The Current

Stories that make you a more informed investor

Movers and Shakers

How one company saved California tons of water.

 Plus other news from companies in the Swell portfolio that are making an impact.


CLEAN WATER

California American Water 
launches award-winning communication campaign.

What’s the impact?
Reducing water use in California by 15 billion gallons.

During California’s recent drought, California American Water, (an American Water Works Co. subsidiary) helped their customers reduce water use by more than 15 billion gallons over an 18 month period. To do this, the company created a campaign using social media and smartphone apps. “Our customers around the state took the drought seriously and reduced their water use by 26 percent,” said Richard Svindland, President of California American Water. “The emergency is over and we should applaud that, but keep in mind that water efficiency is a California way of life.”  Read more

Movers and Shakers

A Beginner’s Guide to Impact Investing

 

Bad news: Global temperature is on the rise.
Good news: So is impact investing.

From air pollution to global warming, our planet is put under more duress with each passing day. Luckily, it’s not all up to the cosmic forces. There are ways we humans can get involved to slow down or even reverse these effects.

One way is by supporting industries and services that are focused on making a positive environmental impact. 

The Stack Up

How Does Swell Differ From a Robo Advisor?

For those looking to become impact investors, Swell's here to help you navigate the choppy waters.

There are many options for people who want to use their investments to support companies that have a positive impact on the world. Some investors work with financial advisors, others use robo advisors. Now, there is Swell - a new approach to impact investing.

Here’s how they stack up:

The Stack Up

Renewable Energy Jobs on the Rise

Jobs in energy aren't necessarily going away, they just look a little different. Here's how they stack up.

Let's be clear: coal mining jobs are not returning to the U.S. It does not matter that environmental regulations are being rolled back to support the flagging coal industry. While coal fired power generation is still a significant share of electricity generation in the U.S. (30.4%)1, net generation from coal sources declined by a whopping 53% between 2006-20162.

But that’s not to say that jobs in the energy sector have also declined. They just look a little different these days. The good news is that for the first time ever, solar has become the cheapest form of energy, and wind is cost competitive with fossil fuels. Which means jobs in renewable energy are on the rise. 

 Here’s how they stack up:

The Stack Up

Impact Investing vs. the Broader Market?

“Do I have to sacrifice returns to participate in Impact Investing?” The answer is, emphatically, no.

Movers and Shakers

10 Things to Know About Impact Investing

As impact investing moves into the mainstream, how do you know what’s relevant and important?  

At Swell, we believe impact investing should be accessible and clear to everyone. That’s why we’ve prepared a quick guide to help you navigate the world of impact investing.

Movers and Shakers

The Slow and Steady Rise of Impact Investing

We take a closer look at the ‘impact’ behind impact investing.

You can't practice impact investing withouth access to high-quality data from publically traded companies. Corporate carbon emissions, worker safety standards, toxic waste policies—investors need to see all this info and more, or they’re shooting in the dark.

Luckily, there’s a ton of information like this available these days. Which might lead you to assume that the recent surge of sustainable investing products came from a sudden, benevolent willingness of companies to collect and provide this data.

But no. There’s actually a long history of shareholder activism and protracted legal battles to thank for the trend. Decades ago, socially-responsible investors (and the non-governmental organizations [NGOs] they formed coalitions with) began fighting hard for increased corporate accountability and transparency. Slowly, steadily, their efforts have paid off.

Movers and Shakers

The Art and Science of Impact Investing

How can impact investing add value? To find out, we'll need to find key differentiators.

Research is the foundation of every investment strategy. Income statements, balance sheets, cash flows—are all valuable inputs that point to a company’s overall financial health. But for impact investors, these aren’t the only considerations. We think it’s important to understand a company’s impact on people and the planet, too. This is where the art of impact investing can be a key differentiator, and where we believe we add value at Swell.