Responsible investing made easy

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1 Review5.0/5
This makes me so happy. I always believed that most people WANT to make the right choices. It's just often so hard (try finding a green computer). The alternative have often been legislation, but in the long run (I believe) this removes responsibility, and makes people unused to making the right choices. Therefore, To provide tools facilitating for people to make their own good decisions is, for me, the most beautiful thing in the world. And now you do it in perhaps most important area in the world. Hats off.
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Hi Everyone! We're a YCombinator-backed startup offering the world's first Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) platform for retail investors. We use proprietary technology to make ethical investing easy, personalized, and social. Now anyone can be an activist investor, while always holding a diversified passive portfolio. Divest-invest with a swipe, vote proxies, participate in mass campaigns, measure your impact, and claim the power that is rightfully yours in public markets. The company was founded by a unique set of friends. Conor led tech teams for nearly a decade at the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. That's where he met Phil, who left early to co-found a consumer tech unicorn, Deliveroo. And Conor and I have been good friends for 15 years, while I built my career in sustainable finance, including the last 6 years at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Together, our aim is to use technology to democratize capital.
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Is this only available in the US?
@anthony_stylianou Yes, unfortunately for now you need a US address and SSN, but we hope to support international clients by middle of next year.
@cmmurray That is good to hear! What approaches have you been taking to grow your customer base? I can imagine the education piece being a difficult to get across
@anthony_stylianou There are actually quite a lot of people that have been waiting for something like OpenInvest to exist - the ability for individuals to customize their investments according to their values has been a long time coming! However, as you say there are two education pieces that we'd like to get across: 1) You don't have to sacrifice returns to invest responsibly and 2) doing so can be a very effective tool for change. Thankfully there are many great people and organizations helping us on these fronts.
@cmmurray @anthony_stylianou Very interested and waiting for this in Canada!
Love the idea! how are you balancing the stock's weights on the portfolios? robo-advisor for sustainable investments?
@pmigueli Yep, that's the magic behind the scenes. Our algos integrate all your social and environmental preferences while keeping your portfolio well-balanced and diversified. We have some lower level details on our FAQ if you're interested.
Is there a reason why the fee is 0.5 vs 0.25 that a lot of other robo advisors offer? Also how does this compare to Aspirations
@matthui Good question. There are a few reasons / things to consider: Other robo-advisors don't offer this level of customization, they use ETFs. That means you can't include or exclude individual companies or tailor a portfolio to your values (e.g. exclude fossil fuels, support women in the workplace, no private prisons). We are higher than robo-advisors, but most of them are actually more like 0.4% when you consider the underlying ETF expense (that we don't have). So it's not that big of a difference. We have greater opportunities for tax-loss harvesting because we hold individual securities. This could easily result in a Tax Alpha that covers the difference in fees. We are significantly cheaper than other methods of responsible investing e.g. buying ESG funds which typically have >1% overhead, and offer no customization. Re: Aspriation. They have a pay as you want model but their funds have underlying expenses. I believe their flagship is 1.3% and Redwood fund is 0.5%. Also, because they use funds, they can't provide the individual customization that we do. Some more info on our pricing page - Thanks for the question, let me know if anything isn't clear!
@cmmurray @matthui I've built unified managed account platforms, your pricing structure is extremely reasonable. Aspiration's fee structure is completely misleading - "pay what you want" as long as we get 1.3%. Criminal. Your on boarding is excellent - (Facebook signup for an account. Gotta love the times) Screening is straightforward and with the right number of choices. Anti-Trump may be pandering but hopefully temporary. Congratulations on an awesome product and service. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!