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Socially responsible investing (SRI), which can also be called impact investing, has gained a lot of attention, as more people are realizing they can use their investments to make an impact. For investors who are just getting into investing, or just starting to worry about where their money is actually going, this might seem like uncharted territory. Luckily, using your money in ethical ways doesn’t have to be confusing, and Falcons Rock Impact Investments is here to answer your questions.

1. What is SRI?

SRI works similarly to traditional investing and is after the same thing: putting money into partial ownership of an organization in the hopes of gaining capital. What makes SRI and other impact investing different, however, is what that initial investment goes toward. The condition for SRI is that the investments don’t go toward anything that causes harm to social or environmental causes, or, alternatively, that those causes are supported. This approach can be applied to any asset class.

2. What kind of impact does it have?

These types of investments have more of an impact than you might think they do. Think of it like recycling: your contribution might not seem like much, but over time, and with many individual contributions, great things can happen. Money talks, sometimes louder than words: with your investment, even if it seems small, you could affect demand for a company’s stock, which in turn affects their ability to make money and could influence the decisions they make regarding how they run their business.

3. Is SRI an option for me?

Investing is one of the ways that you can help shape the world for the better, no matter who you are or what your financial goals are. Ethical investing isn’t just for the rich who can afford to take risks: thanks to awareness, SRI is available to anyone who is interested. As long as you’ve made sure that your finances are in good shape and you’ve done your homework on your personal risk tolerances and beliefs, SRI is absolutely an option.

4. Will it affect my portfolio’s performance?

There are many SRI options available to impact investors and there’s little evidence to suggest that the effect on a portfolio will be negative. Actually, there is evidence to the contrary. You can expect to make money with SRI or impact investing at about the same level that you would from a comparable investment in another area.

5. How do I pick SRI stocks?

Socially responsible investors tend to pick SRI for two reasons: they’re conscious about how their money affects the world and want to use it to enact changes, or they recognize that companies that are conscious of social responsibility have inherent advantages to companies that don’t think as far forward. Regardless of which type of person you are, start with good financial sense. Having a goal for your money is better than going in blind, and having definite money goals will help you determine where to invest.

As you’re looking at your options, pick the social issues that are most important to you. You might have a limitless heart, but none of us have limitless wallets: you’re better off focusing on a few causes rather than trying to fix everything. Finally, do your research on those corporations that look like the best investments for you based on their history of social responsibility, as well as your financial situation.

6. How can I learn more about SRI?

If you’re thinking about socially responsible or impact investing or still have questions, you’ve come to the right place. At Falcons Rock Impact Investments, we see a better world for everyone that doesn’t have to cost much. We believe that every effort, no matter who it’s from, has the potential to become something far greater. Find out what kind of impact your money could have on your future and the future of the world.