Swell Investing Review: Socially Responsible Robo-Advisor

Swell Investing is a robo-advisor that focuses on high impact investing, specifically Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) products.

What is a Robo-Advisor?

Robo-advisors are computer automated investment platforms that provide financial advice or manage investments online with minimal human intervention.

Fund your account, fill out a profile assessment or pick areas of interest, and let the robo-advisor go from there.

Swell Investment Portfolio Themes

Swell invests in portfolios with high-growth impact companies in the following categories:

  • Renewable Energy

  • Green Tech

  • Zero Waste

  • Clean Water

  • Healthy Living

  • Disease Eradication

  • Swell impact 400

You can allocate a percentage of funds towards each category. For example, you can allocate 25% to green tech, 50% to clean water, and 25% to healthy living. Choose the mix that aligns with the areas you care about.

Why Use a Robo-Advisor?

One of the benefits of using a robo-advisor is that you can easily diversify your portfolio compared to doing it yourself.

For example, if you picked the same exact portfolio companies in the Green Tech group via Robinhood, you would have to spend significantly more money than the minimum Swell investment of $50.

There are currently 59 portfolio companies in the green tech group, and Robinhood doesn’t let you buy a small percentage of stocks like Tesla (TSLA: $307).

Competitive Landscape

Robo-advisors are on the rise and there are a few to consider when weighing your options. Platforms like Swell and Morgan Stanley Access Investing have thematic portfolios.

Other platforms like Wealthfront and Betterment focus on long-term investments.

Regarding pricing, Swell does take a 0.75% fee, which is higher than other platforms. However, when you compare Swell to other platforms, it’s important to take in consideration the your portfolio size and how much other platforms are charging.

Morgan Stanley Access Investing

To receive a “welcome offer” from Morgan Stanley Access Investing, you’ll need to open the Amex Platinum Morgan Stanley credit card to earn 60,000 points after $5,000 in spend within the first 3 months. The card also has a $550 annual fee.

For people just starting out with investing, opening a premium credit card might not be ideal. The minimum funding requirement is also $5,000.

Acorns Investing App

Acorns has a $5 signup bonus when you use a referral link, but it does charge a subscription fee of $1/month. If you’re investing $1,000 or less, then Swell might be a better option since the pricing is lower.

Final Thoughts

Using a robo-advisor is a good strategy for beginners that want to get their feet wet and understand the basics of investing. If you’re bullish on a certain industry that has high impact, then using a socially responsible themed robo-advisor is a way to diversify your portfolio.


Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. 

UGC disclosure: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”