You can invest your money into good causes and improve your finances at the same time? Is this true?
Absolutely. It’s called impact investing.
Impact investing is a form of ethical investing that has two core principles:
- To make a return on investment over time
- By only investing in businesses that plan to have a significantly positive impact on people and the planet
Impact investing is growing in popularity, particularly with the young investors. Dedicated impact funds broke through the $1 trillion barrier last year.
One UK company that aims to make impact investing available to everyone is tickr.
Like all good companies, tickr have taken a good idea and made it simple, sustainable and accessible. Practising what they preach, tickr are also a Certified B Corp – a for-profit business whose co-goal is to be a force for good.
Just to be clear, this article is not a sponsored post by tickr. I am a signed up user of the tickr app, so I can speak from experience. I also have to thank tickr, in particular Impact Specialist Charlie Macpherson, for providing detailed answers to the many questions I sent over as I was putting this article together. I am not a financial expert and all content in this post aims to be informational only for you the reader.
What is tickr?
Tickr is an impact investment platform built with the next generation of investors in mind.
It allows both eco conscious and socially responsible people to invest in good causes from an easy-to-use mobile app.
The difference between tickr and other investment platforms is that it is solely focussed on impact investing – a form of ethical investing that allows you to grow your money, stay strong to your values and have a world benefitting impact.
If you’re wondering about security credentials, tickr is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are FSCS protected up to a limit of £85,000.
Tickr have been through the rigorous process to become a Certified B Corp, meaning they reach the highest standards of environmental and social practices, as well as transparency and governance.
Becoming a B Corp is the pinnacle of a sustainable business. This should assure you that tickr really do have their heart (and business) in the right place.
Who founded tickr?
Tickr was founded by Matt Latham and Tom McGillycuddy in 2018.
Both Matt and Tom had been working in the investment world for a number of years and had become dismayed at how unnecessarily complex everything was.
This fuelled their mission to simplify investing and open it up to ordinary people, whilst at the same time becoming a force for positive change.
The result was the world’s first impact investment platform aimed at young, first time investors.
How does tickr work?
Tickr allows users to invest in companies that are intentionally benefitting the planet and society.
Depending on your situation, you can choose to have your account as a Stocks and Shares ISA (the most common), a General Investing Account (GIA) or a Junior ISA.
They have numerous investment portfolios bundled into three main themes to make it nice and simple for the investor to choose a category most important to them.
3 portfolio themes
The three portfolio themes that tickr groups up for you are:
- People & Planet
Under each of these themes sit a number of sub-themes, which have a different impact focus or alignment with one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
For example, the tickr app makes it possible to invest in education, healthcare and cybersecurity (which all sit under the People theme), renewable energy, clean water and sustainable food production (which sit under Planet) or a combination of them all through the People & Planet theme.
Choose your investment risk
Once you’ve decided your theme, you then have to decide how much risk you want to take: cautious, balanced or adventurous.
With investments there is always risk involved with your money. Theoretically, the more risk you take, the higher the potential reward, but also the higher the potential loss. So do weigh this up carefully. For my own personal investment pot with tickr, I’ve gone with the Planet theme and the adventurous risk.
Once you have the basics set up, you can decide to top up your pot with regular or one-off payments. Every week, tickr will take the money sitting in your pot and invest it across the different sub-themes from your category.
This gives you a broad exposure to many different companies, which not only helps you to have a positive impact all over the world, but diversifies your risk too.
Tickr work with various external partners and fund providers to try and give you the best investment solutions.
A subtle difference to note is that tickr isn’t a trading platform, it’s an investment platform geared up to create complete portfolios for long term investors.
This means you can’t invest into specific companies. However, in the interest of transparency, tickr do provide information to show which companies are in their portfolios.
Carbon offsetting option
Alongside impact investing, tickr also allow users to offset their carbon footprint with a monthly subscription plan.
With the subscription money, Tickr purchase credits to support accredited projects across the world working to reduce and remove carbon emissions. These can take various forms, including tree planting projects, renewable energy sources and supporting communities as they convert to more sustainable practices.
Tickr has three carbon offsetting options:
- Carbon Neutral – offset 100% of the average UK citizen’s monthly emissions
- Climate Positive – offset double the UK average emissions
- Climate Hero – offset four times the UK average emissions
Advantages of using tickr as a first time investor
Founders Tom and Matt saw impact investing as an exclusive club open only to big institutions and experienced investors. They wanted to address this and make impact investing simple and accessible to everyone.
Most of the people signed up to tickr have limited investing experience. Not a problem. The major advantage for first time investors is that tickr is built exactly with you in mind.
Education plays an important part of the investment mission for tickr. They have published a great document, ‘Investing without the BS’, they have a series of podcast episodes and also publish a short 3 minute impact investing update every week called Climate and Capital, available through their app.
A key part of their education is the important message that impact investment, and investing in general, is a long term approach. It is not a get rich quick scheme.
People who are able to save a little each month have the best chance of riding out the short term fluctuations and benefitting over the long term.
A big advantage for me as a beginner investor is that tickr offers a great, innovative service that is pro-actively aiming to have a positive difference on the world. I don’t have the time or inclination to research every potential company that could have a positive impact on the environment or society, this is where tickr’s themed portfolios come in really useful.
Many of the traditional investment firms, such as Blackrock, do have good ethical funds. But they also have some of the worst funds from an environmental and social perspective. Personally, this doesn’t sit right with me and I’d much rather work with a genuinely ethical company.
Tickr is a new, independent, growing company that want to be at the forefront of setting new industry standards. They’re streamlined and flexible which allows them to make good, quick decisions.
They also told me that they have big ambitions to expand and enhance their range of ethical services and products in the near future.
Is tickr the easiest way to get into impact investing?
I’m no expert, but tickr have a number of things going in their favour.
They’ve created the world’s first impact investment app that is purpose built for first time investors.
Having used the app, it’s user friendly, offers a good experience and does exactly what it sets out to achieve – help people to make impact investments from the palm of your hand.
That being said, you should always do your own homework and research first before you invest.
Certified B Corp impact investment app
I asked tickr how important it was for them to become a Certified B Corporation. Charlie Macpherson, Impact Specialist at tickr, told me:
“Gaining B Corp status was a huge milestone for us as it codifies why tickr exists and how we approach everything we do – from the funds we offer, to how we run the business. It’s a big commitment, and we love it.”
Becoming a Certified B Corp means tickr have sustainability at their core and meet the highest environmental and social standards – and will continue to do so in the future. They become certified with a score of 117 out of 200, which is a genuinely excellent score.
Being a young company, it’s impressive they’ve achieved this status so quickly. Businesses have to have at least a year’s worth of filing history to be eligible to apply to B Lab, the independent company who certify budding B Corps.
Tickr Impact Specialist Charlie continued:
“In fact, tickr was founded with becoming a B Corp in mind.
“Receiving B Corp status shows our customers that we are what we say we are, and that we’re true to our values. We often get feedback from customers that they love finding out we’re a B Corp and that it helped them develop trust in us when looking for a company to support them on their journey into investing.”
Wrap up on tickr
If you’re a beginner investor looking to get involved in impact investing, tickr is one of the best places to start.
Their investment platform gives you easy access to support the good causes of the world and companies of the future, whilst helping you to grow your own finances. As I’m not an expert, please do your own homework and remember that impact investment should be a long term tactic.
Many thanks to tickr and Charlie Macpherson for their cooperation and information, and for opening up the exciting world of impact investment for both you and me.
You can visit the tickr website here and download their app from the App Store and Google Play.