my personal money……

I chose OpenInvest (https://www.openinvest.co/) because I learned about it from this article:​ https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/socially-responsible-investing-platforms. ​After signing up, in the opening questionnaires I chose:

  1. Support Refugees, Divest from Gun Violence, Invest in Disability Inclusion as the changes/causes that are important to me

  2. The goals I selected were two-fold; make an impact in the world and grow my wealth

  3. I maxed out my risk tolerance at 10 (7 is recommended or “auto”). This allocated 100% to stocks and 0% bonds

  4. $500 initial investment

The setup UI (mostly type-form) and payment processing was fairly intuitive, easy, and fast. But once I deposited money it automatically diversified it across more than 100 public company stocks without taking any more input from me other than the initial selection of broad causes mentioned above. It doesn’t provide any specific insight on how they selected the companies. And then after-the-fact it gives you the option to exclude certain companies but doesn’t provide any impact reporting or guidance on why you might decide that. The companies selected include the normal heavy-hitters; Netflix, Chipotle, Alphabet, Facebook, etc. So it would appear my portfolio is just going to go down in the short-term with the market because of coronavirus and then ultimately smooth out and grow with the market for the long term; which doesn’t give me anything more than what I already do with my retirement investments. …so not a great first experience! A customer rep from OpenInvest (good communication and availability from CS is important!) did say that new investors on the platform are catching a bug in the system so once that is fixed I will be able to see a “Your Impact” view. So I’ll update my thoughts on that aspect along with the financial performance down the line. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a different route to impact invest and I’ll write about it and post it to the blog. Happy to hear any feedback or suggestions, and also would love to hear about your own experiences.

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