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How To Get Started With Sustainable Investing

How I started to try to build wealth and a better world
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How do you make money and make a difference?

I grappled with this question for years.

I spent my work days trying to help clients and shareholders build wealth, while I spent my free time volunteering to support foster kids and underserved people in my community. I traveled to Honduras and Borneo to help build medical clinics that are now important community resources. This picture was taken in Siquatepeque, Honduras, where I helped build a health clinic with Siempre Unidos.

My two passions, helping people reach their investment goals and making the world a better place, seemed to be separate. But I eventually realized that they didn’t have to be.

About 20 years ago, I started investing on behalf of my clients in what were then called socially responsible funds. These funds were designed to help investors build long-term wealth while also making a positive impact on the world. My clients got a unique sense of satisfaction from owning these funds, and I wanted to share this experience with more investors.

My team and I spent years developing an effective strategy that could capitalize on the rapidly expanding universe of sustainable funds and, one year ago, we introduced the FundX Sustainable Impact Fund (SRIFX), a fund designed to help you build wealth and a better world.

3 ways SRIFX seeks to help you make the most of sustainable investing:

1. Pairs performance & sustainability

When you’re new to sustainable investing, you might focus primarily on the issues that you’d like to support. But that’s not all you’ll need to consider: your investments need to grow if you hope to retire comfortably and meet your goals, so you’ll also want to consider a fund’s performance.

With SRIFX, we do this for you. First, we screen funds for performance, and then we screen them on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. This way, you’ll be invested in funds with strong recent returns and strong ESG ratings.

2. Gives you access to more funds

If you only look at funds with ‘socially responsible’ or ‘ESG’ in their names, you could be missing out. There are many funds that invest in a sustainable way, but don’t market themselves as sustainable funds.

In the Sustainable Impact Fund, we use ESG ratings to uncover these funds. SRIFX typically owns a mix of funds that you’d recognize as sustainable or ESG funds (Brown Advisory Sustainable Growth Fund, for example) as well as funds that you may not know had good ESG scores (such as iShares MSCI US Momentum ETF).

3. Keeps an eye on risk

Funds that invest in specific industries like wind or solar energy might seem like a direct way to support the issues that matter to you. But concentrated funds like these can be very volatile. They can swing dramatically in just a matter of weeks, and that makes it challenging for most investors to stay invested in these funds long term.

One Year of SRIFX

The Sustainable Impact Fund performed admirably in its first year, outpacing both U.S. and global stock indexes. 

SRIFX outpaced the S&P 500 & MSCI ACWI for the year ending 3/31/18

How to Invest in SRIFX

You can invest directly for as little as $1,000. Call 1-866-455-3863 to open an account or click here to open an account online.

You can also find SRIFX at most major brokers, usually with no transaction fee, including Charles Schwab and Fidelity.

If you have a substantial investment in the fund, there may be other services available to you that give you access to not just the fund but also the managers who manage it. Call us at 1-800-763-8639 and ask to speak with an advisor to learn more.

Disclosures: 

Performance data quoted represents past performance; past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the fund may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. SRIFX gross expense ratio is 2.70%. The net expense ratio (which includes a fee waiver) is 1.80%. Performance data quoted is current to the most recent quarter end; performance current to the most recent month end may be obtained by calling 866-455-3863 or clicking here. Returns shown are cumulative, unless otherwise noted. The fund has contractually agreed to waive fees until January 31, 2019.

Publication Date: Upgrader Quarterly: Spring 2018

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About FundX

FundX Investment Group pioneered using noload mutual funds to manage client accounts in 1969. Today, the firm uses its evidence-based investment process to manage equity, sustainable and fixed income portfolios of funds for individuals, institutions and mutual funds.

 

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