Jean Case, the chief executive of the Case Foundation, is a leader in impact investing, a movement that aims to force social change by minimizing or eliminating investors' exposure to companies that harm the world and achieve a solid return.
Yet Ms. Case, an early signer of the Giving Pledge, a commitment by high-net-worth individuals to give at least half of their net worth to charity, said she struggled to fill just one of her portfolios with diversified impact investments.
"I haven't found across-the-board, great impact opportunities," said Ms. Case, who created the foundation with her husband, Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL.
If Ms. Case, with her resources and deep network in the impact-investing world, labored to fully align one of her portfolios, what chance does an ordinary affluent investor have?
Although great progress has been made with mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and private investment opportunities, the short answer is, it can be hard for any investor, particularly for those who hew to an exacting standard.
But that challenge has seemingly increased interest in impact investing, which can be difficult to achieve if a solid return is the goal. It is also hard to measure, given the differing definitions of impact investing.
Gone are the simple days when investing with a conscience meant excluding alcohol, tobacco and firearms from a portfolio. Today's impact investors want their investments to align with a more rigorous standard of good while achieving a maximum return.
Here are some tips that even the most committed impact investor should consider.