Values based decisions are better. Investments are no exception. What is best for your portfolio, is best for the world - Here's how
Our world is changing. Climate events, new business models, new technologies emerging and converging, national and international policy changes, social movements and uprisings, near-zero marginal cost and a new biosphere consciousness are all factors taking us into a new version of what we understand business and humanity to be.
- We believe in voting with our dollar.
- We believe that business can be an incredible driver of change.
- We feel that investing ethically is a part of living in ‘Right Livelihood’, a Buddhist concept that relates to living life compassionately.
- We believe that one can make a living that does not cause harm and that is ethically positive.
- We feel it is vital to understand and engage with each part of our lives in a way that considers all stakeholders, not just the ones we see.
- We believe that as the precious few, the one percent, we have a responsibility to be accountable for our wealth and its effect on the world. We believe you can get more value from your wealth when you do, and that it can have a greater impact and meaning in your life and the lives of others.
- We believe in egotistical utilitarianism – which is a fancy way of saying that the best thing for you, is quite likely the best thing for the world and all its inhabitants.
- We believe that when you invest with your values, with socially responsible companies that are aligned with mega-trends spanning the next 50 to 100 years, you effectively lower the amount of risk you take and increase the potential return.
- This manifests itself in the fact that: when you invest with your values, with ethical companies that are aligned with mega-trends that span over the next 50 to 100 years, you effectively lower the amount of risk you take and increase the potential return. In financial terms, SRI portfolios reduce the standard deviation of risk and increase the potential for alpha.
The above statement speaks to three core truths...
Companies that do the wrong thing are worse.
It makes sense that a company that is polluting local water supplies, treats its employees inequitably, has a homogenous workforce, fails to innovate their products and services, and makes little contribution to the communities it does business in, would be at greater risk of things like public scandal, toxic waste spills or market stagnation through lack of foresight into what best serves the interests of people and the planet.
Companies that are more ethical, do better.
On a first-principles basis, we know that companies that are pushing the world forward and innovating new technologies, companies where the best ideas win and are implemented regardless of the race, religion, or genders of the person who had the idea, companies that empower their customer, think deeply about their supply chains, and extract value at every stage of their product life (including its ‘end’ stage).
Companies that solve global problems and work within their values will perform better financially, and thus make better investments.
The longer the time frame, the more predictable and sustainable things become.
The longer the time frame, the greater our assurance that we are making more sustainable investments and the more confident we are in predictable outcomes.
We are talking about solving climate change, embarking on the transformation of world economies through a new industrial revolution that weans us from our fossil fuel infrastructure and ushers in a sustainable global economy. Protecting ecosystems that support all human life will not allow us to go in any other direction.
If we are investing over a 10 to 50 year timeframe it makes a lot of sense to invest in renewable energy, healthy and sustainable food supplies, clean water resources and other SRI mega-trends
The punchline is simple. Investing with your values will make the world a better place. Our capital can be put to work by companies trying to truly make a difference, and it can be taken away from those moving our world backward for personal gain.
At EthicInvest – we want to participate in a mission to fundamentally change investment management and capitalism on a grander scale. ESG (Environmental Social Governance) considerations are part of the natural evolution of wealth management because it shows us risks and opportunities previously unseen. It reduces the downside and increases the upside. The functioning of capitalism is evolving too, where the free market still reigns king, but businesses are held to new standards and ways to measure their results. This is ‘Conscious Capitalism’ as some have come to coin it. If we do not do what is best for all stakeholders then we will not have a planet to do business on. We have no choice as a world but to evolve our understanding of what being in business means.
Ultimately – doing better doesn’t just feel better, it is better – for you, your portfolio, the world, your children and grandchildren, for every stakeholder.