If you have been keeping up with our weekly post in Invested Interests social media accounts, you would have noticed us posting weekly during Hispanic Heritage Month. Throughout the month, we focused each week on a new topic related to Hispanic culture. From Hispanic recipes to well-known Hispanic artists, all to give our audience a better understanding of the Hispanic culture and the importance of celebrating Hispanic heritage month.
Build your Cultural Intelligence
While the Hispanic heritage month is coming to an end on October 15, I don’t want everything that you have learned throughout these various weeks to come to a halt. Instead, I encourage every one of you currently reading this blog to continue learning about other cultures, including the Hispanic culture. Being culturally intelligent is an essential skill to have as it could help you build meaningful relationships with people from different cultures. You start by building meaningful relationships when you actively learn about individuals’ customs, cultures, and views with an open-mind free from ethnocentrism (applying one’s culture or ethnicity as a frame of reference to judge other cultures). By not assuming or clouding your mind with your biases of certain cultures.
Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
Throughout the weeks, we celebrate the Hispanic culture, however, there are still things in this world that need to change. For starters, let’s start with cultural diversity in the workplace. Cultural diversity in the workplace has been shown to improve workplaces by increasing employees’ productivity in the workplace. Having a diverse workplace allows companies to get a broader perspective of ideas or processes. People from different cultures have different past experiences that can be beneficial by providing an overarching knowledge of possible solutions. Laboratory studies have found that diversity in the workplace has shown a positive correlation with diverse groups with their effectiveness. According to author Mazur, creativity thrives on diversity. Meaning, multicultural organizations are known to be better at problem-solving, possess a better ability to extract expanded meanings, and are more likely to display multiple perspectives and interpretation when dealing with complex issues. 35% more likely to perform at a higher level. Overall, increasing the groups’ functionality and ability to problem solve by looking at a problem with different angle points.
Our current society is filled with many individuals from various walks of life, just encompassing any cultural background you can imagine. However, this is not the circumstances in the modern age business workplace. Cultural diversity and inclusion in this day and age are essential, and it is an issue that should be resolved within the business industry.
How to make an impact!
First, you have to realize that it is easier to change the business environment from a business concerned about diversity. At Invested Interest, we identify those companies that promote fair and equitable working conditions and companies with diverse boards and workforces. Diversity in all its aspects, from cultural diversity, LGBTQA+, to women in high-level management. Companies like Accenture, Fisher & Paykel, and other companies in our diverse portfolio.
COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us in many different ways. Many individuals have lost their jobs because of it, while others had their hours cut. Around 205,000 individuals have passed away from this virus. Eight months of this on-going pandemic has also negatively affected the U.S. economy.
The outcome of the pandemic
In July, 31.3 million people reported that they were unable to work at some point in the last 4-weeks. As of July, 16.9 million (57%) people were unable to work. Even though these statistics are in some way outdated as of September, there are still people who are unemployed while others have returned to their work. The pandemic has people less willing to spend money on unnecessary things/trips. Causing many sectors in the economy like the traveling industry, airline industries, and other leisure industries to be highly impacted by the pandemic.
Federal Reserve’s response to the economy
On September 16, 2020, Jerome Powell from the federal reserve announced that they are strongly committed to achieving the monetary goals that our congress has given them. These goals are price stability and higher employment rates. The pandemic has not made raising the employment rate as easy as the goal may seem and instead challenged this goal. However, they have offered relief like unemployment and President Trump signing the H.R., 748 Cares Act (a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill) on March 27, 2020, hoping the recovery is as easy as possible. With the pandemic in mind, which does not seem to be ending any time soon, the federal reserve has changed the policy statement to alleviate potentially severe damages of this pandemic and achieve the congress’s goals. The federal reserve has announced to keep interest rates near zero and plans to stay for three years (until 2023).
What do lower interest rates mean?
When the Federal Reserve lowers the interest rate, it is a tactic to stimulate economic growth. One reason why the Federal Reserve decided to reduce the interest rate may be because they want consumers to spend more money. With lower interest rates, it makes it easier for someone to finance assets like houses or cars. When interest rates are lower, financing becomes cheaper for individuals to borrow or invest. It can also be helpful for someone who has a 401(k) account or an investor. The lowering of interest rates will affect your investment portfolio. One thing to be aware of, while the lower rates will increase your stocks, your bond prices will be the ones that will be lower.
The bottom line is that depending on if you are a borrower or saver, the lowering of interest rate may or may not benefit you.
If you have any questions about the lowering of interest rates or your investments, please reach out to us! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine this: You have made it through a successful interview, with a company you consider working for. You have managed to get the answers to the redundant questions, usually asked by the candidates. What are the day to day responsibilities of this position? Who will I report to? What is the company’s culture? Why do you work here? Don’t get me wrong, these are all very important questions but, let’s start asking the critical questions relating to the company’s corporate social responsibility.
