Coin may sound like something from the cryptocurrency arena, but it’s actually the new name of a “conscious investing” platform (hence the name), a startup from John Hancock.
The platform, accessible from all devices, allows investors to put money into eight different causes: gender equality, climate action, better health, clean water, waste reduction, quality work, modern cities and shared prosperity. With an account as small as $50, an investor can select one or multiple causes. As Megan Schleck, CEO and co-founder of Coin, says in a blog post, the idea of the platform is driven by “three values: to be inclusive to everyone, impact-driven in our investments, and transparent in our recommendations.”
The transparency of the investments is aided by buying not ETFs or mutual funds, but individual stocks that are vetted by the firm. For example, in the “climate action” impact area, the firm targets United Nations Global Goal 7 and 13, which aim to “ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all” as well as “combat climate change and its impact.”
In this particular area, Coin reviews companies on strength of climate goals and commitment to renewable energy, reduction of greenhouse gases across all operations and percent of revenue from clean and renewable energy products and services. It excludes any companies with “severe negative incidents or controversies.”
A sampling of investable companies in this area include Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Prologis, Best Buy and Nextera Energy.
Investors can go online to invest in the platform with a customized dashboard. They then can select up to three areas of most importance to them impact-wise, and Coin builds a portfolio. Once the choices are selected, it provides a recommended time period (five years) to be invested (although they can divest at anytime without penalty) and an online sign up form.
The annual fee is .75% of the balance of the account, and there are no trading fees, according to the company.
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