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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are your investments aligned with your values?

The 2012 investment world is rife with challenges, issues, corruption, greed and mainly a void for real social concerns.  The rise of the "Occupy" movement may have helped the world to realign personal values with personal spending.  Hundreds, thousands and millions of personal investment dollars are being spent on companies that do not support positive impacts.  Yet, the first impact in this new type of investing is upon you… the willing contributor.   
Most of us currently manage 401k's, mutual funds, diversified stock accounts and other related investment accounts, so we have the leverage to support this new sector. The recent growth of social and environment impact investments have spawned wholly new firms, new emerging markets and values-driven funds to match the personal interests of the contributors.   The larger investment world is starting to take notice of these small socially linked funds… that still return a profit!  While the overall financial return may be sometimes less than market averages, the returns to society are now finally beginning to be counted. 

The key remains diversification of your portfolio, as any sound financial advisor will tell you.  Mitigate your risk with long term, short term and medium growth opportunity investments.  Yet now you can begin to add social, environmental and impact investment funds to a portfolio.  Your direct support of this growth sector will contribute to the evolution of our financial markets.   

Asking the old question… "Am I making a good return on my investment," is no longer the only question to ask. Instead try on, "What impact is my investment making in the world?"

Here are some websites to further assist you in your research;

Hip Investor: Human Impact + Profits- http://hipinvestor.com
GIIN: Global Impact Investment Network- http://www.thegiin.org
The Investing Pledge http://investingpledge.com

**Caution- This author is not a professional financial advisor or consultant. The information provided is for research and referenced basis only.  Please contact your financial advisor, begin your research and ask advisors to help you to find impact investments.**

Image from http://www.thegiin.org/cgi-bin/iowa/council/terragua/index.html

About the author: Jared Brick is a current Sustainable Management MBA student at the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.  You can follow him here:
https://twitter.com/jaredbrick