Funds Investing 201

Try this second…

There’s a simple way to implement an approach that adds another layer to the 101 reinvestment method we talked about here. You’ll still be taking your money out of the big fossil fuel companies – but you’ll also be screening out investments in smaller companies that are part of the fossil fuel business ecosystem. This approach uses a wider set of criteria and that does reduce the number of fund options that you will have. But you will still have many, many choices. And you can still have a set of investments that is highly diversified.

Start by heading over the Fossil Free Funds website. This is a very easy way to find the type of investment funds you’re looking for. The site explains how they screen funds using a wider set of criteria that might appeal to you. (And, by the way, they are not trying to sell you anything. The site is run by the non-profit As You Sow.)

Once you begin trying it out by typing in ticker symbols (or by checking out some of their fund lists), you find some very interesting and useful information:

  • Type in a fund ticker symbol into a window on the website and you’ll get an easy -to-understand rating for that fund,
  • You can get a rating on almost ANY mutual fund or ETF.
  • One very important idea. There are many, many funds that will not be invested in fossil fuel companies because of the way the fund was set-up. A mutual fund or ETF is always set up with a particular focus and the fund’s managers have to adhere to that focus. That’s one of the key things that differentiates funds. That’s also one key reason that drives the ratings here.
  • A second important idea: if your money is invested in a retirement plan at work, you may have a limited choice of investment funds you can out money into. Nevertheless, there’s a very good chance that several of the your options have little or no fossil fuel investments in them. To find out, just put the ticker symbol for each fund into the website window and get a rating.
  • All in all, It couldn’t be easier to find investments that are aligned with the divestment idea.