Investments With a Social Impact

Want to put your money to good work? Socially conscious investors have a variety of new investment products to choose from.

Money and plant with hand
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Can your portfolio make the world a better place? Major Wall Street firms as well as much smaller organizations are rolling out new investments designed to have a positive social or environmental impact. These "impact investments" range from bonds that help fund community projects in specific cities to broad stock funds holding companies that get top marks for corporate and social responsibility.

Fund manager BlackRock, for example, last year launched the Impact US Equity Fund, which holds companies scoring high on the firm's own health, environment and corporate citizenship metrics. And nonprofit financial services firm ImpactAssets recently launched "impact investment notes" focused on sustainable farming and microfinance.

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Eleanor Laise
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Laise covers retirement issues ranging from income investing and pension plans to long-term care and estate planning. She joined Kiplinger in 2011 from the Wall Street Journal, where as a staff reporter she covered mutual funds, retirement plans and other personal finance topics. Laise was previously a senior writer at SmartMoney magazine. She started her journalism career at Bloomberg Personal Finance magazine and holds a BA in English from Columbia University.