Put your modest savings to work making a better world
Did you know that Calvert Foundation’s new Vested portal has lowered the entry point for its social investment opportunities to $20? Social impact investing is one of the best ways to get real bang for your buck, but until recently there were few options for people with modest savings to participate. Most impact investments are risky enough that they’re only available to accredited investors, though local and regional loan funds and Calvert’s Community Investment Notes made it safer by bundling many social-impact projects into a mutual-fund-like packages. Still, depending on the outfit, minimum investments were generally $1000 or more.
Vested opens these doors much wider, and offers beginning investors a wealth of choices: you pick the amount of your investment, and the term, as well as the type of social impact you’d like to have. Investments for 3 years or longer pay interest rates comparable to or higher than most savings accounts. Most exciting, you can choose from an array of targeted purposes, and with the low entry point, it’s easy to spread your money around a bit into several areas of interest. Familiar themes like women’s empowerment, microfinance, and small businesses are augmented by other intriguing areas of focus, including aging and education in the U.S. or fair trade overseas. For those who want their money to make a real difference in the world, this kind of direct investment in on-the-ground initiatives has far more impact than buying shares of even a do-gooder company. Your social returns are significant, while your money makes roughly what it would just sitting in your bank.