Corporate social responsibility: Self regulating business model that allows companies to be socially responsible. By practicing corporate social responsibility, companies can positively impact society, economic, social, and the environment.
1. Does the company have a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy?
Let’s start by breaking the ice with this question. With their response to this question, you will know whether the company has started thinking about implementing any CSR or whether they are not interested in integrating social and environmental concerns in their business operations.
2. How does the company approach corporate social responsibility?
This question will give you a better understanding of what philanthropic initiatives they have started and whether that aligns with your values.
3. How do employees get engaged in the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy? Are employees required to participate?
It is great that a company has a CSR strategy, but how many employees are getting involved? If you were to walk up to an employee, would they be able to tell you what projects/events have been hosted for their philanthropy?
4. Is the Corporate Social Responsibility strategy evolving and adapting to meet new needs?
Life is continually changing; it is essential to know whether they adapt to new social/environmental issues.I personally like companies who are constantly informed on the world’s current events.
5. How is the company tracking or measuring their Corporate Social Responsibility impact?
A company can’t know how successful their CSR strategy is if they don’t keep track or measure their impact.
6. What are the company’s customers’ social aspirations? Have you taken any action? What environmental/social issues would consumers want the company to address?
This question ultimately identifies whether the company listens to its consumers and considers their opinions when creating a CSR strategy.
Nobody wants to work in a company they dread waking up early in the morning to work. While some individuals may not have any other choice, you have the power to choose what company you decide to work for. Research has shown that corporate social responsibility has been linked to higher employee satisfaction and company commitment. When you work at a company committed to being socially responsible, it comes to no surprise you would be committed to their philanthropy.
Identify those companies committed to being socially responsible and if you are currently working for a company, find out what their CSR strategy is and how you can actively engage in their process.
Quick! Currently, do you know how much you owe on student loans? (No, this question isn’t to frighten or embarrass you). If you mentally responded, around $25,000-$35,000, you are not alone. As of 2019, the U.S. average student loan debt is approximately $32,731. There is nothing wrong with having student loans (unless you are not paying on time). We go to college/university to further our education and invest in ourselves.
Student loans range from subsidized/unsubsidized federal loans to bank loans and other varieties of private loans. While many of you may be dealing with high-interest rate loans, others may not be dealing with any interest rate until you graduate. So the question, “Should I pay off my student loans before investing?” does not have a universal answer because there are various factors to consider when making this strategic decision.
1. Type of Loan
The type of loan is, by far, the most essential factor. The reason being is because every loan disbursed has different student loan agreements & interest rates attached. For example, take federal loans (FAFSA), there are two types of loans you can qualify for. Unsubsidized student loan interest begins as soon as the loan is disbursed. While the subsidized student loan interest is paid by the Education Department, and it won’t bill you for interest/payment until after six months of graduation (also referred to as the grace period). Bank loans often carry higher interest rates and require a cosigner if they have no credit history.
2. Loan’s Interest Rate
Once again, it boils down to the loan interest rate. Federal student loans interest rate fluctuates every year, for the academic year of 2020-21, the subsidized student loan interest rate (fixed) was 2.75%. While unsubsidized graduate student loans as of 2020-21 are 4.30%. Lastly, bank loans differ depending on the bank you received a loan from, but as of currently, the average is about 3.82% to 14.50% (fixed). It is important to check your student loan portal as interest rates fluctuate throughout the years. It is advised, you start by paying off the higher interest rate loans if you have multiple loans. Essentially you could start investing when you have student loans with interest rates below 5.8%. While you can start investing, make sure you make the required payments on time and invest the remains (after accounting any other expense). Lastly, we wanted to note that there is student loan relief during the pandemic. Find out what loan relief you may be eligible for.
3. Financial Goals
Most likely than not, your financial goals go beyond paying your student loans. So it is important to consider your financial goals. Are you planning on moving out when you graduate? Are you planning to rent/buy an apartment or house (roommates to help with bills)? Do you plan to save up money for a car or a trip? Do you want to start investing or plan for retirement? Everyone’s financial goals are different, and it is important to consider before investing.
Find yourself stuck in your decision? Seek out advice from our team! Email us at email@example.com
4. Social & Economic Factors
I can make an entirely new blogpost on how COVID-19 has affected everyone, including myself. Many individuals have gotten furloughed or terminated from their jobs. At the same time, others may be struggling to make ends meet. There are many economic factors and social factors that may be currently affecting you, from this pandemic to CA, WA, and OR wildfires to having to take care of someone who may be sick or involved in any way. I don’t mean to get philosophical, but life is truly unpredictable. Make sure you consider any factor affecting you right now or you foresee in the future.
(Disclaimer: This blogpost is written as a suggestive method. Various social factors come into play (meaning, everyone has different approaches/lifestyles). If you would like to receive a detailed plan, seek advice from a financial advisor. Thank you!)
