Nov 16, 2023

New at Plenty

Values-based investing: doing well by doing good

Emily Luk

CPA, CFA - CEO and Cofounder of Plenty

Wondering if values-based investing may be the right approach for you? Read on to discover what it is and how Plenty can help.

TL;DR: Values-based investing

  1. Lets you invest or not invest in companies, industries, and other values that are important to you.

  2. Lets you do good and reap the same rewards without extra risk. 

  3. Lets you join the movement for change to build a future of responsible companies.

First, let’s clear the air (see what we did there?)

There are a lot of ways you can invest based on your values. You may have heard people talk about socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social & governance (ESG).

There’s also impact or sustainable investing. We call it values-based investing, but whatever you call it, it all comes down to one thing:

Do your investments align with the beliefs and causes that matter most to you?

If not, then you're not following the values-based investing approach.

How does values-based investing work? 

Say you want to support "Promote Access to Clean Water" in your Plenty portfolio. A small percentage (keeping you diversified) of your investments would go to companies that provide access to clean water and sanitation around the world.

Investing in those businesses literally gives them the money to grow their business (like developing more efficient or cheaper products) — and when they’re growing, your investment is growing too.

And the bonus? With that one simple decision, you’ve set off a ripple effect because for those who need it most. 

Does supporting sustainable companies mean giving up returns?

Glad you asked (and others have too) — if you’re worried about your portfolio doing worse because you tried to do good, we’ll stop you right there. You don’t need to lower your expectations when it comes to returns. ESG strategies generally perform as well as or better than investment strategies that don’t use ESG criteria.

But speaking of impact on returns, be careful of some socially responsible ETFs as they can sometimes charge 2-4x the fees for these (thinking consumers won't notice) and with questionable efficacy (more on that here).

So you want to do your part, but is it a lot of work?

Values-based investing is growing in popularity because technology is enabling investors to do more good.

We’ve made it super simple to invest in what you believe in. With Plenty, you can effortlessly fine tune your portfolio to invest or not invest in whatever’s important to you.

Values you can invest more into: Empower Women, Fight Climate Change, Safeguard Peace, Eliminate Inequality and more.

Industries you can exclude: For Profit Prisons, Predatory Loans, Gambling, Tobacco, Animal-Testing, and more.

When you invest in companies that are aligned to your values, you’re not only creating the positive change and progress you want to see in the world, but also in your long-term wealth.

Values-based investing with Plenty

Values-based investing is available in our premium portfolios (for the same annual fee of 0.20% APY per year). Our premium portfolios apply a portfolio strategy called direct indexing.

In direct indexing, instead of investing in ETFs (ie. a basket of stocks that someone preselects what's in it), we invest in individual stocks to copy the index / ETF. Since you directly hold individual stocks, that gives us the finegrain strategy to include or exclude stocks that align to your values.

There are also important tax-loss harvesting benefits for eligible tax payers, more on that here.

About Us

We are an investment platform designed specifically for couples to build wealth, together. We go beyond budgeting, making it simple to invest, save and grow towards your future goals by unlocking access to the financial strategies of the wealthy. Ready to get started? Sign up for your free trial today.

If you're a big reader like we are, you might want to learn more! Here are a few more references we like:

Five ways that ESG creates value (
ESG Outlook 2022: The future of ESG investing | J.P. Morgan Asset Management
A Primer on ESG & Impact Investing - Junxion

Market and economic views are subject to change without notice and may be untimely when presented here. Do not infer or assume that any securities, sectors or markets described in this article were or will be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. There is a possibility of loss. Historical or hypothetical performance results are presented for illustrative purposes only. Please see general disclosures here.


Emily Luk

CPA, CFA - CEO and Cofounder of Plenty

Emily is the ceo and cofounder of Plenty. Started by a husband and wife team, Plenty is a wealth platform built for modern couples to invest and plan towards their future, together. Previously, she was VP of Strategy and Operations at Even (acquired by Walmart/One) and a founding team member of Stripe's Growth and Finance & Strategy teams. She began her career as a VC, and was one of the youngest nationally to complete her CPA, CA and CFA designations.

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