The appetite for values-based investing isn’t entirely new, but it’s bigger now than ever.
Investors are increasingly engaged in where, why, and how they should invest, and not necessarily as it relates to returns. For many, the return on their investment isn’t profit but results. How can their investment positively impact a community, fund a grassroots organization, or help solve a global crisis?
A recent piece in the New York Times explores a new brand of Millennial—someone with considerable inheritance who wants to offload their wealth in the service of good causes.
This drive exists elsewhere, too.
We see plenty of investors from both older and younger generations who are eager to find ways to invest impactfully. Baby boomers, first-time investors, local business owners. There’s a broad spectrum of people who are deeply conscientious about their investments, and all of them bring valuable perspectives to the table.
Young investors with limited capital have the power to help inform the values-based actions of high-net-worth customers, and vice versa.
Clients who come see us for the first time are often highly informed about what we do and ready to engage. Either they’ve already done their research or they have concrete ideas on what they’d like us to research:
- Is this company ethically sound?
- Can I invest in this community and push the needle for them in an area of need?
- Does this particular company even have investment options?
We’re at a powerful inflection point. People are far more savvy about the impact of their financial actions.
Whether it’s the general climate of micro-lending, kickstarting, and online political fundraising or the incredible access we have to information, there’s simply a much higher level of awareness. This tasks Revalue with doing a great deal more research on our end, which is an exciting prospect. When the investor-advisor relationship is more of an active conversation—a two-way flow of education—it’s a deeply satisfying one.
Some investors are surprised by the realization that yes, we’re not only willing to do the research but energized by it. Their surprise speaks to the fact that most investor-advisor relationships are based around a turnkey portfolio meant to deliver financial gain (without much transparency as to how).
It may be that times like these amplify social and economic disparities to the point that we all become increasingly aware of how our investments can wield the power for good.