The phrase “impact investing” has become the lead moniker chosen to represent several purpose-driven or values-driven strategies that have evolved over the last two decades. Other names such as “sustainable investing”, “socially responsible investing or sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI)”, “corporate social responsibility (CSR)”, “environmental, social and governance (ESG)”, all seem to have been folded-up under the simple more widely accepted term impact investing. The ability to align ones wealth with their values and create a positive impact, in some form or fashion, through the deployment of their investment dollars. (more…)
“Conscious” Capitalism? An oxymoron it is not. It is a movement sweeping across the globe and growing in size, popularity and in the impact that it is having for those business leaders who embrace it. It, in my opinion, should become the standard by which businesses are evaluated for investment and judged in the court of public opinion for its popularity by the consumer. A bold statement indeed, and maybe one better served as a vision for an ideal world, but the pragmatic nature of its four core tenants give it great viability. (more…)
Exactly one month ago today, I returned from a 12-day trip to Uganda. While there, myself and a group of 15 others did water projects such as building a rainwater harvest tank and making and distributing bio-sand filters. The organization that hosted the trip was a non-profit based out of Boone, NC called Wine to Water. Their founder, Doc Hendley, received a CNN Hero award back in 2009 for the incredible work that he himself had done both in Darfur and Uganda. Doc has inspired thousands, myself included. The work they do at Wine to Water changes lives. In fact, it changes entire communities. They do real boots on the ground stuff, bringing clean water to those in need. They make an impact with what they do. And I’ve seen it first hand. (more…)
Why do we plan a vacation? Many, if not most of us, lay out meticulous plans to ensure that our trip goes smoothly. Doing so enables us to do all the things we want to do and see all the things we want to see. But what would happen if we didn’t create a plan in advance? Might a relaxing vacation turn out not so relaxing? Might a potentially great experience turn into a frustratingly negative one? Don’t get me wrong, I know some folks live for spontaneous adventure, but I can’t imagine too many of us like to travel without some sort of plan. By setting an itinerary or planning ahead many of the main aspects of your trip, you can have your expectations become a reality and help to minimize most travel snafus. We plan because there are rewards for doing it.
Now let’s move this idea of planning into the world of financial planning, or investment planning – whichever. I jokingly say that I help people plan for the longest vacation of their life … their retirement. But it’s true. And with most clients, we lay out a pretty meticulous plan. Coincidently, it’s well known in the financial planning industry that most people actually spend more time planning for vacations then they do planning for their own retirement. That’s unfortunate. I’m in my early (cough cough) 40’s and if you think I’ve got great confidence in Social Security footing my bills in retirement, think again. You better believe I plan.
The first thing to do when laying out a financial plan or an investment plan is to know what things can derail your plan. Taking the time to understand the many things that are out of your control, can be time well spent. Here’s a sneak-peek: interest rates, inflation, the stock market, the Federal Reserve, the bond market, corporate (more…)
A farming almanac is an annual publication containing a guide for the coming year and a forecast of the times and statistics of events and phenomena important to growing. Farmers’ almanacs have been a source of wisdom, rooted in the core values of independence and simple living, for American growers for over 200 years. To help you plan for what lies ahead, we are pleased to bring you our Outlook 2014: The Investor’s Almanac. We hope our almanac will prove to be a trusted guide to the coming year filled with a wealth of wisdom for investors.
In the coming year, there are many reasons investors can return to the basics of growing and preserving their portfolios and spend less time gauging the actions of policymakers, including:
•After two “clean” lifts to the debt ceiling since 2011, which ensured any risk of default on Treasury obligations was avoided, we are unlikely to see concessions in exchange for a third increase in 2014—making a high stakes fiscal battle unlikely.
•The Fed is likely to begin to taper its bond-purchase program, known as quantitative easing (QE), early in 2014, signaling a commitment to reducing its presence in the markets and transitioning to a post-QE environment.
•Europe is emerging from recession, which means less need for direct life support from the European Central Bank or painfully austere fiscal policy as deficit targets are eased.
