Best for the World 2018

I’m proud to announce that for the third year in a row, Earth Equity Advisors has been recognized as a Best for the World B Corporation. This honor is reserved for only the top ten percent of all Certified B Corporations worldwide.

Earth Equity Advisors is honored in the Best For Customers list, which includes businesses that earned a Customer score in the top 10 percent of more than 2,400 Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment. The Customer portion of the B Impact Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers by focusing on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit and if those products/services are targeted toward serving underserved populations.

I’m especially happy that our award is specifically focused on customers. Our loyal clients intentionally choose to work with Earth Equity Advisors to help them align their investments with their values. This opportunity that we have to empower our clients to magnify their impact through responsible investing is so very important to the world today. It’s responsible investors who are leading the movement to make corporations more accountable, push for climate change solutions, divesting from fossil fuels and weapons manufacturers, and making the workplace safer for employees.

“With the rise of anger at a system that feels rigged, people are hungry for companies like Earth Equity Advisors, who are changing the system by building businesses that seek to create the greatest positive impact,” says Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab. “Best For The World is the only list of businesses that uses comprehensive, comparable, third-party-validated data about a company’s social and environmental performance. As consumers, talent and investors increasingly demand transparent, values-aligned businesses to buy from, work at and invest in, companies will need to not just the best in the world but the best for the world, and not just to be nice but to be the most successful.”

We congratulate our fellow honorees in the Best for the World 2018 lists. Every Certified B Corporation is mission-driven and making their own positive impact on the world and is rigorously evaluated regularly by B Labs to make sure they stay on mission. We are humbled to be honored among corporate champions such as Patagonia and First Green Bank, as well as other Asheville-based B Corps, Cloud for Good and Mandala Naturals.

Of course, Earth Equity Advisors would never receive this honor without the tireless efforts of the entire team, Neill Yelverton, Kerry Keihn, Leesa Sluder and Kelsey Rosen. I am tremendously grateful for their hard work and dedication to make Earth Equity Advisors the premiere socially and environmentally responsible investment management firm.

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And if you missed the news from last week, I was selected as a member of the Investopedia 100 – the top 100 most influential financial advisors in America. More evidence that responsible investing continues to be a force for the future!

Thank you to everyone who continues to support Earth Equity Advisors and the important work that we do. I am eternally grateful.


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.

Pete Krull Named As One of the 100 Most Influential Financial Advisors

Pete Krull, Earth Equity’s Founder & CEO, received some well deserved recognition from Investopedia yesterday, and was named one of the 100 most influential financial advisors in the U.S. He was the only WNC based advisors honored in the INVESTOPEDIA 100 list.

Investopedia is the premiere online source of trusted financial content, with over 30 million monthly users. Hundreds of applicants were submitted for this year’s Investopedia 100 and those chosen stand out for their contributions to critical conversations about financial literacy, investing strategies, life-stage planning and wealth management. Investopedia editor Caleb Silver stresses that the list’s goal is to measure and celebrate influence, “We have endeavored to quantify the impact that our advisors have on their clients and the broader financial community. Influence isn’t about being popular. It’s about helping others, although being popular helps if one’s popularity is tied to the mission of educating investors.”

Pete was selected by Investopedia’s data science and editorial teams. They looked at 3 key metrics when making their decision:

  • Social Media Influence, which includes the advisor’s social media followers
  • The “Matrix of Influence,” based on an algorithm that gauged each advisor’s influence with their peer community
  • Online Presence, the measure of each advisor’s contribution to industry sites and publications

“The INVESTOPEDIA 100 represents the financial advisors who understand where the industry is headed and how to create a strong online presence and showcase their expertise to a much broader audience,” comments David Siegel, CEO of Investopedia.

For Pete, and for Earth Equity Advisors, we center this influence and expertise around responsible investing. In a Press Release from today, Pete says, “I believe that this is tremendously validating for socially and environmentally responsible investing. As the fastest growing segment of the investment industry, it is important to have a voice and to spread the word about the importance of investing with our values.”

Pete, from the Earth Equity team, CONGRATULATIONS. We are thrilled to share in this with you.


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.

Beat Plastic Pollution

Today is World Environment Day! June 5th has been designated by the United Nations as World Environment Day to promote “worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.” 2018’s World Environment Day is centered around beating plastic pollution.

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If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.

