Does investing in impact mean I should expect lower returns?

Not at all! This is the reason why we built Swell: You can make an impact without sacrificing returns. The oldest US stock index using environmental and social considerations has clearly shown that ESG can actually create added value. In fact, since its birth in 1990, the Domini Social Index (DSI)—now known as the MSCI KLD Social 400 Index—has outperformed both the S&P 500 and the Russell 3000 on an actual and risk-adjusted basis for 25 years. We’ve dispelled the myths of investing for impact here.



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Eccles, Robert and Serfeim, George. “The Performance Frontier: Innovating for a Sustainable Strategy.” Harvard Business Review. May 2013.

Edmans, Alex. "Does the stock market fully value intangibles? Employee satisfaction and equity prices." Journal of Financial Economics. December 2010.

Gunnar Friede, Timo Busch & Alexander Bassen (2015) “ESG and financial performance: aggregated evidence from more than 2000 empirical studies.” Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, 5:4, 210-233 

Gordon Clark, Andreas Feiner & Michael Viehs."From the stockholder to the stakeholder: How Sustainability Can Drive Financial Outperformance." University of Oxford. March 2015. 

Mozaffar Khan, George Serafeim & Aaron Yoon (2016) "Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence of Materiality." The Accounting Review, 9, 1697-1724

“Sustainable Reality: Understanding the Performance of Sustainable Investment Strategies.” Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. March 2015. 

“Socially Responsible Investing: Can you do Well by Doing Good?” Charles Schwab. November 10, 2016.

"Responsible Investing: Delivering Competitive Performance" TIAA Global Asset Management. April, 2016.


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