Why the founders of YourGrocer believe in socially responsible investing

Morgan and Nicolette love big ideas, startups and keeping things local. They were part of the founding group at Thankyou and later started YourGrocer, a same-day delivery service from local grocers, butchers, bakers and shops. We sat down over brisket at Le Bon Ton to talk life, work and money.

“We believe that one of the most powerful ways to change the world is to use business for good.”

When we were fresh out of high school, we joined a couple of friends on a mission to bring clean water to developing countries. With a budget of zero dollars, we met with distributors and begged and pleaded for a partnership. That was the beginning of Thankyou Water.

We worked on Thankyou for four years and we’re proud of the role we played in getting it off the ground. As of today the organisation has given $5M+ to people in need, and brought water and sanitation to more than half a million people.

The idea behind YourGrocer came after working late nights and coming home to an empty fridge. We wanted to shop at the market and local shops but didn’t have the time. A lot of our friends had the same problem. So we thought, “What if there was a service that could do that for us?” And that’s how YourGrocer was born.

We believe most people would prefer to support local. The quality is better, the ethics are better and the money stays in the local community. But people are busy — so we make it convenient.

Starting YourGrocer was a big financial risk. We used most of our savings to launch the business and didn’t make a salary for almost a year, so we had to learn to budget tight. Following dreams takes sacrifice. The money (hopefully) follows later.

We both left jobs to work at YourGrocer. Sure, we could earn more working somewhere else, but we’re learning so much now. Plus, we’re making people’s lives better and healthier. That’s a pretty good feeling, and something we’re passionate about.

Lots of people choose comfort over risk, especially when it comes to your finances. But if you’re truly looking at the long term, it’s more important to keep learning and build up your skills than it is to try to earn as much as you can.

“A year ago, neither of us knew much about investing…”

We were focused on building the company and didn’t make a salary for quite a long time so we didn’t have any money to invest. But with Your Grocer taking off, we’ve now built up our emergency fund and we’re saving a solid chunk of our income. Our ING savings account was only earning 1.6% a year, so we started looking for a better way to put our savings to work.

At first we tried buying shares. We bought shares in Aconex, a Melbourne company, in December 2016. In January it tanked. It was a quick lesson and one that we’re glad we learned: picking shares is hard. Actually, we learned that even the ‘professionals’ can’t pick right 50% of the time.

After that false start we started reading and learning more about investing with ETFs. Turns out, building a diverse portfolio with ETFs is a much smarter way to invest than buying stocks.

So we ended up moving our savings from ING Direct to Clover. It felt like a big decision, but at the same time, leaving our money in an account with just 1.6% interest is a decision we were making by not acting.

When we joined Clover, we chose a Socially Responsible investment portfolio (obviously!). We check our account pretty much every day. It’s cool to see our balance amount move up and down depending on how the investments are performing.

One of the guiding principles we believe in our business is that people are inherently good. Our customers, partners, suppliers and the team are all long term relationships for us. If you don’t screw over anyone to make a short term gain and instead set up your business model in a way that aligns your interests with others, you’ll do better in the long run. If you’re helping other people, they’ll help you — and when you’re starting out you need all the help you can get!

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At Clover we admire people who do good while doing well. Our hope is that Clover helps more people to be smarter, and more confident, with their money.

Use this link to shop with YourGrocer and you’ll get $20 off. They do same-day delivery across all of Melbourne, and most of Sydney.

Use this link to invest with Clover and you’ll get three months’ free investing!