When I started my career in 1996, socially responsible investing (SRI) was the main vernacular and methodology used to describe screening out companies or “sin” stocks. Candidly, I was not really interested at that time. Then came ESG, but it was Impact Investing which captured me.
Impact Investing is best described by investments that are focused on both financial returns and positive social, environmental, and even spiritual outcomes. Today my passion is about investing to make money and do good, and experience the joy and freedom that can come as a result.
The greater context is that money, driven by both head and heart, can have an amazing impact on the lives of people and the planet. People are looking to all forms of capital: charitable, relational, and now more than ever – investment capital – to help solve problems. Governments and non-profits only have so much capital. Most of the world’s capital is sitting in businesses and investments. We are seeing the dialog and discord around how investments should drive profits and also do good.
But what is your definition of “good”? You can put your head in the sand, run from the inevitable, or help your clients enter the dialog they are demanding. There will never be agreement, but it’s in the struggle and the questions that can leave space for making a difference, and the ability be more connected to your capital and its influence on others.
As we move into 2024, I encourage each of you to step into this movement and use your influence to not only make money, but also do good. Remember, all investments have some kind of impact – what will yours accomplish next year?