 

The 2018 World Environment Day seeks to influence change in these 4 key areas:

  1. Reducing Single Use Plastics
  2. Improving Waste Management
  3. Phasing Out Microplastics
  4. Promoting Research into Alternatives

The UN shares some dismal statistics on why the message “Beat Plastic Pollution” is so dire right now. Microplastics in the seas now outnumber the stars in our galaxy. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish. Given how vast our world’s oceans are, that’s devastating.

Let that motivate you. Today is the people’s day to make an impact. We can harness our individual and community actions and transform them into a collective power that has a legacy of real and lasting impact on the planet. Inspire your family, friends, the company where you work; reduce, reuse and recycle plastics whether you’re at home, work or out in your neighborhood.

  • Be an informed citizen and consumer. Purchase from and invest in companies that are accountable for the life-cycle of their consumer products and use a circular model of design and production.
  • Embrace sensible consumption habits on a day-to-day basis. Buy reusable straws and turn down plastic cutlery. Avoid buying over-packaged products. Upcycle products you own.
  • Organize or take part in a community event. Take part in a river or beach cleanup. Join the global #BeatPlasticPollution game of tag by taking a selfie with your canvas shopping bag, metal straw or any other reusable product and tag your friends, telling them to do the same.
  • Get creative! Use today to reflect and dream up ideas on how you can make the biggest impact. Then share your ideas with us and the world.

Read more about what you can do on World Environment Day from the UN’s official website


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.

Impact Takes Way More Than ESG. It Also Takes Common Sense.

Guest article by Earth Equity’s friend and colleague, Garvin Jabusch of Green Alpha Advisors

Originally published as “ESG Screens Don’t Go Far Enough” by WealthManagement


If you’re interested in sustainability focused or other forms of impact thematic investing, that’s great, and personally I believe we should all consider some allocation to solutions for our primary risks. However, it’s not as straightforward as it may seem. Don’t be too impressed with a fund just because it purports to use ‘ESG’ – Environmental, Social, and Governance – criteria. While ESG criteria can be a value-add tool, its value quickly dissipates when simply overlaid on backward-looking investment analysis. Investing in a pool of legacy businesses—like fossil fuel extractors or toxic agrochemical corporations–that possess some positive ESG factors  is neither necessarily ethically responsible, nor a satisfactory strategy for long-term performance. Achieving a truly sustainable portfolio with strong long-term returns must be more than simply screening an established index and adding a green, pink, or any other wrapper.

ESG, as generally practiced, still falls for the old trope that your portfolio has to shadow a benchmark to be considered low risk (as though risk and volatility are the same thing!). But such facile utilization of ESG rankings relies on backward-looking analysis of legacy businesses and technologies, some of which will not have much valence in the near future. If we take a closer look at which types of businesses are creating value, these winners-of-yesterday aren’t as likely to generate competitive long-term performance going forward, whatever their ESG scores may be.

My Green Alpha co-founder, Jeremy Deems, and I managed a couple of negatively screened, more-or-less typical green ESG funds from 2002 to 2007, prior to our founding of Green Alpha.

We found that starting with a defined universe like the S&P 500—without much opportunity to seek interesting, sustainability-driving companies outside that index—was limiting, both in terms of potential performance and achieving sustainability goals. Being given a list of stocks and told to make it greener, as opposed to looking for the growing basket of green stocks across the market, does not result in a sustainability-facing portfolio. Applying ESG criteria to an existing old-economy index is simply insufficient relative to the growth opportunities available outside of those indices, and to the scale of the risks of delaying sustainability.

So it’s not that ESG metrics aren’t valuable, but they can only have valence within the context of investing in companies that are advancing sustainability to start with. In the solar industry or sustainable agriculture, for example, ESG metrics like efficiency of water-use can assist in identifying leaders. On the other hand, relative ESG rankings within industries like fossil fuels burning utilities or topsoil depleting agricultural chemicals don’t mean much, yet these firms routinely end up in ‘ESG’ labeled portfolios.

Consider the following ad, snipped from my Bloomberg Terminal:

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I applaud Bloomberg for developing the advertised app, as it surely is interesting to know which fossil fuels companies are attempting to moderate their destructive behaviors, however marginally. But no level of awareness of the relative carbon intensity of your oil and gas holdings can de-risk your portfolio from the downsides of climate change, water degradation, and premature death from pollution as well as simply not holding oil and gas securities. But this is the mindset engendered by our collective inherited paradigm: as long as I’m able to represent that I hold a relatively “good” tar sands extraction company, I can claim my portfolio is ESG.

