Ever since JP Morgan Chase started talking about Impact Investing as a “new” asset class in 2010, it’s been a topic of discussion amongst elite investors in the know.
Impact investing is described in Investopedia as an investment that “actively seeks to make a positive impact.” Today, many of us are invested in mutual funds and we’re taught to look for the most money we can make on our investments in the shortest period of time, regardless of what we’re actually investing in. The focus here is on dollar impact, not social impact.
I can remember way back when my grandfather talked to me about investing. He was born at the beginning of the 20th century and believed in investing in companies that did things he liked. He was an engineer and he relished having shares in 3M which was, at the time, probably the most innovative company going! I miss his excitement about the places he invested. And even though 3M may not fit in today’s standards of social or environmental impact investing, it sure was making an impact on innovation back then, and this was an impact that my grandfather admired and sought out with his investment.
I think its time for all investors to think of themselves as “impact investors,” because we actually are! Everything we do with our money makes an impact on our world. We can try to make money for the sake of making money or we can try to make money for the sake of making change and having a positive impact on the world. This brings more love and positive intention to a financial system that is sorely lacking in these areas.
I was reflecting on the opportunity that community investors have with Community Sourced Capital to make an impact on the financial well-being of their own communities. Squareholders are the ultimate impact investors because they can feel the impact of their dollars in their own neighborhoods by seeing and experiencing what it is that their money does for them. They can have a piece of pizza at the new place they helped fund — they can buy some juice at the farmers market, made with the juicer they helped fund. Squareholders are actively making a positive impact in their world by choosing change over dollars with a portion of their money. This is a powerful thing, and we’re excited to keep pushing for this movement to grow in any way we can!