Why is it important to Invest in Diversity?
Investing in diversity means supporting companies that regularly showcase their focus on equity and inclusion. This could include companies focused on raising up the voices’ of women, LGTBQ+ people, and people of color.
We still have a long ways to go to dismantle prejudice in the United States; however, supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a critical first step. Having diverse leadership within a company means that more voices and perspectives are included and listened to.
How does Invested Interests Invest in Diversity?
Invested Interests has an investment portfolio curated around Human Rights and Diversity. This portfolio helps our clients support companies that promote human rights and diversity, which are more open to new ideas and perspectives and usually place a greater emphasis on merit.
The portfolio focused on companies promoting fair and equal working conditions, companies supporting safe working conditions and just labor practices, companies with diverse boards and diverse senior leadership teams, and companies that promote women’s rights and equal rights (like the #MeToo movement or LGBTQ movement).
In addition, the portfolio avoids oppressive regimes, companies that do business with governments or regimes that suppress free speech, companies with little or no workplace diversity, and companies that have had diversity-related controversies, like sexual harassment or racism
Finally, choosing an investment portfolio that supports your values is key. Invested Interests can support your investment efforts in diversity, peace, and sustainability. Learn more about how you can begin investing in diversity.
Climate change includes global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases causing large scale shifts in our weather patterns. The impacts of climate change are detrimental to the planet, to us, and our economy. Learn how to invest in climate change.
Investing isn’t the only way to show your support for the environment. Check out How to Vote with Your Wallet for the Environment for eco-friendly financial tips. If you’re new to investing, check out our glossary to get comfortable with financial terminology.
What is climate change investing?
Impact investing aims to generate specific beneficial social or environmental effects. People impact invest because they want to utilize their money and investment capital to bring change to social issues. Climate change investing is one way of impact investing in climate change. People who want to invest in climate change wish to create a sustainable future for coming generations.
Examples of climate change investing?
The two most common ways individuals invest in climate change are investing in renewable energy investing or investing in corporations with green initiatives. Investing in renewable energy companies focuses on manufacturing products that are sustainable and creating solutions that will limit the amount of emissions used in their products.
Investing in corporations with green initiatives allows individuals to invest in companies committed to the conservation of natural resources and implementing new alternative ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
How can you get involved in climate change investing?
At Invested Interests, we make it easy for anyone (beginner proof) to invest in climate change. Our clients invest in green companies, alternative and renewable energy companies, and companies promoting sustainability through our environmental portfolio’s wide range. We avoid oil and fossil fuel companies, companies that aren’t eco-friendly, and nuclear power companies. Companies like Microsoft or Nike are included in our company environment impact investing portfolio.
Ah yes, we’ve found ourselves in that post-election season bliss. You know what I’m talking about, it’s that sweet moment when sunlight finally starts peeking through the storm clouds that have covered our political atmosphere for the past four years. In other words, it’s a moment of hope. For instance, We’ve seen a lot of positives come out of this election, specifically for women.
Let’s just start by saying that our team is beyond ecstatic that, for the first time, there is a woman holding the title of vice-president-elect. Kamala Harris is paving the way for countless young women by demonstrating that women who have a passion for politics can become everything they’ve aspired to be. In fact, this election season we’ve seen several strong women use their voice to champion women and women’s issues.
All four members of The Squad won their victories for re-election, we’re talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, which has been great news for many women who look up to their leadership. All in all, the United States has made some solid steps to increase the presence of women in politics…but does anyone else feel like this is longggg overdue?
This election made us wonder, how many other countries have already taken these steps? Given that the United States is known to be a somewhat of a leader on the global scale (maybe a less serious one thanks to a certain Mr. #45) shouldn’t we have seen women in these prominent elections a while ago?
Well, we can’t necessarily tell you why it’s taken us so long, but our curiosity did lead us to some great information about how familiar other countries are with female leadership. Here’s what you should know:
Some of the best COVID-19 responses have come from countries led by women.
Germany, Taiwan, and Australia all currently have women sitting in the hot seat when it comes to leading a country through a global pandemic and they have created some of the best strategies to get their citizens through it. For example, Taiwan, led by Tsai Ing-wen, had one of the quickest responses. Since implementing in-depth safety measures, the country has only seen six deaths, which seems miraculous when compared to the US’s current 11.1 million and counting. More on these countries and their responses here.
Women-led countries are more likely to have fast-growing economies.
