Socially responsible investors have been hit with an unfortunate surprise. Swell, one of the leaders in the global push for impact investing, tweeted to announce it would soon be closing up shop.

The hugely popular robo-advising and investing platform already began shuttering accounts with $0 or negative balances, and it no longer accepts new users or deposits. 

But what if you have an active account with Swell?

First things first, breathe.

Your account with Swell still exists – you’re not in danger of losing your money because of this news.

Here are your options moving forward.

You’ll have two available options to explore in anticipation of your accounts being closed. 

Sell & withdraw your Swell investments

If you prefer to sell the investments you’ve made in Swell, such as the Renewable Energy, Clean Water, or Green Tech portfolios, then first ensure your linked bank account details are correct.

You can then sell your existing holdings for cash, which will be directed to your Swell Cash Balance, at which point you’ll withdraw the funds to your linked bank account.

Transfer your Swell investments

If you want to keep investing, fear not. There are plenty of other companies that do a great job at being environmentally conscious. And even better, it’s possible to transfer your investments seamlessly to a new broker.

To start this process, you’ll need to open a new account with a broker that’s the same type as your Swell account (Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, etc.) But which robo-advisor should you choose?

There are lots of robo-advisors to choose from, but we want to mention two of our favorites that have particularly strong socially responsible components.  

Betterment

  • Minimum investment: N/A
  • Account types: Individual and joint taxable, IRAs including Traditional, Roth, SEP, and Rollover, trust accounts
  • Fees: 0.25% annual management fee (Digital Plan), 0.40% annual management fee (Premium Plan)
  • Tax-loss harvesting: Yes

Among the largest robo-advisors in the industry, Betterment provides members with a proactive socially responsible investment model, which simply adjusts the allocation of its standard portfolios based on the social impact of the companies within them. 

For example, an investor interested in US Large Cap Stocks can invest in the Betterment SRI Large Cap Stocks ETF, which accomplishes the thematic goal of its normal Large Cap ETF while also excluding companies that haven’t met social responsibility criteria. 

Accordingly, the investor would not be investing your money with firms like Exxon, Philip Morris, Walmart, and others.

Betterment also provides an SRI Emerging Markets ETF for investors seeking to give financial momentum to socially responsible firms in emerging markets. Users have no minimum investment or additional costs for SRI investing, and can open accounts including Traditional, Roth, SEP, and Rollover IRAs, plus trust accounts. 

There’s a yearly management fee ranging between 0.25% and 0.40% (depending on your account type), making Betterment a more-than-capable replacement for previous fans of Swell.

Personal Capital

  • Minimum investment: $100,000
  • Account types: Taxable brokerage accounts, IRAs, retirement accounts, college savings and 529 plans
  • Fees: 0.89% annual management fee, scaled down to 0.49% by growing account value to $10 million
  • Tax-loss harvesting: Yes

With an emphasis on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) SRI investing and a high minimum investment of $100,000, Personal Capital takes a different approach than Betterment or Swell. 

A direct privilege of this sizable minimum investment is access to human advisors to complement the plethora of robo-advised SRI portfolios available through Personal Capital. The company offers several portfolios containing a mix of popular asset classes including domestic and international equities and bonds, cash, and alternative investments.

Within the SRI versions of these portfolios, Personal Capital excludes or underemphasizes exposure to companies and whole industries that have scored poorly on the Sustainalytics Scale. 

Accordingly, investors are easily able to develop a custom channel for their money into the sectors and companies most responsible for a sustainable future. Management fees for Personal Capital start at 0.89% yearly but gradually decrease towards 0.49% as the account’s investment balance reaches $10 million. 

Summary

Swell has closed its doors to investors, but that doesn’t mean that the socially conscious can’t find a good platform that matches their value system.

Betterment and Personal Capital are two of the best platforms on the market that highlight Socially Responsible Investing.

Read more:

  • 4 Best Robo-Advisors for Socially Responsible Investing
  • Socially Responsible Investing: How To Become A Conscious Investor