Guest Blog – Next Economy: Election Aftermath

If you believe in the continuing evolution of the economy towards innovation-driven sustainability and economic coexistence with our fragile earth systems, then this has been a rough week.

So, what happened? We can cite a number of likely reasons behind Trump’s victory, but here are the ones that stood out to us.

  • First, people are extremely angry about the ever-widening economic and social inequality and inequity they have been experiencing the last couple decades, and they can see that the main beneficiaries of this inequality are never held accountable (only one banker jailed after 2008, for example).
  • Second, half of the nation – or 47% of the electorate anyway – has been convinced by an ideology that claims the best way to fight inequality is to pass policies that actually cause more inequality. Jane Mayer’s book Dark Moneydoes an excellent job of explaining how this happened.

Unfortunately, this ideology has negative implications for the Next Economy. Next Economics at its core reflects the ongoing process of de-risking the global economy of its most serious long-term threats, those being the worst outcomes of climate change, resource scarcity, and widening inequality. The risk of inequality itself has now driven an election result that will slow progress on managing all real systemic risks.

We’ve always said that U.S. political risk is one of the scariest things about managing for the Next Economy, because so much policy and business is driven by the owners of legacy economy energies, utilities, transportation and so on. “The next president has questioned the science of climate change, vowed to withdraw from the Paris agreement on global warming and pledging to stimulate production of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel,” is how Bloomberg put it. Meanwhile, many of the world’s leading institutions (the World Economic Forum at Davos, for one) still cite climate change and the erosion of social cohesion as the most dangerous and pressing economic risks confronting the world. The global economy can, must and will rise to meet these challenges.

The transition to an economy based on businesses that are more efficient, less risky, and more profitable remains inevitable; and the realities of the global economy’s exposure to climate and social risks remain the same. Much of the world still understands this, and a Trump presidency will set back U.S. technological and political progress behind the rest of the world, at least temporarily. As Michael Liebreich of Bloomberg New Energy Finance tweeted, “So this is interesting. I will continue to inform decision-makers about the world’s unstoppable transition to clean energy and transport.” Our economic evolution continues, but which nations and regions benefit first and most by taking advantage of the most incredible advances may now be an open question.

Critically as well, America’s most economically powerful states – led by New York and California – will continue to support sustainable technology and renewable energies in pursuit of greater economic growth. Indeed, we did see some bright spots the other night: Florida solar advocates celebrated a major win as voters rejected a utility-backed amendment to limit solar energy development. It is unlikely that wind energy in America will suffer much either: “Seventy percent of U.S. turbines are in low-income rural areas,” according to Bloomberg, saying, “Wind Is the New Corn for Struggling Farmers.” In fact, the five states generating the largest fraction of their electricity from wind all voted for Trump. The economic, health and other benefits of clean, renewable energies are winning despite political rhetoric.

We need to continue investing in the zero-risk economy, and we still stand to earn outsize returns as the Next Economy gains market share away from the legacy economy. The investment decisions affecting climate change we make collectively and globally in the next few years will reverberate for centuries and affect billions of people. A Trump presidency does nothing to change that.

In the long run, economics drive the future and policy follows, not the other way around. Coal isn’t in terminal decline for any reason other than it is no longer economically competitive; solar isn’t the fastest-growing energy source in the world because of the Paris Accords, but because it is incredibly economically competitive. No administration can change that. They can only make it more or less timely.

The road ahead may not be as smooth as we once imagined, but we still got this.

Garvin Jabusch is the Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Green Alpha Advisors. At Green Alpha, he is responsible for managing the firms’ four Next Economy portfolios. Garvin has appeared numerous times on CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets and publications on green and clean tech investing. Visit for more information.

Krull & Company Receives the 2016 Green Business Award from MountainTrue

Krull & Company was honored to receive the 2016 Green Business Award at MountainTrue’s annual Fall Gathering in late October.

Their annual awards are designed to recognize honorees for “their hard work and dedication to protecting our forests, mountains, rivers and streams, and to promoting clean energy and sustainability.”

Every member of Krull & Company holds our actions to a higher standard year over year. We believe in “walk, not talk.” These actions include furthering our commitment to, and volunteer work for, sustainability efforts in the western North Carolina region and abroad.

When MountainTrue notified our team that we received the Green Business of the Year distinction, we were surprised and honored, especially Peter. Although Peter has served on the board of MountainTrue for the last few years, he was not privy to the award selection process.

To receive recognition from MountainTrue is a genuine compliment and honor. The nonprofit organization had much to celebrate this year at its annual gathering, including key advancements in native species preservation, lobbying efforts against fossil fuels, river clean-up. MountainTrue is Western North Carolina’s premier advocate for environmental stewardship. The are committed to keeping our mountain region a beautiful place to live, work and play. Their volunteer members protect our forests, clean up our rivers, plan vibrant and livable communities, and advocate for a sound and sustainable future for all residents of WNC.

Learn more about MountainTrue and support them here

To schedule a free consultation with one of our responsible investing advisors, click here.

After the Election: A Stronger Sense of Purpose

This article was originally drafted as a letter to our clients the day after the 2016 election.

It’s November 9th. The sun rose this morning. The birds were singing in the trees.

But, the paradigm has shifted.

Our team met this morning to discuss the results of the Presidential election and what it means for the markets, economy and ultimately, to our clients. While the pundits and pollsters were commenting and making predictions, we saw markets rise and fall with those comments and predictions. In the end, they were all wrong.

President-Elect Trump is an unknown when it comes to governing. Markets do not like uncertainty. There were moments last night when Dow futures were down over 700 points. This morning, however, the market opened up basically flat. That’s an incredible swing.

I believe that in times of uncertainty, we bring the best value to our clients. It’s easy to ride the wave when markets are rising, when it appears that every choice is a good choice. But, it’s the uncertain times that truly matter.

  • Our strategy of broad diversification and bias towards more conservative allocations helps.
  • Our analytical model which takes into account both market sentiment and volatility contributes as well.
  • Finally, our ability to make tactical investment decisions based on that analytical model closes the loop.

These factors bring together the quantitative and fundamental side of our value proposition.

In addition, our responsible investing philosophy charges us with finding companies and investment managers that are sustainable and doing good in the world. This qualitative side compliments the quantitative and fundamental analysis. And, I believe it makes for a better, more thoughtful and intentional, portfolio.

Now more than ever, consumers and investors need to vote with their dollars. The choices that we make matter. The legislation that will not happen in Washington must happen in corporate board rooms. I am more convinced than ever that responsible investing is the way to move forward.

Ultimately, I have faith in the ability of the markets to separate out the good from the bad – regardless of the political situation. We are grateful for the trust our clients have placed in us from the day we opened our doors. With a stronger sense of purpose to closely align financial planning and investment management with future-forward values, we will continue to work diligently to make sure client portfolios are the best they can be, no matter what circumstances arise.