Enter the terms you wish to search for. When the global financial crisis struck in 2008, Dustyn Lanz was in his mid-20s. It was sobering, investing for retirement in your 20s Toronto native says, to watch capital markets inflict so much damage on national economies and cost millions of people their jobs.

Lanz, 33, who pursued studies in political science and economics to learn how to help avert future financial catastrophes. Like many millennial-age adults who witnessed the global recession as teens and young adults, Lanz was turned off by the financial system. He felt the only way to prevent financial markets from behaving badly was for governments to leash them. He postponed investing for retirement, too, even as he heard financial advisers telling young people to start socking away what they could, as early as possible. I wondered if somehow there were other ways to make good. 500 toward his retirement into a mutual fund devoted to clean technology, one of a growing number of products out there designed to correspond with the investor’s personal values, from environmental stewardship and consumer protection, to boardroom diversity and human rights.

For young people who want to begin saving for retirement without profiting from practices they oppose, the first step is to investigate the basics of investing. It’s important for young people to take the time to understand the ramifications of investing. SRI dates back centuries and has religious roots — think of Colonial-era Quakers who refused to do business with companies involved in the slave trade. Modern responsible investment began in the U. 20th century, when the first mutual funds screened out companies involved in gambling, tobacco and alcohol. Millennials’ interest in SRI is a reflection of how society has changed in the 21st century. 7 global news cycle and the age of social connectivity, millennials — people born between 1980 and 2000 — have a heightened sense of awareness regarding the world around them.

They’re also able to make investment choices based on the immense amount of information available online, giving them greater access to financial knowledge than previous generations. The oldest millennials are in their 30s, and many have children and are making important life decisions, like buying a home or planning for retirement. While financial security is important to them, many are willing to sacrifice returns on investment in order to contribute positively to society and the environment. Trust Bank report last year found that 69 percent of high net worth millennials place great value on investing in such companies. The 80 million careful-but-idealistic millennial investors in the U. Some are targeted to specific issues, like environmental concerns, or women’s issues, or labor-focused funds. According to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the number of investment funds that apply environmental, social or corporate governance criteria has ballooned form 200 in 2013 to over 900 last year.

The reason for this intense growth is simple: More than ever before, companies are under immense pressure to focus on issues such as sustainability and labor practices, according to George Serafeim, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. And contrary to conventional wisdom, making investment decisions based on your personal values doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing returns. Serafeim, who studies the role of corporations in society. But perceptions of the corporation’s role are shifting, and values and value are aligning. Poor’s 500 Index of the largest U. Timothy Plan and Ave Maria Mutual Funds, religion-centered fund managers that aggressively exclude companies linked to abortion services, pornography, labor abuse or armaments. What Are Your SRI Retirement Savings Options?

Both share the advantage of being tax free — the money is taken out before it appears on your paycheck, lowering your reported annual income for tax purposes. Some workplaces offer shared contributions to your savings. If your employer doesn’t offer SRI options through your workplace plan, then ask for one. Then talk to the HR department or whoever handles retirement accounts. It’s very possible that your employer can offer SRI investment options by request.

Financial advisers agree the best way to begin investing is to set up a retirement savings account, or invest in a mutual fund. Later, as the nest egg begins to grow, you may consider buying and selling company stocks directly. The best way to steer investment toward companies that are strong in environmental, social and corporate governance issues is to go to the websites of SRI mutual funds to see which companies they have screened, and focus on those stocks. That message is getting through to some millennials. You don’t need to be rich to start investing in a socially responsible manner. Exclusive articles delivered to your inbox daily. Copyright 2018 Newsweek Media Group All Rights Reserved.