One of our most important tenets at CommonGood is to intentionally pursue a diverse spectrum of perspectives from as many angles of the Impact Investing industry as possible. To this end we regularly reach out to investors, fund managers and of course – financial advisors to pick their brain on what’s doing, what’s working, and what’s not. We recently posed a few questions to Cameron Barsness, a financial advisor working in ESG markets and partner at Kutscher Benner Barsness & Stevens, Inc….
How have the last two years (2020, 2021) affected the mindset of your clients?
The last two years have brought an increase in clients’ openness to talking about sustainability, impact and values in relation to investments and portfolios. I see more people wanting to get comfortable having the hard conversations which allow them to more closely align their portfolios and their spending with how they view the world and the changes they want to see.
In what ways are you looking to serve your clients going forward?
As advisors, our role is to be prepared for the conversations in a proactive manner and not be reactive to their questions. It’s not that we have all the answers, but at least we have a toolkit deep enough to have thoughtful conversations.
Why do you and your clients care about Impact investing?
More and more, clients want to see the influence of their dollars during their lifetimes. The idea that you can make incremental change and see the impact of your everyday decisions is a powerful driver for many people.
What advice would you give other advisors who want to start integrating impact investing into their business?
Be bold in asking clients about their interests. If you wait for clients to ask about sustainable investments, ESG or Impact, you are already behind the ball in their mind. Also, don’t feel like impact and ESG have be all or nothing. You don’t need to feel compelled to make a wholesale change. You can integrate these approaches over time.
We would love to hear what you think about these and other related topics as well, please contact us and we’ll establish a dialogue!