SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Investors can now direct their investments to companies that follow best practices of engaging people with disabilities thanks to a new service from OpenInvest.
"People living with disabilities continue to be marginalized as a result of unequal employment opportunities," said Claire Veuthey, director of ESG & impact, OpenInvest. "Our new offering allows investors to invest in companies that demonstrate a commitment to equality for the millions of people living with disabilities."
OpenInvest's software-based Separately Managed Account (SMA) platform allows investors to easily create low-cost, values based investment portfolios. Its new investment category, Invest in Disability Inclusion, is available to investors and financial advisers immediately. Disability Inclusion is the 16th values-based category OpenInvest offers to investors on its SMA platform.
OpenInvest's platform uses data from the Disability:IN's annual Disability Equality Index (DEI) and the Return on Disability (ROD) group's US and Canada indices to identify publicly-traded companies that follow best practices in engaging people with disabilities as candidates, employees, customers, and suppliers. OpenInvest's new 'Invest In Disability Inclusion' investment category includes companies that meet the following criteria:
- Companies who score an 80 or higher on the Disability Equality Index and are considered "DEI Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion"
- Companies included in the ROD's indices, which are considered "doing disability well"
U.S. workforce participation statistics indicate a wide gap between disabled and non-disabled Americans. Recent reports show that as of May 2019, only 32 percent of Americans of working age (between ages 16 and 64) with disabilities participated in the workforce, compared with 77 percent of Americans without a disability.1 Additionally, there was a $5,096 gap in annual median earnings between people with and without disabilities in 2017.2
The OpenInvest platform integrates multi-sourced environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. It offers a number of causes for investors, including divestment from fossil fuel producers and major greenhouse gas emitters; investment in corporate women leaders and LGBTQIA+-friendly companies, companies supporting refugees, and more. The company is taking steps to ensure its digital assets are equally accessible to people with disabilities, including its public website.
Using OpenInvest's SMA platform, investors can build customized portfolios by selecting different causes on the platform or by selecting individual companies in which to divest/invest. Unlike mutual funds or ETFs, an OpenInvest portfolio provides granular customization and direct shareholder engagement and proxy voting. Its proprietary algorithms automatically rebalance portfolios to keep them dynamically diversified as investors divest/invest.
For more information on OpenInvest's Invest in Disability Inclusion cause, please visit https://www.openinvest.co/blog/investing-in-disability-inclusion/.
OpenInvest is a registered investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a financial technology startup dedicated to mainstreaming values-based investing through technology. Its technology platform supports full customization around investor values. The company was founded by two architects of Bridgewater Associates' portfolio management and trading systems and a sustainable finance expert from the World Wildlife Fund. OpenInvest is backed by some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, including Andreessen Horowitz, YCombinator, Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Ventures, and QED, the founders of CapitalOne.
JCUTLER media group
1 According to the May 2019 edition of the National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update issued by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability. https://researchondisability.org/news-features/2019/06/07/ntide-may-2019-jobs-report-job-numbers-up-slightly-for-americans-with-disabilities
2 According to 2018 Annual Report on People with Disabilities in America. https://disabilitycompendium.org/sites/default/files/user-uploads/Annual_Report_2018_Accessible_AdobeReaderFriendly.pdf