Human Resources Just Got Greener With Conscious-k

Krull & Company recently introduced Conscious-k, a new 401(k) solution for business owners and human resources personnel.

“We want to help companies create sustainable legacies and a value that goes beyond the bottom line,” says Pete Krull, founder of Krull & Company. “You have to give back to your people by offering a benefit that reflects who your employees are beyond the office.”

As a socially-responsible investment firm, Krull and Company extended their services with Conscious-k as a specific answer to a common question for business owners: when and how does a company set up a customized retirement plan? Market research showed that business owners and human resources would often avoid setting up a retirement plan option for employees because they either believed they didn’t have the right number of staff, or they felt overwhelmed by options.

A 401(k) plan allows employees to defer pretax dollars for their own retirement savings. These plans can be set up with or without an employer match and, in addition to a match, can allow a discretionary employer contribution each year.

“You want a retirement plan that’s easy to setup and explain to employees, but for talent retention, you have to offer something extra to that benefit,” says Krull. A fossil-fuel-free 401(k) portfolio can reflect this generation’s priorities, he explains.

“Employees want a fund that will help them save up for the future, but will also contribute to the world and make sure it’s still in great environmental shape when they’re ready to retire.”

For more information, visit Conscious-k.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Catherine Campbell, Marketing and Communications

828-335-0787 // info@brightplanning.com

877-235-3684

Should Your Church Divest?

In the 21st century, religious congregations and committees must face the necessary integration of creation care with their commitment to stewardship. This isn’t a question of if, it’s a question of how. Simply having awareness of environmental and social issues is no longer an option for stewardship. Awareness needs to shift to tangible results by actively caring for the world in which we live.

Recently, there have been multiple opportunities for denomination leaders to consider taking their commitments to stewardship one step further in their fiduciary priorities. By divesting their investments from fossil fuel portfolios, they can then reinvest to sustainable and responsible investments. These actions often set a precedent for individual congregations to follow suit with their priorities for creation care and church finances.

On an individual congregation level, it can be challenging to serve on a finance committee when there are differing opinions and feedback on how church funds should be disbursed and appropriated. This slows the process for prioritizing investment changes to months, even years.

Finance committees have a main responsibility: to financially do what is in the best interest of the congregation.

This charge can extend beyond simple “dollars and cents” to reset the congregation’s intentions about the types of investments that are owned.

One philosophy gaining major traction in the wake of Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical ‘Laudato si’ is the concept of selling fossil fuel investments and reinvesting in sustainable and responsible investments.

Most traditionally managed endowments only have to reallocate about 8% of their portfolios to accomplish this shift, and can still maintain competitive returns.

Our team launched ReVest to help congregations navigate this process of shifting investments so they’re more closely aligned with their 21st century priorities in creation care and stewardship. Check out this video featuring Susannah Tuttle, director of NC Interfaith Power and Light (NCIPL) and Pete Krull discussing the concept of ReVest.

Krull & Company Launches ReVest to Help Religious Organizations Divest and Reinvest

When it comes to responsible investing, Asheville-based Krull & Company is calling for faith-based organizations to take the concept of stewardship to a new level. The sustainable investment firm recently launched ReVest, a service designed to help congregations and individuals reallocate financial assets from fossil fuel investments to environmental and socially responsible funds.

To introduce this type of service to the faith-based communities, Krull & Company partnered with North Carolina Interfaith Power and Light (NCIPL) and Georgia Interfaith Power and Light. By working with places of worship in North Carolina and Georgia, the Krull and Company team can assess, analyze and recommend investment solutions using the ReVest approach and service.

“We believe each ReVest partnership—whether an individual faith-based family, a congregation, or a denomination leadership board—helps make the world a better place,” says Peter Krull, President. “Fiduciary responsibility extends beyond simple dollars and cents to being fully intentional about the types of investments that are owned.”

