Individual stocks and stock funds often play a dominant role in many retirement funds and investment portfolios. Although information about the stock market is reported in the news on a regular basis, many of us do not fully understand this asset class, nor do we feel confident when making investment decisions. Invest for Better is here to help you build that confidence.
There are literally hundreds of values-aligned financial products within the stock market. The numbers are growing each year as even traditional investment firms, such as BlackRock and Vanguard, jump into the fray. Sustainable funds attracted $51.2 billion in 2020 — more than double the previous year.
The trend toward sustainable, or ESG, investing in the stock market appears here to stay.
Build your public equities expertise
You can invest in the stock market on your own by picking individual stocks or by investing in stock funds. You can also work with a financial advisor, who can suggest publicly available options or provide access to specialized products. If you are researching investments on your own, the web has abundant resources to help.
Although there are many websites you can use to conduct research, one of our personal favorites is Morningstar. This easy-to-use site is full of valuable information that offers deep insight into your investments. Spend just five minutes researching one of your stock investments on this site, and you will walk away with more knowledge than you thought possible.
Public Equities Basics
To help you to maximize the use of this site, our co-founder, Janine Firpo, created a series of three short videos. In Public Equities Basics Part 1, the first in the demo series, she shows where to find information about the type of fund you own, fees you are paying, minimum investment requirements, and other key information.
In Parts 2 and 3, Janine goes on to explain how to gain deeper insight into your investments. These videos explain how to track a fund’s performance over time, compare it to benchmarks, determine its level of risk, and view sustainability ratings. This knowledge builds your confidence and investing muscles. You can watch these, and other, tutorials on the Activate Your Money YouTube channel.
Make values-aligned investment choices in the stock market
Once you have visibility into what you own, you can watch the six-minute Finding Values-Aligned Stock Funds Demo to determine how closely aligned your investments are with your values and to find stock funds that might be a better fit for you. This video showcases the As You Sow Invest Your Values website.
Now that you have seen what is possible when you rethink your cash, fixed income, and public equities, you can explore private investing – the next resource.
Fortunately, there are a growing number of online tools to help you assess the environmental and social impacts of your stock market investments. Join the Invest for Better Community to learn more about what’s available, stay current on new tools, and share knowledge with other like-minded women.