At the end of the day, a firm’s absolute performance in leading the way toward a sustainable economy is what matters, rather than its narrowly-defined, industry-relative ‘progress’ toward a vague goal.

But it’s easy to simply say I don’t like the system. I have to actually propose something else, an alternative.

To think about a portfolio, we have to think through the economy that portfolio will reflect. The global economy will only self-perpetuate and grow under certain conditions, given a first principles view of the current political-economic situation. Therefore, a sustainable, efficient, and value-creating economy must stand on four pillars:

  1. exclusive use of true zero-carbon, cheap renewable energies,
  2. waste-to-value economics to reduce and ultimately nearly eliminate our reliance on destructive resourcing of materials from primary geological and natural sources,
  3. ever-accelerating productivity gains, ultimately to the point where there are so many economic outputs from so few inputs that we can thrive and even grow indefinitely while shrinking the economy’s ecological footprint, and
  4. equitable ownership of these new means of production.

The emerging and accelerating growth of an economy built on these tenets will greatly diminish the chances of global civilization succumbing to one or more existential-level systemic risks, while simultaneously creating wealth and even abundance. We call this Next Economics, and we’ve predictably dubbed its practical application Next Economy Portfolio Theory.

Next Economy Portfolio Theory begins by positing that any company that 1) is not contributing to the advancement of one of these four pillars, or 2) does not have a viable and preferably exciting business model, is more likely than not a bad equity investment, especially for the long term. Why? Because any investment that doesn’t serve the de-risking of the global economy while simultaneously generating productivity and therefore wealth and abundance will by definition eventually self-destruct. For example, attempting to double world GDP over the next couple decades on the basis of high-carbon energy inputs will cause that economy to struggle and likely fail. For us then, avoiding investing in the causes of major problems, in preference to investing in companies driving the Next Economy, is just common sense.

Does ESG matter? Yes, but you can achieve a much more potent impact investing style by utilizing ESG only within the context of the already-sustainable economy— by simply focusing on what’s next. If the fact that the four pillars of the Next Economy serve the cause of sustainability means you equate Next Economy investing to ESG, that’s fine, but don’t imagine that ESG methods and rankings alone will get us there. It takes way more.


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.

Pete’s Visit to Boruca

At the beginning of March, Pete returned from his annual visit to Costa Rica with many stories to share. This was our favorite! Reposted here from his personal blog, Intentional Assets


During our visit to Costa Rica in March of 2017, we had the opportunity to visit an indigenous community called Boruca. Legend has it that the Boruca people were the only ones to withstand the Spanish attacks. They are also known for their art – colorful carved masks, jicara carvings and intricate textiles.

The road to Boruca Village

 

Our friend Mike introduced us to a young lady named Fressy who would be our tour guide for the day. Fressy spoke virtually no English and we spoke only a little Spanish. We struggled through the day as Fressy took us to a beautiful waterfall, an artist offering jewelry and carvings and back to her family’s house for lunch.

 

A villager carving a Jicara for us

 

The meal that Fressy’s mom made us for lunch was one the best we had in Costa Rica – suckling pig, heart of palm, fried plantain and rice. I can still taste it a year later!

 

Fressy’s mom cooking in her outdoor kitchen

 

Muy delicioso!

 

After lunch, Fressy took us on a trek through the jungle. We had no idea where she was taking us – we stopped by a beautiful river that had been carved out of stone and we were thinking that was it. Then we started going off trail and through knee-high vegetation. Of course, we’re thinking, “What about snakes???” Eventually, we stopped at a tree. And not just any tree, but one of the biggest we’ve ever seen. In fact it’s so big, you can see it from satellite maps!!!

 

 

We really liked Fressy and were grateful for the tour, the fantastic lunch and just how warm and friendly she and her family were. The one thing that we felt could help her support her family was if she was able to speak just a little bit of English. She would be able to lead tours and communicate better with the participants.

 

Fressy and her little brother with the new computer!

 

So, we returned this year with a Lenovo laptop with Rosetta Stone English installed. We were really excited to deliver our present and once again, our friend Mike helped set up the meeting. We showed up at her house and found out that she was pregnant! Now, learning English would also help another new member of the family.

 

 

Her whole family was there, mom, dad and little brothers. We presented her with the new computer and she was excited and happy! Using Google Translate, we were able to explain how to use the software, but it’s really intuitive, and before you know it, both she and her little brothers were talking about boys and girls drinking water – in English! I was especially happy that her brothers were taking advantage as well.

