Broker Check

Impact Investment Update

| October 09, 2017


This month many of our clients have begun taking positions in "microfinance" institutions that lend for a variety of socially impactful purposes -- from small business lending to women's empowerment to renewable energy finance. One such example, accessible to any investor, is the Community Investment Note from Calvert Foundation.  

We have also begun the process of investing client capital in organic farmland conversion. Farmland has been a steady growth asset for many years, but converting conventional acreage to organic makes it considerably more valuable, earning far higher rents from organic farmers.

That's not to say that our clients' impact is solely in these unique areas.  Quite the contrary.  The "blocking and tackling" of social impact and sustainable investment means that, across all of our clients, conventional equity portfolios focus on sustainability leaders, companies that are great places to work and firms that are good environmental stewards. Fixed income portfolios include affordable housing finance and even green bonds that finance energy efficiency and infrastructure around the globe. 

 And for investors who have cash reserves that they need to productively deploy, we can suggest a variety of options for them to consider (outside their investment accounts.)  This month, we highlight CNotes -- short term interest bearing instruments that invest in loans to local businesses. 

These loans are sourced through a network of what are known as Community Development Financial Institutions (or CDFI's.)  Such loans directly benefit women and minority entrepreneurs, and while these instruments aren't FDIC insured, they do tap into a network of US Treasury-certified institutions that have a long track record of sound lending and meaningful impact.