In the past, women did not generally invest as much compared to men. A potential motive of the underrepresentation of women in finance, mainly when it comes to investing, could be linked to men dominating the finance industry early on. However, women have entered the playing field, and it is no longer a “male-dominated game.”
How do women see better return than men with their investments?
Women bring so many strengths to their investing accounts. Unlike men, women are more conservative in taking investment risks. According to BlackRock Inc survey, more than half of women (globally) say they are not willing to take any money risks compared to men (33%) ready to “play the market.” This goes to show that women are more likely to hold on to their stocks in a company and build their investment stock through time, causing long-term investment than men who tend to take the more riskier route of selling and buying stocks by “measuring the right time.” It comes to no surprise when women earn 12% higher returns than men when it comes to investing!
How are women getting more involved in their finances: investing?
Based on Rich Thinking global interviews, over three-quarters of women prefer to invest in stocks and funds that reflect their core values. Study after study shows that 70-79% of women showcase more interest in impact investing than men (~28-62%). Thus, showcasing that women are more empowered to casually invest and diversify their investment portfolio with various stocks that they are passionate about.
Like mentioned earlier, historically, finance was considered a male-dominated industry. Now, there are programs like Girls Who Invest, a nonprofit organization that empowers undergraduate college students to explore finance. Their 10-week enriched program provides tools & resources for women to learn more about careers such as portfolio management and executive leadership in the asset management industry. Programs like this encourage and motivate women from early on in college to think about a variety of finance career paths.
Social media communities. Many social media groups provide resources and communication about anything involving the investing world, including portfolio tracking and performance. Communities like Moneypenny, open doors to women who want to start investing but don’t necessarily know how to start.
Make an impact!
Women have been able make an impact in their finances through investing, and create an indent in the gender gap of the finance industry. Gender equality in the finance industry is immensely lower than other fields like medicine or law. Here is how you take initiative to help breakthrough gender inequality barriers. Impact investing. How? With Invested Interests your investment is carefully crafted to meet your values and goals. If one of your values is to invest in human rights & diversity, support companies who promote fair and equal working working conditions. Companies like Accenture, Fisher & Paykel and other companies we have partnered with. Companies that yearn the day in which women have equal rights.
Want to invest in Human Rights & Diversity ? Learn how you can make an impact!
I wanted to start this blogpost by introducing this blog’s writer. Behind WordPress, is Narcy Cruz! Who am I? I am a first-generation undergraduate college student (junior, to be exact) studying Business and Psychology. Aside from academia, I am a new marketing intern at Invested Interests. Growing up, I watched my parents struggle with financial instability, which led to many financial difficulties in our family. Hence, as a teenager, I researched ways to become financially stable one day. I learned about credit cards, savings accounts, filing taxes, the stock market, investing, and even opening a Roth IRA. I was keen on joining Invested Interest because, in my eyes, this was the perfect opportunity to continue learning about the variety of investing methods, but what captured my interest even more, was knowing that this company helps clients invest in the greater good.
In this blog post, I decided to outline five reasons why Generation Z should start investing in today’s economic markets.
1: Financial freedom. As I shared in my introduction, I grew up in a household where there was never financial stability nor financial freedom. My parents lived paycheck to paycheck and never were able to achieve financial wealth. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to invest as much money as they hoped because they started later in life, which leads to the second reason why you should start investing.
2: It is never too early to start investing; if anything, you will have an advantage if you start now. Starting early will not only allocate time for you to list down markets you would want to invest in, but also investing is a time game, not how much money you decide to start investing. According to MyWallst, if you begin investing 2,000 dollars now, it can turn into almost $100,000* after 40 yrs (*10% return a year). Why? The compound magic of investing, your invested money, is working 24/7 (talk about passive income!) I bet you, your savings account can’t do that!
3: Generation Z (14-21) is coming of age, and according to a Betterment Business survey, 88% of Gen Z’s are actively saving some money monthly. I understand that saving money in a savings account has no risks (aside from getting eaten by inflation) compared to investing it on the stock market. We are not suggesting that you invest all your savings but, instead, continue to have an emergency fund. Invested money grows way faster than cash in a savings account. According to Macrotrends.net, the stock market has returned around 10% annually since 1974!
Need guidance to align your investment with your values? Check out how to get started!
4: Another reason why you should start investing is to become a shareholder of a company that uses your money for the greater good. As a shareholder, you own part of the company when you purchase a stock, and this enables you a percentage of shares and assets of that company. (Ok, so what!) A company could choose to return money potentially regularly, to its shareholders. As the business you invested grows, the price of your share increases (a time game). If you ever decide to sell your shares, you will pocket any returns you invested!
5: Social investing will allow you to invest in the greater good. According to Ernst and Young’s study, Generation Z is known for being highly informed about the world’s current climate and wanting to take charge of their lives and futures. So why not start investing in social causes like human rights, diversity, and environmental problems. There are so many social causes and a variety of ways to invest your money. Invested Interests will help you customize a strategy that best suits your lifestyle.