The Sustainable Investor: In Pursuit of an Enlightened Investment Portfolio
Draghi Gets Some Religion; Europe, a Reprieve?
November 21, 2014
With the Eurozone economies skidding toward zero percent economic growth (or worse), investors got a reprieve this week: Evidence that the eternal inflation hawk, the Bundesbank, was no longer driving European monetary policy. Since the hyperinflation era after WW2, Germany has employed a strict monetary policy that made the (former) Deutschemark, one of the world's most stable currencies. German adherence to this policy, and some would say its obsession with inflation, was fine when Germany was a stand-alone nation. But when its authority dominated Eurozone policies, many questioned whether its strict precepts weren't actually driving many European nations into recession/depression. This week, Mario...Read Full Article...
Beyond Correlation: Re-examining the True Purpose of Investing
November 12, 2014
Where did we all go so wrong? How did the financial industry's investment approaches get so far from reality? At some point, investing became about volatility, standard deviations, correlations and "Monte Carlo" analyses. An "institutional" mindset took over as individuals began to mimic the actions of the big institutional investors (i.e., pension funds.) We became more concerned with beating benchmarks than with growing our long term assets. So, today, we need to re-examine the true purpose of investing, and reconnect it with real people and real money. I'll admit it. I was part of the problem... When I managed a mutual fund some 15 years ago in the volatile emerging equity markets,...Read Full Article...
The broad array of solutions for today's "fossil free" investors
November 10, 2014
As an investment manager focused on sustainable and social impact investing, we are (by definition) open to learning as much as possible about each client's unique values. Our job is to determine how those values might manifest themselves in an investment portfolio. More and more often, including this month, we are asked to build investment portfolios that are free of fossil fuels. Given the proliferation of "index funds" and exchange traded funds (ETFs) that simply track a benchmark, one might think that this it would be difficult to remove fossil fuels from a portfolio. It's difficult -- but not impossible. And interestingly enough, one need not...Read Full Article...
At the Intersection of Work and Purpose
October 13, 2014
"Never has there been a more exciting time for all of us to explore this great next frontier where boundaries between work and purpose are merging into one, where doing good really is good for business." Sir Richard Branson -- CEO, Virgin Group in his book Screw Business As Usual Sir Richard Branson has always been a highly quotable CEO, and the quote at the top of this page is among my favorites. It highlights the transition that we are all experiencing: That "purpose" (i.e., doing good) is now a critical part of business success. Customers demand it. Employees are attracted to it. And investors increasingly embrace it.Generational change...Read Full Article...
July 27, 2014
"In business, sustainability means managing human and natural capital with the same vigor we apply to the management of financial capital. It means widening the scope of our awareness so we can understand fully the "true cost" of every choice we make." Ray C. Anderson -- CEO, Interface, on defining "sustainability" We can all read Ray Anderson's words above, appreciate his passion, and be inspired by his vision. But what if we aren't all visionaries like Ray? How can we create an authentic experience that reflects our passions in something as mundane as investing? Keep in mind that the carpet business isn't...Read Full Article...
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