 

Melissa is holding woven table runner Fressy’s mom gave to us

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be able to help this wonderful family. I look forward to returning next year to have a conversation – with better Spanish on our part and better English on theirs! 

Focusing On Your Passion

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In a recent blog post, I discussed one of Earth Equity Advisors’ core values, GRATITUDE. In this post I’d like to focus on another principle of our firm, PASSION. What is passion? Most people would agree that passion refers to a strong motivation mixed with intense emotions (Psychology Today). My definition of passion is the feeling of losing perspective of time and place, and being in the “zone.” I’m motivated to experience the things I’m passionate about, even if it means making changes or sacrifices.

As a simple example, I am passionate about waterfalls. My husband has learned over the years that I will hike much further if I get a waterfall payoff at the end. We are on a quest to hike in as many National Parks as we can before our knees wear out!  On a trip about 10 years ago to Yosemite National Park, I found these Advice From Nature cards by Ilan Shamir in one of the park stores. The “Advice from a Waterfall” card really spoke to me, and has become a mantra for all the passions in my life:

 

Advice from a Waterfall:

Go With the Flow

Roar With Excitement

Let Your Cares Fall Away

Create Your Own Music

Immerse Yourself in Nature

Stay Active

Make A Splash!

 

I have rewarded myself with these Advice From Nature cards after various hikes, and have collected quite a few.  I have used them in a leadership program for ministers to help them figure out their passion and vision for the future.  They are fun to read through, and you can see if you resonate with advice from a bear, owl, buffalo, butterfly, the ocean, a geyser or others.

From a professional perspective, starting about 10 years ago, my passion has been to promote a triple bottom line (profit, people, planet) philosophy of doing business. After working for Fortune 50 companies most of my career and seeing the singular focus on the traditional bottom line, I resonated strongly with the B Corp Declaration of “using business as a force for good in the world.” I even told friends that I would only return to work for a company (while running my own consulting firm at the time) if it was a Certified B Corporation.  I continued to check the B Corp website listing for companies in North Carolina. Three years ago, Earth Equity Advisors (formerly Krull & Company), headquartered in my hometown of Asheville, showed up on the list, and I sent Pete and Neill my resume. It was a match from the beginning — an opportunity for me to use my financial and psychology background to work with people as they navigate their relationship with money and plan for the future. Since the work aligns with my vision, it doesn’t feel like work, in the sense that I am putting my energy in a place where I have passion and commitment.  I have developed a niche working with women in transition, helping them navigate financial life decisions.  As we help people align their investments with their values, it is energizing to be part of a movement to use business as a force for good in the world, and to support all stakeholders, instead of only the bottom line that focuses on shareholder return (an outdated model in my view).

If you can figure out where your passion lies, it can help you channel your energy in the right direction. Hopefully, you are already living a life of passion, personally and professionally.  Spring is a great time for new beginnings and exploration, so ignite some PASSION!

 


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.

The Future of Finance is Female

IT’S INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – SO WE’RE ACKNOWLEDGING AND CELEBRATING FEMALE INVESTORS! THESE ARE THE TRENDS WE’RE WATCHING:

MORE WEALTH

Women’s privately owned wealth has grown significantly in recent decades. By 2020 women are expected to control $22 trillion of personal wealth in the US. That’s a $8 trillion growth since 2015.

VALUES DRIVEN INVESTING

The core of Earth Equity Advisors’ mission is to help our clients align their investments with their values® and current financial trends show that this is top of mind for women especially. A recent survey from Morgan Stanley illustrated that women are leading the way for sustainable investing. Female investors not only factor sustainability into their investment strategies, they are more likely to see the advantages of doing so – in fact, 77% of women surveyed believe that socially responsible investing makes for better long-term investments and leads to higher profitability.

FEMALE LEADERSHIP

While it is frustrating to watch the slow progress being made to increase the number of women in executive positions and on corporate boards, there are some bright spots. The Fearless Girl staring down Wall Street’s Charging Bull turned one year old yesterday, and she ushered in a lot of change in that year. The organization behind her, State Street Global Advisors, targeted businesses with all male boards and over the course of 2017, 152 of those companies added at least one female director.  Similarly, the organization 2020 Women on Boards, 20% by 2020, challenges specific corporations with all male boards to add female directors. They drive this progress through a grassroots campaign to empower young people, consumers, and middle managers at non-diverse companies to be changemakers.

