How to Start Impact Investing: A Guide for Millennials

“Money makes the world go round.”

These song lyrics from Cabaret make me think about what our money is doing — and remind me of how inspired I am by the Millennials I know and what I read about that generation, from their approach to careers, money, to the belief that they can change the world.

My younger friends include several social entrepreneurs: One runs a jewelry business bringing modern design to native American jewelry makers, another is building a social platform for sustainable life challenges, and another is bringing people together to share ideas and co-create.

What inspires me is their demand for money and values. These entrepreneurs seek personal fulfillment in their careers and global consciousness in purchases — and they invest in sustainable and impactful business models.

Not convinced that Millennials value impact investments? A few stats:

The results demonstrate that Millennials are keen on investing with purpose, but in some cases lack the financial know-how and minimums required to get involved. So what advice would I give Millennials who want to invest but aren’t sure where to start? A few first steps:

1.  Do use your money to make the world go round… the way you want.

2. Ask for what you want. Although investment minimums might be high, your drumbeat of demand will make financial firms take notice.

3. Find advisors who understand you, respect you, and will take you seriously — seek a partner, not a parent.

4. Ask your advisors what types of socially responsible or impact investments they offer.

5. Make that first impact investment — perhaps in a socially responsible mutual fund — even if it’s small and only a step toward the higher impact choices you might really want. This will serve as proof of demand to drive a bigger movement.

6. Ask for socially responsible funds and impact choices in your company 401(k).

Beth Stelluto is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.

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