According to The Harvard Business Review, countries led by women had an average of 5.4% GDP growth in the subsequent year, as compared with their male counterparts’ 1.1%. While this doesn’t guarantee that female leadership will spike a nation’s economy, it is interesting to note. For example, we’d like to shed some light on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, her time in government lasted from 2006 to 2018, and throughout those twelve years, she fought to create an inclusive government by reflecting the age, gender, religion, and ethnicity ranges in the country through her cabinet. This choice helped her to achieve an average annual 4% GDP growth rate in her first five years in office.
59 other countries beat the United States in having a female leader before Hilliary Clinton was even on a ballot.
Ya, you read that right. One American-centric trap we tend to fall into is believing that the United States is #1 in everything, but in this case, we are terribly behind. Back in 2019, CNN politics put together this handy dandy timeline showing major achievements for women in global leadership dating all the way back to the sixties. Some things have changed since, but only for the better.
The United Nations created a “Women in Politics 2020 Map” that shows some all-time highs but ultimately tells us that women are still underrepresented across all levels of power.
This map, created back in January “presents global rankings for women in executive, government, and parliamentary positions” and it can be a little daunting at first glance. The map itself is color-coded to represent “the percentage of women in unicameral parliaments or in the lower house of parliament”, but also includes information like what political portfolios are held by women ministers, and even the world and regional averages of women in parliament. We’ve included a sneak peek of the goods below.
At the end of the day, the point is that we need more women in politics. Women make up at least 50% of the population, so we should fight for their representation in government! Hopefully, with the dawn of this new presidency slowly approaching us, we’ll see even more victories for strong women on the political battlefield. For the time being, it’s important to know how you can make a difference year-round to support causes like women’s rights and diversity. Let us help you align your investments with your values today by connecting with us here or on social media.
Long live the machines! Yeah, that doesn’t sound quite right to me either. Recent technology has provided us with modern conveniences like voice-activated AI (think Alexa or “Hey Google”), self-driving cars (thank you Tesla), and now Robo Advisors.
I don’t know about you, but the name makes me think of the man behind the curtain who called himself the Wizard of Oz. With Robo Advisors there seems to be an added layer of mystery to the already complex world of investing, which might work for some….but for us not so much.
What are Robo Advisors
See, Robo Advisors are automated investing services or online advisors that rely on computer algorithms to manage your investment portfolios. What we find coated in 21st-century weirdness is that none of this process requires much human interaction at all. Most robo-advisors can manage both individual retirement accounts and taxable accounts, some can even help manage your 401(k).
Now I don’t know about you, but I have a bag full of trust issues that prevents me from peacefully giving my hard-earned retirement money to a computer system. I’d much rather sit face to face, or face to screen, with another human that I can bog down with questions.
What keeps Robo Advisors around
I was going to bore you with the history of where these finance savvy robots came from, but instead, I figured you’d care more about what keeps them from going extinct. You can read up on their history on your own time here.
The real allure of Robo Advisors is the upfront costs they can save you. For example, Most robo advisor companies charge between 0.25% and 0.50% as an annual management fee, which is a lot lower than the current rates of face to face advisors. If you’re a real risk-taker, there are even a few free robo advisor options you can hitch your wagon to.
Another reason why someone may choose to go with a Robo Advisor is that they don’t have a strong preference as to what their portfolio looks like. Customization is not a common factor with today’s Robo Advisor options, which is a huge problem if you’re looking to try your hand in a little bit of SRI, ESG, or Impact Investing.
Robo Advisor Red Flags
To help you navigate whether or not robo advisors are the way for you to go, here’s a handy dandy list of red flags. If you’re looking to have anything on this list be a part of your investment experience, stay far far away from the robo advisor realm.
- The ability to personalize your investment portfolio
- Face to Face question and answer sessions
- A hands-on investment experience
- Investment planning and guidance
All in all, Robo Advisors serve their purpose well for those who are inclined to use the service. However, if you’re anything like us, you might want to stick to flesh and blood financial advisors.
If you’re currently in the market for a new advisor, give us a call! We’d love to match you with one of our real human advisors to discuss your investment goals.
You’ve probably seen the articles trying to predict the stock market. Or, maybe, you’ve heard from your friends how the economy is doing. But, what’s the relation between the two? And, how do the stock market and economy differ?
While some people use them to refer to the same thing, the stock market is not equivalent to the economy.
What does the stock market show?
The stock market is a single institution within the economy. The stock market does not represent the totality of the economy. Many small businesses and workers that make up the economy don’t have a stake in the stock market.
