Keeping updated on key financial, economic, and business trends and information is key for any individual. Finding good sites that keep you informed while providing valuable information are equally important. Three sites are explored that provide a good foundation with two that offer a socially responsible investment angle. Beyond these three sites, two more are added as very honorable mentions. To be informed, a good blend of news and insights is essential to be smart leaders.
Marketplace: The Foundation
Marketplace is a part of American Public Media, which supports a network of public radio stations and creates content for distribution. Marketplace’s mission is to raise the economic intelligence of the country, and they do it through their website, radio shows, and podcast.
Marketplace delivers a foundational perspective on what is happening in the economy and why it may be happening. Being current on business and the economic news and insights is vital. In today’s mobile media world, Marketplace delivers their weekday program as a podcast and have added a podcast entitled “Make Me Smart.” While the half-hour Marketplace show provides the current business and economic news, “Make Me Smart” delivers insights on a relevant business or societal issue.
On their website, individuals can read current topics and issues. Marketplace delivers on keeping readers and listeners informed while providing current insights to make more intelligent personal finance and business issue decisions.
Key places to follow Marketplace include:
- Website: https://www.marketplace.org
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marketplace
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marketplaceapm
- Weekdays on most National Public Radio stations
- Weekdays on most podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other distribution platforms
Key places to follow Make Me Smart include:
- Website: https://www.marketplace.org/topics/make-me-smart
- Every Tuesday on most podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other distribution platforms
Marketplace offers extensive content in terms most individuals can understand. Also, Marketplace offers accessible and researched information, along with a good sense of humor and healthy skepticism at times.
Socially Responsible Investing
Many individuals try to implement a better balance between general investing and investing with a social responsibility. Socially responsible investing combines financial considerations with the social values of an individual (Hill, Ainscough, Shank, & Manullang, 2006). The trend of socially responsible investing has grown to be one of every eight dollars (Hill, et al., 2006). Just as having a good foundation in business and economic insights are important, a solid social responsibility underpinning in companies, mutual funds, and other related issues is equally essential.
Sustainability is a growing interest area for many investors and individuals. Trying to invest with sustainability and impact in mind can be challenging, and GreenMoney can help. GreenMoney started in 1992, focusing on sustainable businesses and impact investing with a stated mission to “influence capital”. The GreenMoney site is organized around the topics of impact investing, sustainable business, energy and climate, and food and farming. Additionally, they offer a global calendar that lists events focused on socially responsible investing.
Although GreenMoney does not make company recommendations, they offer perspective and insights on the topics relevant to individuals who want to invest in a socially responsible way. They also provide a monthly newsletter that is informative and keeps individual updated without overdoing it. Each newsletter focuses on a topic such as agriculture, water, or Millennials.
Key places to follow GreenMoney include:
- Website: https://greenmoneyjournal.com
- Monthly newsletter: Subscribe through https://greenmoneyjournal.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CliffGMJ – Founder of GreenMoney
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cliff.feigenbaum
While GreenMoney offers solid insights, it is not an investment advice site. GreenMoney offers education on socially responsible investing through the content written and events highlighted. While providing a base knowledge on socially responsible investing, understanding companies to invest in who meet certain criteria will need to be found through other means.
Swell is an investment platform for individuals pursuing impact and socially responsible investing. It launched in 2017 with the help of Pacific Life. Swell offers a set of portfolios that socially interested investors can select from, and they include green tech, renewable energy, clean water, zero waste, healthy living, and disease eradication (Thorpe, 2017). Besides the impact investing platform, Swell supports a blog focused on this investment area.
What Swell provides through their blog is a mix of personal perspectives and insights into different areas of sustainability and impact investment areas. The target seems to be geared toward Millennials in the way it is written and presented. Millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1996 (Dimock, 2018). The reason for this target is that 50 percent of Millennials want to invest in a cause rather than a broad market (Chhabra, 2015).
The value of the Swell content is the personalization of it, meaning readers can relate to the experiences while gaining insights into how to invest in a responsible way. Additionally, given the overall interest in socially responsible investing, their blog can be a go-to place to keep updated on what is happening in this area. While some finance and investment sites may offer an article or two on the topic, Swell delivers this content solely.
Key places to follow Swell include:
- Website: https://hub.swellinvesting.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/swellinvesting
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/swellinvesting
The potential risk of Swell is that the content is produced and delivered by a company built to attract investors to use their platform. However, in their blog, they do not seem to recommend any specific companies or portfolios. No matter the site, it is always good to understand their funding model as that can drive the type of insights they offer. In Swell’s case, they seem to follow their intent of being a good corporate citizen.
Be Informed: Very Honorable Mentions
SmartBrief provides an excellent service through their daily business and leadership emails. One of the unique elements about SmartBrief is that they offer news by segments such as healthcare, life sciences & technology, food & beverage, leadership, and more. You can tailor your interests and receive tailored news updates.
Key places to follow SmartBrief include:
- Website: http://smartbrief.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SmartBrief
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/smartbrief/
Activate World: Activators Newsheet
Another honorable mention is a new weekly newsletter, and it is one that I am involved in. Activators™ Newsheet is delivered every Thursday. Each weekly edition showcases three to four current stories in which CEOs and business leaders are engaging in issues intersecting business and society. The newsletter objective: Provide you a start in stirring a lunch or breakroom conversation on important business, economics, ethical, and social challenges.
Key places to follow Activate World include:
- Website: https://activateworld.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoActivateWorld
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/activate-world/
Being financially, economically, and socially aware are sound citizenship elements to embrace. Being a well-rounded corporate and community citizen requires keeping current and being relevant.
What business and societal newsletters do you find valuable?
Chhabra, E. (2015, July 01). Impact investing for the Millennial: You, too, can have an investment portfolio. Retrieved July 5, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2015/06/30/impacting-investing-for-the-millennial-you-too-can-have-an-investment-portfolio/#481b7d21f12f
Dimock, M. (2018, March 01). Defining generations: Where Millennials end and post-Millennials begin. Retrieved July 5, 2018, from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/01/defining-generations-where-millennials-end-and-post-millennials-begin/
Hill, R. P., Ainscough, T., Shank, T., & Manullang, D. (2006). Corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investing: A global perspective. Journal of Business Ethics,70(2), 165-174. doi:10.1007/s10551-006-9103-8
Thorpe, D. (2017, October 31). How to start impact investing with just $50 and five minutes. Retrieved July 5, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2017/10/17/how-to-start-impact-investing-with-just-50-and-five-minutes/#515852ef444a
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