For example, Krull explains, most traditionally managed endowments only have to reallocate about 8% of their portfolios to socially- and environmentally-responsible assets, and can maintain competitive returns.

“One of the most powerful steps a congregation can take together is the financial demonstration of their commitment to creation care,” says Krull. “It’s a tangible way to ensure our most important communities are heard.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Catherine Campbell, Marketing and Communications

828-335-0787 // info@brightplanning.com

Understanding Money and Control

Who is winning the struggle for control—YOU or your money?

Throughout history, money evolved from a simple way to barter for goods and services into a powerful force to be reckoned with, that defines our life choices and emotional well-being. In our culture, wealth is often measured from the outside. Advertisements, influencers, and close circles of family and friends raise us in an environment where we often hear that money buys things, and those things bring happiness.

Somewhere along the way, money moved from the role of facilitating, sharing and exchanging to complete power in and of itself.

We need to take back control of our money and keep it in its proper place.

One of my favorite books is The Soul of Money, by Lynne Twist.

Twist writes, “True wealth, or well-being, can’t be found in a static balance sheet, no matter how large the accumulation of financial assets. Wealth shows up in the action of sharing and giving, allocating and distributing, nourishing and watering the projects, people, and purpose that we believe in and care about, with the resources that flow to us and through us. But when “holdings” hold us back from using money in meaningful, life-affirming ways, then money becomes an end in itself and an obstacle to well-being.”

What is the true purpose of money?

How do we shift to regain control of moving closer to that purpose?

If you begin an intentional project to match your use of money to express who you are in the world, it can make you feel vibrant and in control. You can let your money flow toward the things you actually care about.

How to start regaining control of your money and finances:

Find the courage to look at your financial situation honestly. Track where your money goes each month—are you paying attention each time you use your debit or credit card and thinking before buying? Try the pause button before purchasing and think to yourself: Do I really need this? Do I have something like it already?

Remember the saying “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Be conscious about the stores you shop in and the products you buy. How are your goods made? How are your services fulfilled? Consider if they are poorly made, throwaway items or clothes that were produced using cheap overseas labor, and whether the item will add to the landfill. Do you spend money on what you care about, or because some outsider (neighbors, media, friends to name a few) said it was important? Simply raising your awareness is a great place to start this journey of taking back control of your money.

Would someone you care about (for example, a grandparent that passed away) be pleased with how you obtain and spend your money? If your young child grows up and models the same spending practices that you have, will you be pleased with their behavior? Be a role model, avoid impulse purchases, and limit purchases that deplete the Earth’s resources.

According to Twist, “Whether you are aware of it or not, you make an impact each day with your choices about how you live and how you allocate your resources. If “money talks” it is with our voice. Each financial choice you make is a powerful statement of who you are and what you care about. When you take a stand and have your money reflect that, it strengthens your sense of self.”

Most of us work hard for our money, and how it feels as we spend it can shift our feelings from anxiety to a sense of abundance.

Learn how much is enough for you, and bask in the contentment of keeping money in its proper place in your life.


Contact me for a free consultation and regain control over your finances by creating an investment portfolio that reflects your deepest values.

One Week Later…

It looked like the sky was falling. On Friday the 24th, European markets dropped nearly 11 percent*. That same day, the S&P 500 dropped about 3.6 percent*. And the following Monday the 27th, it was more of the same.

But here we sit a week later, and we’ve seen a stabilization in the markets, and four straight days of positive returns. And as of mid-day today, we’re up again.

Our portfolios rode out this volatility very well. We did not make any changes because none were necessary. Our disciplined, diversified investment strategy is designed to cushion volatility. We will continue to keep an eye out for opportunities that might arise, but for now, we’re happy to maintain course.

The New York Times had a good article this morning using the Whac-A-Mole game as an analogy for financial management and trying to trade and beat the market. It’s worth a read.

Finally, the Krull & Company team would like to wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July Holiday weekend!

*as measured by iShares Europe ETF, IEV; S&P 500 ETF, SPY