The economy and markets becoming more independent of policymakers while growth accelerates is likely to bolster (more…)
“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.” That’s a quote from a pretty intelligent guy by the name of Albert Einstein. It is tough to challenge just about anything that came out of his mind, but it’s probably even tougher to measure what one actually takes out of this world. We spend a lifetime of taking out. But can one spend a lifetime of putting back (or giving back)?
In all truth, some seemingly can. Billy Graham comes to mind first, most likely because I’m in the middle of reading his new book. He has seemingly given his entire life, and continues to do so at 95 years young. Of course there is Mother Theresa and others like her, and there are the holy Saints. Santa Claus was a saint, and he was certainly a giver! There of course are many others, some who are known worldwide for their giving and their efforts to put back, like Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah or Bono. Some are legendary like the Carnegie’s, the Rockefeller’s and the Duke’s. But what about the majority of us? Do we put back our share? Or is there such a thing as giving enough? Most of us “give what we can”, right? But is there something that limits our giving? What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks you to give? Money.
There is no doubt that money plays a key role in enabling charities to carry out their most important missions and forward their causes to a final level of positive impact, whatever it might be. But there is also giving time, giving talent, giving resources, giving introductions to others, giving knowledge, and giving love. Sometimes the last one, ‘giving love’ is all that someone who is really in need, needs. Knowing this, doesn’t it seem a little easier to (more…)
How will Wall Street remember 2012?
Stock market bears might characterize 2012 as a year of living dangerously, a year in which Wall Street coped with major risks to the American and European economies. Stock market bulls might end up remembering 2012 for what didn’t happen: Greece had resisted a temptation to exit the euro, and it looked as if bipartisan negotiation might save the U.S. economy from heading over the fiscal cliff. In late November, stocks appeared on track for some solid yearly gains.
Key economic indicators improved. The year saw major rebounds in the housing market and consumer confidence. By October, existing home sales were up 10.9% from a year ago with the median sale price at $178,600; 11.1% better than in October 2011. New home sales volume in October had increased 17.2% in 12 months, and the National Association of Home Builders builder sentiment index hit 46 in November, sharply above the October 2011 low of 17. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence poll hit a 57-month high of 73.7 in November, while the University of Michigan’s November consumer sentiment survey reached a peak unseen since July 2007 at 84.9.1,2,3,4,5
By October, unemployment was at 7.9%, down 0.4% from January and 2.3% from three years before. After a 0.2% reversal in May and a flat reading in June, personal spending increased consistently through the third quarter, albeit (more…)
The phrase “impact investing” has become the lead moniker chosen to represent several purpose-driven or values-driven strategies that have evolved over the last two decades. Other names such as “sustainable investing”, “socially responsible investing or sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI)”, “corporate social responsibility (CSR)”, “environmental, social and governance (ESG)”, all seem to have been folded-up … Continue reading “Impact Investing: Performance, Purpose and Positioning”
“Conscious” Capitalism? An oxymoron it is not. It is a movement sweeping across the globe and growing in size, popularity and in the impact that it is having for those business leaders who embrace it. It, in my opinion, should become the standard by which businesses are evaluated for investment and judged in the court … Continue reading “Why We Embrace Conscious Capitalism®”
This is the first time that I’ve ever posted an article from someone else, but this particular article struck me. Maybe it’s because I still consider myself a fairly new father with a 19-month old and an “almost” 3-year old at home. Simply enough, I thought this was worth sharing. In fact I believe anything … Continue reading “How to Live a Beautiful Life”
Exactly one month ago today, I returned from a 12-day trip to Uganda. While there, myself and a group of 15 others did water projects such as building a rainwater harvest tank and making and distributing bio-sand filters. The organization that hosted the trip was a non-profit based out of Boone, NC called Wine to Water. … Continue reading “A Lesson from Uganda”
If #GivingTuesday wasn’t great enough on it’s own, Facebook ‘s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stole the show with an absolutely extraordinary pledge to give away 99% of his Facebook fortune over his and his wife Priscilla Chan’s lifetime. That amount, as it stands today would total over 45 billion dollars. This will be done … Continue reading “The Zuckerberg Impact”