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Investing for Financial Return and Social Impact: Can You Have it All?

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 2.56.18 PMIt often feels like a choice: Use investments to seek outsized returns or to drive positive social impact. New research from the Wharton School of Business looks at whether you can have the best of both worlds. It can be a difficult industry to understand, especially if you are new to it. This is why doing research into what the idea of investment entails would be the right first move to make. Many people forget about companies like Stocktrades, who can help you understand the method of successful investments and help you manage your investment portfolio. With the right advice, you might just be able to use investment for both social impact and returns. Those interested in trading online could consider looking into binary options trading for a different way to trade any financial market.

No question, social impact investing is on the rise. Knowledge@Wharton reports that “In the last 10 to 15 years, the number of social impact funds has grown from a handful to several hundred. Since 2012 alone, the number of funds globally has increased from at least 206 to 316. Assets have grown from at least $13 billion to $23 billion, according to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), an industry trade group.”

While one might infer a history of positive returns from that investment growth — on the assumption that investors wouldn’t want to put good money after bad — the main challenge has been a lack of clear data. Nonetheless, the popularity of investing is reflected in the wide range of avenues available to people looking to invest. Stash Invest is one option and you can find Stash Invest Reviews online.

Wharton reports: “Comprehensive answers to these questions are not yet available, according to the Wharton researchers. Considerable research has been done on the tradeoffs in what is known as socially responsible investing (SRI), a related form of investment. Although the various research efforts have reached different conclusions, several collations of that research have concluded that SRI investments achieve returns generally comparable to those of the overall market.”

impact-investingNow, however, new data. The Global Impact Investing Network just released a new study, “ImpactBase Snapshot: An Analysis of 300+ Impact Investing Funds.”The report offers “a comprehensive analysis of the more than 300 funds on ImpactBase. The report provides an unprecedented look at the current intermediary landscape, providing information on fund activity, track record, social and environmental metrics, target returns, fundraising, and more.”

The report takes a clear look at the role of intermediaries, and concluded: “Intermediaries are attractive to investors for various potential reasons. Given the nascent and frontier nature of many impact investing markets, intermediaries offer geographic and sectoral expertise that investors may lack. Further, given the relatively small size of some impact investments, investing via intermediaries offers many investors the opportunity to invest in larger amounts consistent with their mandates. In summary, the intermediary landscape is an increasingly important one in impact investing, and one worthy of further analysis.”

For the global audience, the Wharton Social Impact Initiative will run an excellent conversation on the latest market trends in impact investing in London on April 1. The strategic discussion “will delve in to industry- and sector-specific innovations and investments, and how individuals and organizations can implement and assess impact investing strategies in their own work.”