Founded in 2015 at Princeton University, Effective Altruism Investments is a student-run investment fund that seeks objectively good returns for objectively good causes. EAI is the result of intersecting passions for morality and investing, manifesting itself in a threefold mission:
Our investment strategy must accommodate our needs to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis while still having consistent cash flows for donations. To beat the market, we recognize the disadvantages students are at compared to professionals, focusing where students have a competitive edge: investments outside the bounds of knowledge and practicality of large institutions. We aim for overlooked assets that we can know better than the majority of market players, or small illiquid assets that institutions cannot enter. Open to value wherever it arises, we invest in stocks, ETF’s, options and peer-to-peer lending. Furthermore, we choose our asset mix to ensure consistent quarterly cash flows to fuel donations.
Finding the best investments is just half the battle. In order to maximize total good, we must also find the best organizations to donate 20% of profits to. We donate the majority to effective charities recommended by GiveWell, but believe we could do more good by giving at least a portion to smaller organizations in which we have a sort of competitive advantage in exposure. For example, student groups or local organizations which don’t have GiveWell’s recommendation may be underfunded, and thus use a dollar for greater impact.