Broker Check

Impact investing - a new buzzword for the greater good

September 12, 2018

The difference between socially responsible and impacting investing at first was lost on me. Socially responsible investments are often difficult to define as investors often have different values and beliefs so one investment that is off-limits for you might be perfectly acceptable to another. Typical examples are defense, oil companies, and those focusing on vices like alcohol and gambling. Impact investing focuses on lending to companies that lead to job creation, food security, higher wages, better healthcare, energy efficiency, and more ethical employment practices. Impacting investing is also different from micro-loans where very small amounts of money are given to people in emerging markets starting usually one person businesses. In impacting investing we are talking about loans in the multiple million dollar range to enterprises looking to grow or finance operations. Loan terms are typically 2-5 years with relatively high interest rates. I see impact investing is an opportunity where there is a demand for lending not satisfied in a post Dodd-Frank regulation world where large banks are not incentivized to make these loans.