Jake Levinson is a Manager at Deloitte Digital. Focusing on digital strategy and product management, Jake has worked with Canadian financial services clients to help them define and implement industry-disrupting projects.
While I’ve definitely been known to ‘invest’ in a big screen TV once in awhile, I generally stick to traditional investments (add to my savings account, max out my TFSA, contribute to my RRSP) when bonus time comes around. This year, however, I decided to use my bonus to experiment with a new investing strategy - no, not bitcoin - green investing.
“This year, however, I decided to use my year-end bonus to experiment with a new investing strategy - no, not bitcoin - green investing.”
I don’t remember how I first heard of CoPower, maybe it was through Facebook or LinkedIn, but I liked that their bonds were decent investments, both financially and ethically. Plus, it seems like a good time to be getting into the clean energy space!
I got started with responsible investing last year after shifting my portfolio to socially responsible exchange-traded funds (ETFs), but to me, CoPower's green bonds took the idea of responsible investing a step further.
“To me, CoPower's green bonds took the idea of responsible investing one step further.”
I really love the fact that investing in green bonds is an active way of ensuring my money is playing a catalytic role in advancing positive solutions, in this case, Canadian clean energy, rather than the passive approach that other socially responsible (SRI) funds take.
The more I learned about CoPower’s bonds, the more they felt like any other investment I’d want in my portfolio -- backed by stable projects that offer good returns.
You’re essentially investing in a diversified portfolio of loans to clean energy and energy efficiency projects, which currently include geothermal and LED retrofit projects.
I appreciate the simplicity of the product. It’s easy to understand where the interest payments are coming from -- every project backing the bonds is already built and generating steady revenues based on either energy savings or the sale of clean energy. Plus, I have to say that part of the appeal was the simplicity of the process and being able to do everything on my own from the comfort of my laptop.
“The more I learned about CoPower’s bonds, the more they felt financially like any other investment I’d want in my portfolio -- backed by stable projects that offer good returns.”
What got me into the idea of investing sustainably, was oddly enough, not my background in finance but rather, my background in the restaurant and food industry. My family owns restaurants and my brother is an urban farmer and very involved in the green community. Needless to say, we all talk about food a lot.
The connection might not immediately be obvious, but seeing the impact that a restaurant can have in sourcing good food from sustainable producers, especially supporting local ones like my brother, was my starting point to thinking about how business models and money, including my investments, can be used to support positive change.
I believe if most people were offered a simple investment option that aligned with their values and paid a decent return, they’d take it, but it’s not always clear where to start or what will actually make a good investment. Most of us don’t have the bandwidth to do the research ourselves either.
“I believe if most people were offered a simple investment option that aligned with their values and paid a decent return, they’d take it.”
Fintech companies like CoPower are smart to reach out to millennial investors like me where we are, online. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of time before a few more of us discover how easy it is to switch to investments that align with our values and the banks realize that this is a huge opportunity for growth especially when it comes to millennial clients.
Either way, I’ve got a head start putting my money where my morals are. My SRI portfolio keeps my savings out of places I don’t want them to be, while my green bonds are putting my bonus to work for positive change I agree with.
Editor's note: Jake invested in CoPower's second issuance of Green Bonds (Green Bond II). Our third issuance (Green Bond III) is now available for investment.
The client testimonial that appears on this page was solicited by CoPower and may not be representative of the views of other investors or potential investors in CoPower Green Bonds. Please consult the CoPower Green Bond Offering Memorandum for all material information in respect of CoPower Finance Inc., CoPower Green Bonds and the terms of the offering.