Why COIN is All-In on Impact Investing

February 22, 2019

We wanted to create a product that would enable investors to be both confident and conscious.

It’s never been easier to invest. So easy, that you can now open an investment account in the time it takes to brew your morning coffee. Technology is rapidly improving access, allowing people to open investment accounts without requiring large sums of money. In the past, you often needed a minimum of $1,000 or $3,000 to get started. Now you can open accounts with as little as $50.

When I was a new investor, the simplicity and access of digital investing products was reassuring. I learned how to choose a product that was diversified, to ensure I was taking on the right amount of risk, and to be mindful of fees. As I became a more confident investor, I found myself thinking more about the companies I was investing in: Were any of them harming the environment? Were they earning money in a sustainable way? I was already mindful of how my spending decisions gave me the power to vote with my dollar, and I wanted to learn more about the impact my money was having on the world.

As I started to research, I quickly discovered that getting information and advice on how to invest in companies that aligned with my values was not as easy. Each of the investment products I purchased were often made up of hundreds of companies, and keeping up with each company quickly got overwhelming. My options felt limited. If I wanted to make sure my money was having the impact I wanted, I could either pick from limited off-the-shelf options that weren’t personalized to me and manage them myself, or hire a financial advisor who specialized in impact investing, which can be tough to find and often requires a minimum dollar amount to get started.

I wanted there to be a better way to invest, one that was simple, ensured my money was in good hands, while also keeping my values front and center. I wanted to become a conscious investor, not just a confident investor.

With this goal in mind, I teamed up with some like-minded colleagues to create a product that would enable investors to be both confident and conscious.

Why We Started COIN

Inspired by our own investing journeys, we set out to create COIN, which stands for COnscious INvesting. We wanted to combine the simplicity of an off-the-shelf investment product with a level of personalization that you would get from hiring a dedicated financial advisor. With COIN, we wanted you to be able to easily open an account, diversify across industries, manage your risk, and match your investments to your values. To do this, we will ask about your values, investing goals, and risk tolerance. Then, we will create unique recommendations tailored to your responses, creating a portfolio of stocks across multiple industries to help you invest your money into companies that do business in a way that aligns with the issues and causes you care about.

COIN’s Core Values

With everything we do, we’re driven by three values: to be inclusive to everyone, impact-driven in our investments, and transparent in our recommendations.

Conscious Investing is Inclusive

At COIN, we want everyone to have access to good financial advice, whether you’re just getting started with $50 or are an experienced investor. We believe everyone should have an opportunity to invest and that you can keep your personal values front and center when it comes to your money.

Conscious Investing is Impact-Driven

When we recommend a company, we’re confident they’re working hard to support sustainable practices that positively impact the causes you believe in. We look carefully at each company and the progress they’re making in an impact area before giving it a place in a portfolio. So, if you tell us you’re passionate about Climate Action, for example, we want to make sure the companies we recommend are earning revenue from sustainable sources or are working hard to reduce carbon emissions.

Conscious Investing is Transparent

So much of investing is kept in a black box and can be confusing. At COIN, we believe knowledge is power, that everyone deserves to understand how well their money is growing and how their money supports a particular cause. That’s why transparency is one of our core values.

Today, we have more information and better data about companies than ever before, especially when looking at how a company performs financially and how it makes an impact. As data continues to improve, we’ll share how companies continue to make a difference and achieve their stated impact goals.

We also believe that every one of our customers is unique. Instead of providing off-the-shelf investment options, we will create custom blends of causes for each person, tailoring an investment portfolio to match the causes that you believe in.

All investing makes an impact one way or the other. So why not become a conscious investor and make sure your impact is positive?

Megan Schleck is the CEO and co-founder of COIN. Follow us on Instagram @investwithcoin