There’s also a lack of diversity in the financial services industry. As of 2016, only 31% of personal financial advisors were women. We’re proud that of the four advisors here at Earth Equity, two are women.

Thank you to all the women who invest with us.


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.

Solar Tariffs: It Could Have Been Worse

Solar cells imported into the United States will now face a tariff. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it could have been worse.

Here comes the most “dog bites man” news flash of all time. Ready? The President of the United States made headlines this week.

President Trump concluded the Suniva and SolarWorld tariff petition process by imposing a tariff on silicon solar cells and modules that are imported into the United States. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it could have been worse.

I’ve written about this situation before, see parts one and two if you want more of the backstory. And, you can find additional details on the tariff here, but I can give you the highlights as well. The tariff is for four years, and it starts at 30%, declining 5% per year to 15% in the last year. The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells are exempt from the tariff.

When the International Trade Commission recommended a tariff to the White House a couple months ago, the commissioners’ recommendations were slightly more severe. One commissioner suggested a 30% tariff on solar cells that declined by 1% per year for four years. Two others sought a 30% tariff on solar cells declining by 5% for four years (as the White House decided), but with a 1-gigawatt exemption amount. The fourth commissioner recommended a quota, outright restricting the gigawatts of solar cells that could be imported.

See! Could have been worse.

Look, it’s still unfortunate. The decision will cause more jobs in America to be lost than gained, simply because the majority of solar jobs in America are in the installation of panels, not the manufacturing of them. With an artificially higher price, fewer panels will end up being installed over the next four years.

Even still, this article by Bloomberg suggests the impact on installed prices won’t be crippling. According to Hugh Bromley, one of their analysts, the tariff will “increase costs for large solar farms by less than 10 percent and for residential systems by about 3 percent.” The reason is because solar cells make up only a fraction of the total costs to install solar panels.

If I’m a betting man, and I admit that I am, I would bet that declining costs in solar will continue to make it the smart play for our long-term energy future. Even though American solar energy did just have a protectionist tariff slapped on it, the last time I checked, the Sun was still blasting the Earth with free electrons on a daily basis. Fear not, fellow fans of a future with fossil fuel free energy (hehe, alliteration), solar still looks bright (hehe, pun).

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John Anderson Lanier is the Executive Director of the Ray C Anderson Foundation. Serving in this role has been an immense honor, and he feels privileged to work with his family to advance the legacy of Ray, his grandfather. Lanier’s passion for environmental stewardship was sparked by Ray’s example and story, and he never tires of sharing this story with others.

The Economic Case for Fossil Fuel Free Investing

We really loved Betsy Moszeter’s article, “The Economic Case for Fossil Fuel Free Investing,” published in the November/December ’17 issue of Investments & Wealth Monitor. Moszeter is Partner & COO at Green Alpha Advisors, a responsible investment management firm in Boulder, Co. She is also good friend and colleague of us here at Earth Equity Advisors. Read the excerpt below and click through for the full content. 


The Economic Case for Fossil Fuel Free Investing

Investment industry practitioners and academics increasingly are talking about the financial and economic reasons why an investment advisor should offer clients investment strategies that are void of fossil fuel extractors, utilities, pipelines, and service providers. As advisors evaluate the economic and financial risk presented by fossil fuels, it’s also necessary to consider the resulting investment opportunities presented by companies innovating around the growing renewables industry. Even former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Bevis Longstreth is working hard to educate investors and investment professionals about why it’s entirely within one’s fiduciary duty to rethink the current and near­future investing paradigm of the sector.

In his article, “The Financial Case for Divestment of Fossil Fuel Companies by Endowment Fiduciaries,”1 Longstreth writes, “At some point down the road towards the red light of 2 Degrees Centigrade … it is entirely plausible, even predictable, that continuing to hold equities in fossil fuel companies will be ruled negligence.” Who knows more about potential negligence and what falls within one’s duciary duty than a former SEC commissioner? Let’s explore a few of the factors leading him and many others to recommend that invest­ ment portfolios be divested from fossil fuel companies.

Continue Reading…


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.

There Are More Benefits To Gratitude Than You Think

As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s a great opportunity to ponder whether you live in a state of abundance or scarcity (regardless of your circumstances).  While your fundamental attitude and personality type influence your views, there is an opportunity to shift your mindset with intentional focus.

