If you’re looking to make an impact with your investments that go beyond mere profit, then consider the following stocks. These stocks all demonstrate serious commitments to serving community, whether at home or globally.
Interestingly, a new asset class is emerging for individuals interested in leveraging their money to create social impact that works to fight poverty and hunger in addition to making money. Called the impact investing asset class, these securities offer an alternative to traditional investing. JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) has predicted that this asset class would create a profit opportunity of between $183 billion and $670 billion over the next decade in five sectors – housing, water, health, education, and financial services. The impact investing class often serves the global population making less than $3,000 annually.
That being said, traditional investing opportunities exist in the stock market to trade companies that do a great deal of good. These companies have demonstrated rock-solid commitments to serving communities in which they do business and are excellent places to put your money if you seek to make an impact with your investing dollars.
Walmart (NYSE: WMT) – Last May, Walmart announced a $2 Billion (that’s with a B) commitment to fight hunger in the United States, pledging to contribute 1.75 billion pounds of food over 15 years as it empowers local communities throughout the United States. Walmart is leveraging its size to fight hunger at the level of scale.
Walmart contributed $467 million to nonprofits in 2009 with 2009 net income of $13.4 billion – that’s an astonishing 3.5% of yearly income, which sums up to a serious commitment to doing good. If you’re interested in ending hunger in the United States, consider enfranchising yourself with your trading dollars and trading WMT.
Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) – The company that brings you Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pizza Hut just happens to be a real corporate do-gooder that is making a global impact with its work. Specifically, the company recently contributed $80 million as part of a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to end hunger around the world.
With total giving of $4,100,000 in 2009 in addition to millions of pounds of harvest (75 million given away between 2003 and 2009), YUM is a leader in fighting hunger. With a net income of $1.4 billion, YUM gives away a respectable 0.3% of yearly income, and is a leader in corporate philanthropy.
Pepsi (NYSE: PEP) is another leader in corporate social responsibility. As part of its Pepsi Refresh marketing campaign, Pepsi enabled fans to give away $20 million of its own money to fund community projects this past year. Compared to a 2009 net income of $5.8 billion, Pepsi’s Refresh project alone gives communities 0.35% of its income. With their help to local communities, Pepsi is a great choice to support a company that infuses “good” into its actions.
Finally, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) emerges as a corporate leader in corporate philanthropy. Contributing a full $544.8 million to charities around the world, the company supports health, sustainable environmental practices, and improving the standard of living for people around the world. With a 2009 net income of 11 billion, their contributions total a groundbreaking almost 5% of their net income, making them a clear corporate social responsibility leader.
An investment in WMT, YUM, PEP, or JNJ helps create social impact in addition to doing good. While the impact investing class develops, feel comfortable investing in these companies that do good and make impact in addition to being profitable for shareholders.