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How To Start Sustainable Investing: The Key Questions

Avatar Clim8 Team

02 September 2020 Investment Academy

Investing in stocks & shares, bonds, funds and commodities can be seen as a smart way to grow your money over time. It can help you achieve your personal goals and give you the financial freedom to tick off lifelong dreams.

In this article we’ll answer the key questions that many people ask before they start investing.

What can I invest in?

There is a wide range of available investments, from businesses to property, cash, commodities and even cryptocurrencies, you can invest in many things. In many cases it is possible to invest directly (i.e. own the physical asset) as well as indirectly (e.g. own shares of a physical asset).

There are a number of ways to invest indirectly too. Here are two of the most common indirect investment types:

  • Stocks & shares

You can buy shares in businesses and markets in the hope that their value will increase over time, meaning your investment is worth more than the amount you originally invested.

  • Funds

You can also invest in a fund (a collective investment vehicle which “pools” assets), which is made up of a number of assets, whether stocks & shares, property or bonds. This will be looked after by a professional fund manager, who will invest your money usually in one of two ways:

– An ‘active’ fund. This aims to outperform the market by actively selecting stocks and shares and/or other assets.

– A ‘passive’ fund. This kind of fund simply tracks an index and could even be structured as an Exchange Traded Fund (or “ETF” for short).

How long should I invest for?

Investing is a personal journey, so the length of time you hold your investment should depend on your own circumstances and what you’re looking to achieve. As a general rule, investments in stocks and shares should be seen as a medium to long term investment. These investments are generally not appropriate to be held over the short term due to the fluctuations in value that can be experienced.

Investing your money for longer periods of time also means your investment may benefit from the compounding effect, which is in short when your investment increases due to interest being earned on accumulated interest. Compounding was described by none other than Albert Einstein and more recently, the legendary investor Warren Buffett as the “8th wonder of the world”.

How much should I invest?

You should only invest from your savings, always making sure that you have enough to fall back on – at least three months of living expenses is generally considered the general rule of thumb. However, you should also consider your assets to debt ratio. Typically, it is best to repay debt before making investments as the interest on debt can be higher than the returns that can be earned by investments.

How much risk should I take?

Every investment carries an element of risk. There are no guarantees and the value of your investment can increase or decrease over time. Investments are not like savings accounts, but at the same time, they are not subject to the same risks of the rate of inflation/cost of living eroding the real value of your money that can occur by simply leaving your money in cash.

Think about risk on a spectrum, from low, to medium, to high. Investments with a lower level of risk typically offer less in returns annually. However they expose investors to a lower level of potential loss than higher risk investments. Higher risk investments often generate higher returns but carry with them higher risk of loss of your initial capital. This is generally viewed as the risk/reward pay off.

Where should I invest my money?

Think carefully about the types of companies and industries that you want to support. Do you want them to have a social conscience? Do you care if they are a force for positive change in the world? And from an economic perspective, are these businesses likely to grow in coming years or die out as industries focus on becoming sustainable? You should also consider diversification (i.e. different assets, geographies, etc) when considering where to invest your money.

One aspect to think about is that with society more aware of its responsibilities than ever, and the impact of environmental, social and governance issues on the environment, long term sustainable investing is becoming an increasingly important consideration.

What is the investing process?

You can breeze through the onboarding process with the Clim8 app in just a couple of minutes, choosing your risk profile and how much you want to invest. Lots of people start investing by making use of some or all of their £20,000 stocks & shares ISA allowance. This allowance currently means you won’t pay tax on any profits earned from investments.

Before making your first investment, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of these questions, which we hope will put you in a strong position to start thinking about investing with confidence.

Clim8 Invest is a simple way to invest in a sustainable portfolio of carefully selected companies already making a positive impact on climate change.

Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Investing in private equity involves a high degree of risk. Please invest aware. Please note this information is for illustrative purposes only and it must not be construed as investment advice.

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£4.5M raised: what investors are saying about Clim8

Avatar Clim8 Team

23 December 2020 Inside Clim8

Clim8’s second crowdfunding campaign has raised over £2,500,000 from more than 1,900 investors across 55 countries. We have now raised almost £5M in funding to build and launch the 1st digital platform focused on sustainable investing.

7percent Ventures, a £30 million venture capital fund and our first institutional investor backed by the British Business Bank, has followed through their initial investment from the first round, to invest in this second round too. 

