If you're fortunate enough to have savings, you've probably thought about how to invest them responsibly.
The standard answer is to stick your money into no-load mutual funds that track the market and leave it there for as long as possible. Low risk because of the diversification. Low fee because there's no genius managing your money, just an algorithm. And high return because over the long term, it's almost impossible to beat the market.
What could possibly be wrong with that?
Today's guest, Marco Vangelisti of Essential Knowledge for Transition, points out that all the bad things that are happening on the planet right now – habitat destruction, pollution, climate instability, oceanic dead zones, massive poverty and income inequality, social and political unrest, rising fascism – all funded in part or wholly by those very mutual funds.
If you're an ethical vegan, you might think that a portfolio that excludes Perdue, Dannon, and Tyson Farms would be in concert with your values. But if you're invested in mutual funds, with hundreds or thousands of companies' equities represented, you're what Vangelisti calls an “unaware and extractive” investor. Your capital returns are essentially theft, either from the earth's natural resources that have been commandeered by a private institution at the expense of the commons, or from exploited people (whether laborers or inhabitants of areas that are being exploited).
In our conversation, Marco shares the problems with mainstream investing, and offers several tiers of investment approaches that range from “aware” to “no harm” to “positive impact” to “regenerative.”
He also offers his perspective on risk, given the stock market's current untethering from reality and the historical crashes that have followed periods like the one we're living through now. As in, perhaps a strategy that maintains capital is actually less risky than all those mutual funds if the market is likely to crash within the next ten years.
And he gives specific suggestions for places to invest to reverse climate change, empower Black and minority entrepreneurs, and defund the war industry.
I'm signed up for Marco's course on Aware and No-Harm Investing, and he's offered a 20% discount to Plant Yourself listeners, good through August 16, 2020. Go to EK4T.com/register and choose the TANHI course option, and enter the discount code PLANT in the bottom field:
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
Marco's site: EK4T.com
Marco's “Toward Aware and No-Harm Investing” course (use discount code PLANT to save 20% – not an affiliate link!)
Marco's Article: Reality Has Split In Two – The Money World and the Real World
Marco's Article: Making Amends Through Regenerative Investing
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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