Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.
Some things in life aren’t so swell. Opening a pack of Starbursts and getting all lemons. Having your Netflix freeze. Or having a company you love close its doors. If you’re an existing Swell client, we’ll give you the options available now that they’ve closed. If you hoped to join Swell as a new client, we’ll set you up with a great alternative.
About Swell Investing
Swell Investing was an impact investing company based out of Santa Monica. They began their journey on a mission to make every dollar their clients invest have a positive impact on the world. They achieved this by investing their clients money in companies that follow the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Last year, the company reported that it had over 20,000 clients and $23 million in assets under management.
In July 2019, Swell announced they would be closing down on August 30, 2019 and launched a new sub-domain goodbye.swellinvesting.com with further details about the news and its impact on clients. (Good news: clients will take no financial hit on their Swell investments.) They mentioned they were extremely proud of what they and their clients had achieved and explained they were not able to achieve the scale needed to sustain operations in the current market.
Swell account closure options
According to their website, Swell investors have two options to choose from before the company closes on August 30, 2019. They can sell and withdraw their investments or move them to a new investment platform. The deadline for beginning a transfer to another provider is August 15, 2019. Thanks to the wonder of modern technology step by step instructions on how to move your money from Swell Investing to another investment platform can be found here.
If you fail to select an option by August 30, Swell will terminate your advisory agreement and their custodian Folio Investments, Inc (“Folio”), will sell out of your positions and disburse the balance of your account via check or electronic transfer to your checking account. The net effect of having your investments converted to cash is that you will have engaged in some forced market timing, which is widely seen as a loser of an investment strategy.
Alternative to Swell Investing
Given the announced closure of Swell Investing, an option to consider is moving your money to a Wealthsimple Socially Responsible (SRI) portfolio. Our SRI portfolio allows you to invest in a better world as well as coming with all the benefits of Wealthsimple Invest including no account minimum, a custom-built portfolio, diversification and surprisingly low fees.
When you get started with our socially responsible investing portfolio, we invest your money across the entire stock market using low-fee exchange traded funds (ETFs). These ETFs are carefully screened and weighted for environmental and social impact, as well as for performance. To date, more than a quarter of Wealthsimple clients have chosen an SRI portfolio in order to be able to invest according to their values.
At Wealthsimple, we do the work for you. In just a few minutes, we’ll build you a custom portfolio that makes sense for your risk tolerance and investment timelines. And we’ll do the maintenance for you, with automatic rebalancing and dividend reinvesting. All you have to do to get started is answer a few simple questions.
We have no account minimums, which means you can start investing with as little as one dollar. Our fees are also appealingly low, meaning you get to keep more of your investments gains. How low? We charge just 0.5% on accounts of 0-$100,000 and 0.4% on anything above $100,000. We’ll never come between you and your money; you can make a withdrawal any time you want. So you can always count on your money being there when you need it.
When you join Wealthsimple, you’ll have access to our friendly financial advisors regardless of how much you invest. They’re standing by to answer your questions and provide support whenever you need it. All you have to go is drop us a line by phone, email, or even Skype.
How to start investing in a socially responsible way
If it has been a while since you signed up for an automated investing platform, here’s a primer on what you’ll need. Signing up can be done from the comfort of your own home and requires little more than an internet connection and a clear idea of where you want to move your money.
Sign up: Once you identify the investment platform where you’ll be moving your money, you’ll start by that you’ll use to access your account. Keep this info somewhere since this is how you’ll enter your account from now on.
Fill out a risk survey: Once you’ve signed up, the platform will ask you to, which will help the algorithm create a personalized socially responsible portfolio for your needs. You’ll input your age, your average salary, an estimate on the date you’ll want to access your money, and your risk tolerance.
Make a transfer: Once you’ve completed the survey and the platform has created a portfolio for you, it’s time to transfer your funds from Swell Investing or your bank. Most Wealthsimple transfers happen digitally via, which means you can move your money over with a literal push of a button, but some investment providers require a more old school paper based process. Some platforms require a minimum deposit; don’t. Once the money is transferred, the investment platform can and managing your money in a socially responsible way.
Set up regular deposits: In order for your SRI portfolio to perform most effectively, you’ll want to invest on a regular basis. The easiest way to do this is to set up automatic recurring deposits. Think of it as a way of paying your future self a little bit every month. Be generous with your future self! After all, you can always go into your account to adjust as needed.
The bottom line
While we may shed a tear for dear departed Swell, the news of their demise doesn’t mean you’ll be out of options for investing in a socially responsible way with another investment provider like Wealthsimple. Find out more about us, our socially responsible investment portfolios or get started investing now.