As an early stage investor in tech across the UK, Europe and the US, 7percent Ventures select technology which is transformative and solves a problem for a big market. 

Their continued commitment demonstrates how much they trust in what we’re building together. As we start onboarding the first beta users into our app

We are proud to have brought together such a community of investors committed to fight climate change. Here is what some of them have been saying about Clim8 during this second crowdfunding campaign.

Thanks to everyone who has invested in Clim8, as we take yet another step forward in investing in a more sustainable future.

Duncan Grierson, Founder and CEO

Capital at risk


Vivian Bertseka – Part of Clim8’s investment committee and former director at Generation Investment Management, a $25 billion sustainability fund co-founded by Al Gore.

“I’ve been working in the field of climate change for almost a decade now and I appreciate how Clim8 has found a focus for those who are as passionate about the planet. I think there’s very few companies that can have as much impact as this one”


Marcus Exall – Board Director at Monese

“Making it easier for people to invest in companies that support sustainable planet will make life better for everybody in the future. I’m challenged all the time by my kids, who are teenagers, saying: ‘This is important to us. What are you doing?'”. And the fact that I see that belief and passion in the team, and the reasons why they’re all here, I find that very inspiring” 


Andrew Griffiths – Director of Digital & Community at The Planet Mark

“This is the decade for change. We either make a change now or we don’t. And solutions like Clim8 are very much needed because money is a big part of the equation”


Mike Barry – Former Head of Sustainability at M&S 

“Clim8 makes an impact by linking two things. Thousands of individuals that care passionately about a better future and hundreds of good business ideas that are looking for investments so they can go to scale and make the low carbon difference that we need”


Adrienne Everett – Enterprise Account at LinkedIn, Ex Morgan Stanley 

“What I like the most about Clim8 is that it’s the perfect blend of strong investment experience from the leadership team matched with passion for sustainability”.


Carolina Connor – Ex Business Development Director at Q Partners

“Sustainability can be quite daunting for people, and the fact that you have sectors in the industry where you can choose to invest in clean manner through Clim8 is a key factor”

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£1,500,000 raised in Clim8’s crowdfunding campaign: here’s what’s next

Avatar Clim8 Team

22 May 2020 Inside Clim8

Clim8’s first crowdfunding campaign has officially ended. It’s been a busy month for our team, but this was an important step of the journey of our company towards building a more sustainable future. 

We are thrilled by the response we received!

We raised £1,500,000.  Some 1,420 investors from 55 different countries decided to back our mission, together with the venture capital fund 7percent Ventures. 

This exciting result also suggests that many people believe that we need to build a better and more resilient world.

We continue to build the Clim8 app which will be released this summer. If you haven’t already, you can still register for exclusive access at launch.
We want our community to feel part of this journey and we welcome your knowledge and enthusiasm. We have enjoyed speaking with many of you, hearing your suggestions on what needs to be improved in the investment space.

And finally, I would like to share some thoughts from our senior team. We hope this gives you a better understanding of how Clim8 is aiming to fill the gap in sustainable investing. And how each of us is working to bring our mission to life, to have an impact on climate change.

Transparency is a key value for the team at Clim8. If you have any questions, or if there are topics you would like us to explore in the blog, please email us your suggestions at: hello[at]clim8invest.com!

Warm regards,

Duncan

Founder & CEO 

Adriana, Chief Product Officer: “For several years now, I’ve been on a mission to increase accessibility to investment through technology. Together with the experienced team of technologists at Clim8, we are committed to delivering a simple and beautiful investment platform with the highest standards of usability and security”

Alice, Chief Commercial Officer: “Trust is core to Clim8. A lot of people want to fight climate change but investing can be opaque. I love that Clim8 is all about transparency, especially for friends and relatives who are not professional investors!”

Vincent, Chief Investment Officer: “Powering our economy with clean energy was just a dream 20 years ago, but technological changes have been spectacular, cutting costs by over 70% for wind and solar. A growing realisation in the population that environment and wealth are not mutually exclusive gives us a tremendous opportunity to use the post-Covid 19 world to change the way things are done.”

Tatiana, Director of Engineering: “Our core pillars in the engineering team are (1) to be Customer-Centric, allowing our users to make the best choice for their investments in an easy and user-friendly manner and (2) to be a business enabler, leveraging innovation and technology.”

