How it started

It started with an ad. I was playing TrainStation2 on my phone; I’ve been playing it for about a year. And there was an ad for Raiz. Raiz offered a scheme where it’d track my spending, round up my purchases to the nearest dollar, and take those small amounts and invest them. I figured it was a painless way to enforce spending. Why not give it a go, and see what I thought? I started in July.

Raiz was chugging along. By October, it was in the triple digits, and I had selected its ‘Emerald’ portfolio – that’s its “green” option, with 72.7% in ‘socially responsible’ investments (RARI & ETHI).

At the beginning of October, I suddenly decided Raiz wasn’t what I wanted. It was an impulsive decision, but I decided to withdraw my few hundred dollars. (Spoiler alert: I reversed this decision after I’d withdrawn 90% of the money. So now restarting with Raiz while doing the other stuff I mention in this post).

A talk with Swump, and he introduced me to Pocket, from the Commonwealth Bank. Now, I am not the biggest fan of the CBA, but the Commonwealth felt more secure than Raiz, so I changed focus. I set up a CBA basic account, deposited the minimum to set up a CommSec account ($50) and started fiddling around with CommSec.

CommSec have a selection of seven basic portfolios for managed trusts, or ETFs. And one of those is labelled “Sustainability Leaders” so I dropped my initial $50 into that. But the list of companies in that fund piqued my interest. NVIDIA? Apple? Mastercard and Visa? Toyota? Call me crazy, but a car company, companies that make profit of customer debt, and the company behind the iPhone? Seriously???

A sidenote here – the CBA’s “Sustainability Leaders” fund has the code ETHI, which would indicate it’s one pillar of Raiz’s Emerald ‘socially responsible’ portfolio. Maybe these companies are more socially responsible than my generally uninformed opinion would think?