Here are seven benefits of gratitude (source):

  1. Gratitude opens the door to relationships. Showing appreciation helps make  and maintain friendships.
  2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains.
  3. Gratitude improves psychological health by reducing toxic emotions and negativity.
  4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. You will be less likely to retaliate against others, even when faced with negative feedback.
  5. Grateful people sleep better.
  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem by reducing social comparisons. Being happy for others’ accomplishments reduces envy and keeps people from feeling inadequate in comparison.
  7.  Gratitude increases mental strength. An attitude of abundance is helpful in overcoming trauma and a major contributor to resilience.

Feeling grateful for what is, or what could be, can help you reshape what you already have with positive effects. 

 

Feeling grateful for what is, or what could be, can help you reshape what you already have with positive effects.

The Abundance vs Scarcity mindset (source)

By focusing on scarcity and on things that you lack, you can often (ironically) invite more of those things into your life. By thinking about your bills, debts, hardships and frustrating relationships, your energy is drained and you can be trapped in a loop that finds and focuses on examples of them (self-fulfilling prophecies).

Abundance on the other hand, is a different kind of mindset and it leads us to a different path in life. It focuses on the things that we have and are thankful for, and on the great experiences that we come across in our journey.  It also includes a proactive stance to encourage putting energy into the right directions for you.

It is much easier to focus on gratitude when you look around at a world that is already filled with good things. However, in order to get to a life of gratitude in the first place, you have to start thinking about it, and adjust the lens of how you perceive your situation. In other words the mindset comes first!  When our children were younger, part of the bedtime routine was for each child to tell me three things they were thankful for that day (the family dog got lots of shout-outs!).  We heard some amazing, heart -warming (and often silly) things on the gratitude recitals, however it really was a great way to end a day.  It is still a family tradition to talk openly about gratitude.

Here is another source:

“The scarcity mindset revolves around the idea that there simply isn’t enough to go around, always focusing on the extreme short term of every decision. Typically, the abundance mentality focuses on the long-term and involves a deep understand that just because you don’t get to have something right now does not mean you won’t be able to have it later.

Obviously, personal finance is much easier if you have an abundance mindset. You don’t feel the need to spend money as soon as you get it because you know there will always be more of it.”

Here are eight tactics to switch to an abundance mindset:

Have appreciative conversations.

Focus on things you do have rather than things you don’t. Focus on the big things you and your loved ones are working toward. Talk about achievements.

Organize your home and life.

You’ll be able to see how much you do have and how much time is available to put to good use.

Reduce media consumption.

Media cultivates desire for things you don’t have, a key element of scarcity. Advertisements are bad enough, but sometimes it’s the programs or articles themselves that contribute to the mentality. Use the time instead to do something for yourself, something outside or with your hands. Ground yourself in your life instead of wishing for a life that seems out of reach.

Share with others.

Sharing feels good, and you’ve improved someone else’s life, however marginally. Plus, you don’t often miss what you’ve shared. When you share regularly, people are more likely to share in return, fulfilling your life in ways you might not have attempted before. It’s also not just about money or stuff, but sharing time and attention and knowledge and friendships.

Try to create win-win situations.

Scarcity believes that for every one winner, there are one or more losers. Not everyone wins because there isn’t enough to go around. Combat this by creating situations where everybody gains. Host potluck dinners, swap tasks with people who don’t have your skillset who can do something you can’t, so you both come out better.

Look for positives even in the losses.

Sometimes bad things happen. More often than not, there are positives hidden in the negatives. Lose your job? Maybe you’ll find something closer and a better match for your life chapter. A close friend moves away? Maybe you’ll have the chance to travel somewhere new to see them, and when they’re gone, your time with another friend may grow. Keep in mind that at least some good can come out of most situations, and even with really bad circumstances, there’s growth to be had.

Stop comparing yourself to others.

When someone gets something you don’t have, that doesn’t mean you’ll never have it, or something else equally good. Be happy for them and tell yourself your turn is coming. Social media is particularly bad for comparisons, because people post about the highlights of their life, so everything looks rosier than reality. If you’re comparing the entirety of your life, good, bad and ugly, to someone else’s highlights, of course it’s going to be difficult to keep up. This is where cutting back on media helps.

Keep a gratitude journal.

Spending time every day noting the good things in your life helps keep a positive perspective. So even if something bad happens, you can see that it didn’t happen to everything in your life. Every day, big or small, there are moments of joy to be savored. Keeping a journal helps you seek those moments out and remember them for later to write down, and in the remembering, you’re giving them more importance than the negativity weighing you down.

Sending gratitude and an abundant mindset to each of you as you launch into the holidays.


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