The Basics


What is a "robo-advisor"?

A robo-advisor is an online investment platform that helps you set up investment goals (like retirement) and then automatically manages your portfolio(s) to help you meet them. Relying on software rather than people, robo-advisors generally cost far less than traditional advisors. We’re the first robo-advisor to offer a climate-forward investment management service and it costs the same price as a generic one :)

What is Carbon Collective's mission?

Your investments have power. They can accelerate our transition to a zero-carbon society or they can slow it down by investing in today’s status quo. Our mission is to force major corporations to transition and decarbonize faster, ideally as fast as possible. By offering climate-forward portfolios at the same price and similar diversity as generic ones, we aim to collectivize and amplify our voices into the largest climate-impact fund ever created. Learn more about our theory of change.

Is Carbon Collective a mutual fund or ETF?

Nope. Carbon Collective is an SEC-registered investment advisor. You first tell us which accounts you want to open (brokerage or IRA), then you transfer funds (or an external account), and we allocate them into one of our climate-forward portfolios.

What are the fees?

Like generic robo-advisors, we charge a management fee of 0.25% of your assets under management/year. If your account averaged at $10,000, we would deduct $25/year (~$2.08/month). Learn more about our fees and how they compare to other green investment options.

Is Carbon Collective an ESG investment platform?

No. ESG, while better than nothing, is insufficient in creating real impact. ESG waters down all ethical categories to the point where their portfolios are simply less bad, but not actively pushing for real change.

Here’s our theory of change: divest from the sectors dependent on fossil fuels, reinvest that share in companies building solutions, and vote and pressure the remaining parts of the stock market to decarbonize as quickly as possible. And make it an attractive investment by making it cost the same and with a similar diversity as generic options.

Who can use Carbon Collective?

Any US citizen, 18 years or older, with their permanent residence in the US.

Is it safe to have a startup manage my investments?

Yep! In other words: what would happen to my investments if Carbon Collective goes out of business?

The worst case scenario is you will experience a mild hassle as we help transfer your account to a new custodian. You will still own your stocks and bonds, even if we aren’t able to continue managing them. Learn more about our Transfer Guarantee.

Financials


Will Carbon Collective outperform the market?

If anybody promises you that their strategy will outperform the market, put on your skeptical hat. Despite how humans may try, nobody can predict the future.

So, we zoom out and look at the big picture. If we are to be on a path to solve climate change, some major trends will have to emerge in the next 10-20 years. Fossil fuel production will drop significantly and decarbonization technologies like solar, EV’s, and green hydrogen will rise to take their place.

Our portfolios reflect such macro-assumptions. If you agree, then you could reasonably expect our portfolios to outperform the market, but that’s your conclusion to make. Learn more.

Are there any additional fees?

Our base fees are 0.25% of your assets under management per year. Our fund fees charge an average of 0.10%/year, as well. This is comparable to a generic robo-advisor portfolio.
Generally there are no additional fees, outside of two exceptions: transferring money and transferring accounts.

If you’re transferring money, you may be charged depending on the type of transfer:

  • ACH (the most common): $0
  • Returned ACH (per return): $30
  • Paper/e-check: $5
  • Outgoing wire (US): $25
  • Outgoing wire (Intl): $45
  • Returned checks/Wires and recalls: $30

If you are transferring an existing account into Carbon Collective with an automated transfer (called an ACAT), the company who currently holds your account may charge you a transfer fee (generally ~$75). If you transfer away from Carbon Collective, we will reimburse our transfer fee ($75) as a part of our Transfer Guarantee.

What types of accounts can I open?

We offer four types of accounts: Brokerage, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and SEP IRA.

Can I set up auto-deposits?

Yep! After linking your bank, you can set auto-deposits for each of your investment goals.

Will I pay taxes if I move an account to Carbon Collective?

Moving an external account to Carbon Collective is pretty simple. Most accounts can be moved electronically with no additional work on your end. When the account transfers, our software will automatically sell its existing holdings and allocate the funds into your select Carbon Collective portfolio.

If you transfer an IRA, you will not pay capital gains taxes on the sale until you begin making withdrawals (generally after you retire). If you transfer a general brokerage account, you may be liable to pay capital gains taxes. Learn more about transferring external accounts and capital gains taxes.

Can I save for multiple investment goals?

Yes! We built Carbon Collective to enable you to save for pretty much any life goal:

  • Retirement
  • Home
  • Safety Net/Emergency Fund
  • + more
What are the smartest ways to invest for things like retirement?

How much should you put away for retirement each month? How much should you have in your emergency fund?

There are a number of simple investment and financial planning best practices. See all of that wisdom in one place in our Smart Investing 101 series!

Security


What happens if Carbon Collective goes out of business?

The worst case scenario is you will experience a mild hassle as we help transfer your account to a new custodian. You will still own your stocks and bonds, even if we aren’t able to continue managing them. Learn more about our Transfer Guarantee.

Are my deposits FDIC insured?

We keep ~2% of all portfolios in cash. All cash in your accounts is FDIC insured. Your stocks and bonds are SIPC insured, which protects against insolvency, but not lost value of your investments.

What is SIPC insurance?

SIPC insurance for brokerages is like FDIC insurance for banks. Instead of protecting against bank failure, it protects against brokerage failure. In the unlikely event that our custodian, Apex, was to go bankrupt, you could claim up to $150 million of restitution for your stocks and bonds through a combination of SIPC and private insurance.

Note that SIPC insurance does NOT protect against loss in value of your shares from movements in the market. Always remember that investing has no guarantee of future returns.Note that SIPC insurance does NOT protect against loss in value of your shares from movements in the market. Always remember that investing has no guarantee of future returns.

Who is the custodian of my stocks and bonds?

Apex Clearing Corporation is the company that holds your stocks and bonds. They are one of the largest custodians in the country with over $100b under management. They are the same custodian that Robinhood used to get started.

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