More than any previous generation, millennials are likely to invest in companies that mesh with their social and political concerns - from clean energy to gender equality to water conservation. Some 77% of high-net-worth millennials currently own or are interested in so-called impact investments.
Now a wave of startups is rushing to capitalize on the trend by offering the mobile-first generation a host of new financial-tech products that cater to their social-investing preferences. At the top of the offerings are smartphone applications that allow investors to choose portfolios that have themes representing different causes—often very focused causes, such as companies with ethical practices in their supply chain or a higher share of women in leadership compared with their peers. In some cases, people can also tweak their portfolios easily, dropping an offending stock with just a tap of the screen. And all of the transactions can be done without calling in a broker or adviser, usually for fees that are lower than those pros charge.