Nia Glossary of Investing Terms

  • Conscious Investing: The term we use for those choosing to bring awareness to their investments. Drawing connections between the assets we hold--whether in our savings account or in our 401k--and the larger economy.
  • Engagement and Activism: Activist investment firms like Nia Impact Capital, understand the power of the investor voice to advocate for change.
  • ESG: an acronym standing for Environmental, Social, and Governance. 
     metrics used to evaluate companies that may provide long term financial benefits. Read more about this common term.
  • Green Investing: Often indicates a focus on environmental concerns above other factors. Be cautious though, as many status quo managers have changed the names of their products to include "green" or "impact" despite not changing their investment approach. Do be sure to ask about their goals and objectives and "look under the hood" at the underlying holdings to see if they fit your standards.
  • Impact Investing: At Nia we know that all investments have impact. This term was coined in 2007 and has become a general catch phrase for “doing good by doing well.” It is also often used to describe very local or targeted investing, also known as community investing. Read more about this common term.
  • Investor: Everyone with a bank account or a retirement plan is actually an investor. Almost all of us are investors. Collectively our assets make up our economy, and where we choose to direct our bank deposits and which publicly held companies we choose to own matters.
  • Mission Driven Investing: Often in reference to organizations and institutions aligning their investments with the mission and values of the organization.
  • Nia: Swahili for intention and purpose. This concept infuses everything we do, from the way we construct our portfolios, to the way we do business, to our own company practices.
  • Proxy Voting: At Nia Impact Capital we see proxy voting as both a right and a responsibility. As activist investors, we vote all company proxies in house. This one way we weigh in on corporate governance. In particular, in our quest for balance in leadership on boards of directors, voting proxies is a way to make our voices, and those of our clients heard.
  • SRI: An acronym for Socially Responsible Investing, which involves beginning with a standard index (like the SP500 or the Russel 3000, for example) and removing or screening out the "bad" companies according to your criteria. Typical screens include tobacco, alcohol, or sometimes fire arms and more recently fossil fuels. SRI was a first attempt to incorporate values into the investment process.  Investment firms are now changing the meaning of "SRI" to include "Sustainable, Responsible, & Impact Investing," while the practice remains the same: removing “sin stocks” (companies known to sell alcohol, tobacco, pornography, weapons, etc.) from a standard index.