Blog, Investing

Investing when you hate capitalism. Is it possible?

Investing = Decimation, right?

Well, most of the time. The way a lot of people who dgaf do it, sure. Just like everything else. However, let’s walk through two things:

  1. You can also invest in not (or-less) destructive ways and,
  2. I’d like to bring up inflation as a reason for you not to just put cash under your boxspring and walk away.

You are not the only queer or punk or weirdo or artist or human with a soul who wants to someday stop working and not actively support razing the rainforest and labor exploitation in the global south. What are your options? Let’s explore.

HOW DO I INVEST IN SOMETHING THAT IS IN LINE WITH MY VALUES?

If you want to invest in the market, start by looking into mutual funds that deal in Socially Responsible Investing [SRI].

For example:

  • Green Century, GCBLX and GCEQX
  • iShares MSCI USA ESG Select Index (KLD)
  • Calvert Equity Fund (CSIEX)
  • TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity Fund (TICRX),
  • Parnassus Fund (PARNX)
  • Domini fund, (DIEQX) – US / (DOMIX) – Int’l

You’ll want to do your homework on anything you buy to see exactly what companies’ stocks these funds are made up of because just like “natural” labels on food, some of these funds invest in shady cover-up companies like DOW chemicals green sub-corporation. This site has a TON of info and compares SRI options.

Note that SRI funds tend to have higher fees because generally they are managed by humans, not computers [like a lower-cost ETF]. Computers don’t yet have programs not designed to maximize exploitation (commenter — prove me wrong!)

The Numbers

I did a little research on three of these fund companies, looking into: the 10-year return (the average amount you’ll earn), the fees (what you pay them), the minimums to open each, PLUS what they invest in and by whom. Click through to examine the prospectuses each different funds’ reporting.

DOMINI SOCIAL INVESTMENTS

I kept hearing about the Domini fund, which Amy Domini helped develop through an ETF.

Funds return & cost link:
DSEFX – 5.59% 10-year average return, 1.16% fees
DOMIX – 4.03% 5-year average return, 1.6% fees
DSBFX – 3.62%,10-year average return, 0.95% fees

$2500 minimum to open, $1500 w automatic investment
$1500 for IRAs and education accounts

CALVERT EQUITY FUND

Similarly, the Calvert Equity Fund has a good name in the SRI world.

Fund return and cost link:
CSIEX – 6.24%10-year average return, 1.07% fees

Your minimum buy-in is $2000. It’s run by …. five dudes with one photo of a white dude up top. This fund owns CVC & Coke at 4.5% each so not super “responsible” edge-pushing. Moving on…

GREEN CENTURY

The point of these two funds is they invested only in entirely fossil fuel free stocks & the company itself is owned by a non-profit. This is a unique model. What do the numbers say?

Funds return and cost link:
(GCBLX) 4.95% 10-yr, 1.48%
(GCEQX) 6.34% 10-yr, 1.25%

The holdings aren’t cringeworthy, but aren’t entirely green coops either (which might not exist tbh). You need a $1000 minimum for IRA, regular, or education funds, otherwise for personal regular investing, it’s $2500 except $1,000 for “investors who wish to open a regular investment account with an Automatic Investment Plan of $100 or more per month.” A majority of the advisors are women yet again everyone is white/white-passing. I’m gonna call gay face on a few of these folks but don’t quote me on that even though it makes me like this fund more.

ONE POSSIBLE PLAN:
Save $100/mo until you have $1000 – buy into Green Century GCEQX then start putting that $100/mo into the fund. That’s my next move, actually.

Waaaittt! How do I…?? If you want help getting your budget together, making an action plan that has space for investing, and enthusiastic encouragement.

LEGALESE: The preceding should not be deemed an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the stocks or bonds of any of the companies noted, or a recommendation concerning the merits of any of these companies as an investment. All investments are NOT insured and are subject to market risks, including interest rate and credit risks. You may lose money.