Pablo, Head of Growth: “The crowdfunding campaign was an important part of the Clim8 roadmap. It was not just to raise funds, it is about engaging with a great community of tech and finance savvy investors. We are listening to our investors and want them to be an active part of the Clim8 journey.”

Arlinda, Marketing Manager: “Having been involved with dozens of startups across Europe from my days at Google and elsewhere, I was confident that the Clim8 proposition was strong. Still, I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback received from our growing community of thousands of people and from the user research we conducted.”

Gina, UX Designer: “Recent events have shown us that life is unpredictable and often there is not much we can do, but we do have the power of choosing where we spend our time and selecting smoother user experiences! At Clim8 we’re building the product around the customer experience and not the other way around.”

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Fragile Earth: an astronaut’s view from space

Avatar Clim8 Team

27 December 2019 Sustainability

Have you heard of the “Overview Effect“?

It’s a cognitive shift in awareness reported by many astronauts while viewing the Earth from outer space.

This is how NASA astronaut Rusty Schweickart described his sense of wonder the first time he saw planet Earth from space:

“You realize that on that little blue and white thing there is everything that means anything to you, all history and music and poetry and art and death and birth and love, all of it, on that little spot out there you can cover with your thumb.”

Michael Collins, the astronaut who flew the Apollo 11 around the Moon while Neil Armstrong made the first landing on its surface, used these words to describe the Earth:

“The thing that really surprised me was that it projected an air of fragility. And why, I don’t know. I don’t know to this day. I had a feeling it’s tiny, it’s shiny, it’s beautiful, it’s home, and it’s fragile“.

We feel the same way: we have to do our best to protect our fragile Earth, for ourselves and for future generations.

At Clim8, we believe that the most efficient way to have an impact is to make sure that our savings are invested in the right companies and technologies that will have a positive impact on the environment.

Help us preserve this beautiful home that we’ve been given – sign up to our waiting list from the link below.

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Living sustainably: 4 areas where you can have an impact

Avatar Clim8 Team

20 November 2019 Sustainability

Living sustainably is important. While the climate crisis demands more government action (“top down”), there are some actions that each of us can take, to help reverse climate change (“bottom up”).

The World Economic Forum has recently highlighted some statistics that show the unsustainability of many of our lifestyles. Let’s have a look at what the main issues are and how we can help solve them (spoiler: pay close attention to number 4 !)

How many of these 4 challenges were you already aware of?

#1 Meat production

Did you know that producing red meat generates half of all methane emissions? And these emissions are only forecasted to rise, due to increased demand for beef across the world as the world’s population increases by another 2 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050.

What can Clim8ers do?

Have you ever considered adopting a “flexitarian” diet? A staggering number of people have already adopted a flexitarian diet in the UK and the US, leading to a surge in interest in vegan food and animal-free products.

#2 Lost soil

Soil is being lost 100 times faster than it’s being formed in farming areas. And half the fertile topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years. Soil erosion releases carbon into the atmosphere and can also lead to flooding, desertification and pollution – it’s a negative spiral.

What can Clim8ers do?

Reforesting is key – planting trees is definitely one of the best gifts that we can give to ourselves and our children.

#3 Food waste

Food waste generated 10% of human-made greenhouse gas emission from 2010-2016. Astonishing, right? That’s because about 30% of all food produced is not eaten and rotting food produces methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than CO2.

What can Clim8ers do?

Shop smart: don’t overbuy (3 for 2 offers where you really only need 1) – it will benefit the environment and your finances too!

Keep your fridge clutter-free: an overly filled fridge will make it difficult to see food and know when products are expiring.

Store food properly: to avoid food spoilage. Did you know, for example, that tomatoes and cucumbers should not be refrigerated?

#4 Exploitation of land

Humans are impacting the land and causing a quarter of the land to degrade. 37% of all human-made emissions come from our use of land, including forestry, farming and food production.

What can Clim8ers do?

Living sustainably is important, but investing sustainably is even more crucial. There are companies that continue to exploit the earth and others that are trying to fix the urgent environmental issues we are all facing. With Clim8, we’re giving everyone the opportunity to make an impact with their savings by investing in these sustainable companies. If you want to be part of this movement and make a difference, join our waitlist today with the link below.

There is still hope for our planet, but we have to act fast. Will you be part of the solution or the problem?

Count me in!

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