Impact Investing

Our Direct, Impact, Alternative and Local Investing (DIAL-In) Strategy

For values-motivated investors, Balanced Rock’s ESG strategy is only the first step to align investments with values. It includes screening and shifting one’s portfolio towards public companies that are behaving better than their peers. Why not take it one step further with our Impact Investing DIAL-In strategy?

Our Direct, Impact, Alternative and Local Investing strategy helps our clients invest in high impact areas. We look beyond traditional public markets. We seek out diverse, high-quality impact investments locally and around the world, including smaller and non-publicly traded opportunities.

Some opportunities include

  • Affordable housing and land trusts
  • Climate change mitigation and alternative energy
  • Cooperatives and solidarity economy
  • Health and local food systems
  • Racial justice economics and reparations
  • Poverty reduction and community resilience

DIAL-In investments include market rate and below-market rate opportunities at a variety of risk/return levels. First, these impact investments are thoroughly vetted by Balanced Rock. Then, we discuss the available vetted investments with each client who has expressed interest in impact investing. Finally, we recommended specific investments and amounts and walk each client through the funding process.

Tell me more…

If you take a look below at the DIAL-In diagram, you’ll notice the overlaps and differences between “Direct,” “Impact,” “Alternative” and “Local” investments. As you can see, there is a significant amount of overlap across these four categories. Primarily, the DIAL-In strategy helps our clients invest in high-impact opportunities not available in public markets.

We also include Alternative Investments. These share characteristics with other DIAL-In investments, such as illiquidity. However, they may not be local or impactful. These investments may include a private real estate loan fund or a private business targeting fast growth or high profitability.

Who is it for?

Balanced Rock is a Fee-Only and Fiduciary-Only company and we go the extra mile for all clients regardless of net worth or income level. We make impact investing and other non-traditional opportunities available to both accredited and non-accredited investors.

There are a handful of advisors across the country doing impact investing, though they generally do it exclusively for high net worth clients. We’ve drawn lessons from many of them in designing our DIAL-In strategy. But instead of limiting access, we give each client the opportunity to engage in impact investing.

How does it work?

Balanced Rock finds DIAL-In investment opportunities through our relationships with:

  • other investors,
  • community groups,
  • small business technical assistance providers,
  • impact investing networks,
  • crowdfunding platforms, and
  • other sources.

To begin, we assess the risk of each potential investment by analyzing current and projected financials. We review business plans and management character. And we assess market risk and potential.

Then we consider the investment terms. These may be negotiated by Balanced Rock on behalf of our clients. Or they may be available on fixed terms on a regular basis. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are one such example. Other opportunities may only be available for a short period of time while a company is raising capital via an offering of equity or debt.

Next, if we feel comfortable with the terms, we summarize the investment and present it to clients interested in our DIAL-In strategy. Clients will learn about the investment’s financial risk, its opportunity, and its social or environmental impact.

We do not initiate purchases of DIAL-In investments on a client’s behalf without discussion between advisor and client. Additionally, we require specific approval from the client for each DIAL-In investment. Once approved, we walk clients through each stage of the funding process and provide ongoing reports specific to their DIAL-In selections.