In addition, the stock market does not represent an equitable overview of the people invested in it. While roughly half of Americans invest in the stock market, those who do are disproportionately white and wealthy. This means that many historically oppressed groups are not well represented in the stock market.
While all of us at Invested Interests want to change this narrative, the reality is that nearly 85% of the stock market is controlled by the top 10% of earners in American. And, experts believe the proportion of the market controlled by the wealthy could be growing. More firms need to begin investing in an economically diverse clientele to support the redistribution of assets, especially stocks. Invested Interests commits to this through a $0 minimum investment to make our services available to a variety of investors.
However, until this changes, when we look at the many fluctuations of the stock market, we are Rather, what we are seeing in the stock market unpredictability of the assets of the wealthy. The stock market does not drive the economy nor does it necessarily reflect it, especially in the short term.
What can investors do?
So, when considering investing, it is almost impossible to time the market. Any sort of unpredictable change upsets the market. Look at the last month, the presidential election has thrown the stock market up and down as it tried to predict the outcome. Over the last spring and summer, we saw similar irregularities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rather than try to time out the stock market, a better (in our opinion) option is to consider your personal finances. If you have the means to start investing now, talk to a team member. There will always be a worse and a better time to invest.
And, try not to panic when the stock market fluctuates. You never know how the market will change, but our top-notch team will always aid you in your financial ventures. Reach out to start investing with us today.
The world of investing is home to hundreds of seemingly complex vocabulary terms. Which at first sight, can be a real turn off. Unfortunately, ESG Funds are one of those words, despite how beneficial they are. To make matters worse, any quality information you can find on ESG Funds seems to be buried under mountains of complicated academic text. Talk about #TLDR.
You deserve better. So, we’ve broken down ESG Funds to their barebone basics and hopefully have taken away some of their intimidation factors.
Let’s get started, shall we?
WTH is ESG
We know what you’re thinking, what does ESG even stand for? Even the name itself already seems like a hassle. Let’s face it, who has the brain space left to learn and memorize another financial acronym?? Not me. But regardless, it’s good foundational knowledge to have at least peeked at. Here is what ESG actually stands for:
When you break it down like that, it’s really not that scary. Now there are other names people like to use when talking about ESG funds, like sustainable investing. However, this is really just a huge blanket term that covers a lot more than ESG Funds. So, to give some specific background on ESG Funds, let’s take a look at what factors are listed under each of the three categories. Knowing what qualities make up each category provides a little more insight on what criteria are used to classify different kinds of ESG investments.
This category handles topics like; climate change policies, plans, and disclosures. It also covers the usage of renewable energy (including wind and solar) as well as green products, technologies, and infrastructure.
This second category primarily covers company policies on social issues like; employee treatment, pay, benefits, and perks. It also includes a company’s public stance on social justice issues/lobbying efforts and their stance on diversity and inclusion in company hiring.
This category also seems to be pretty self-explanatory. It includes factors like executive compensation, bonuses, and perks. The level of diversity of the board of directors and management team and a company’s transparency in communicating with shareholders, and any history of lawsuits.
What is the goal of ESG Investing?
In case we lost you at any point, let us be really clear. Essentially ESG Funds aka ESG Mutual Funds, are one style of investing that takes into account which companies will yield good financial returns and are actively doing work to benefit one or more of the three-letter categories.
So not only are you taking initiative to financially plan for your future, but you can rest a little easier knowing that your hard-earned dollars aren’t going to a super sleazeball company with no moral compass or standard of ethics.
There are other ways of aligning your investments with your values of course. For example, you can opt for a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) strategy to filter out bad companies and using what’s leftover to determine who the good guys are. We’ll talk about this more in another blog post.
One thing you should know is that ESG Investing is a little more forgiving. It sees the glass half full and looks for the good that businesses are doing rather than focusing on their shortcomings. However, different strategies work for different people, and although these two investment strategies take different roads, their purpose falls within the same vicinity.
Still don’t get it? Let’s Chat IRL.
There is a whole other level of information we could try to inject you with, but we’re going to opt for the short and sweet style of things this time around. Of course, if you are dying to learn more or want us to give your investment strategy a look-see, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Although in-person meetings have been stifled recently due to the global pandemic, we’d love to have a real conversation with you talk face to face (aka face to screen). Bottom line is, we’re eager to meet ya and teach ya even more about the intricacies of the investment world that we call home.