Have you considered aligning your investments with your values?
As we prepare to round off another year, 2020 proved to be a year one would refer to as “an eye-opening moment in time”. #COVID19 has turned our world inside out and has thrown us all into a storm that took over the planet. While we are all facing the same pandemic, we are each experiencing it via a different lens. While some may be sailing through these challenges in a luxury yacht, others may be frantically rowing in a canoe while others still may be drowning.
The pandemic showed that as we destroy the natural barriers between us Humans and nature, the result may not be to our benefit and in fact may create deadly outcomes – 292,838 deaths in the US as of the moment this article is being worked on. It has forced to the surface issues that we comfortably suppressed or chose to ignore, such as income inequality, climate change, unequal access to health care as well as the lack of diversity in the work force of companies around the globe, not to mention the discrepancy of the gender pay-gap.
If you find any of these issues important to your core values, please know that your investments can be aligned with these values and implemented in your portfolio.
Late in 2019, I once again stepped out as founder of #Women&Wealth Solutions, looking to focus primarily on money management and financial guidance for women who find themselves in charge of their household’s finances whether by choice or not. In doing so, I was able to re-align my values and core beliefs with the running of my firm and its investment management with the focus on impact and responsible investing.
#Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs notes that as wealth increases, a person’s values may change from focusing on basic essentials such as emotional needs, safety, food, and security, evolving into more elevated needs such as belonging, love and self-actualization. #Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development states that with maturity and time, decision-making and priorities change from self-interest and personal reward to a bigger world-view of universal ethical principles. Today, Hans Rosling in his book “Fact Fulness” shows us that while twenty years ago 29% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, today it is 9%. He also shows that fifty years ago one in five children died before the age of five, and now, only one in 20. As the world matures, its overall outlook moves along the same trajectory as individuals do over their lifetime and is actualizing green infrastructures, addressing global food insecurity and other issues affecting humanity.
It is now abundantly clear that aligning our investment dollars with companies who look to improve our world and not hurt it, safeguard against destroying our natural habitat, promote and recognize good work versus reward entitlement, all lead to a more holistic and impactful support of our personal values.
This year as the portfolios were realigned to engage money managers in the focus areas of: #ESG=envirometnal-social-governance, we saw how companies who had already adjusted their business models to address these issues weathered the #COVID affect and remained profitable and effective. Investment companies such as #BrownAdvisory, #Parnassus and #BlackRock all contributed to the overall success of the portfolios with their analysis, research, advocacy and ultimate money management through their funds and ETFs. I cannot imagine managing my life wanting to eat right, exercise and be a responsible citizen on this planet and then bring dollars of clients to companies who support the exact opposite of these values. Once the #ESG filter is placed it sorts out those bad actors and brings to focus the responsible investors that now align with values and core beliefs we share.
Going forward, hard decisions will need to be made as we come out of this pandemic and the pervasive atmosphere of divisiveness and hate. We have such an incredible opportunity to improve life for all of us with innovation built upon responsible and creative ideas. When we open ourselves up to new ways of thinking, while we may not always agree, if we listen and really hear what options exist, the growth opportunities for humanity are encouraging and incredibly exciting.
Have you considered aligning your investments with your values? If you invest with us, we are.
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