14 Chapters
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Chapter 10: The Invisible Heart of Resilience

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

How Becoming Personally Resilient Helps Create a Resilient World

YOU MAY RECALL THAT WE MADE A RATHER BOLD CLAIM IN THE introduction, stating, “the strategies that best prepare you and your family for a range of future scenarios are inherently beneficial to the systems upon which civilization and all life depend.” In this final chapter, we explore the roots and the far-reaching consequences of this idea. We conclude by envisioning how a brighter future could take shape as more people begin using the lens of resilience to guide their decisions.

For those with even a cursory interest in economics, there is likely a familiar ring to the idea that pursuit of personal interests yields societal benefits. We touched on this in chapter 3 when we laid out the show me the money strategy, a values-neutral approach to asset allocation derived from Adam Smith’s “invisible hand of the market.” Unfortunately, it has become all too evident that a civilization based solely on competition and maximizing self-interest does not always create the desired benefits or distribute them equitably. In fact, it can frequently cause great harm to people and nature.

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Introduction: Standing Up to Uncertainty

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

DOES THE CHALLENGE OF MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR life seem far more complex today than it did even a short time ago? Does the future—your own and that of the world—feel highly uncertain, perhaps even precarious?

We can sense you there, nodding in agreement. We would also wager that you would love to have a crystal ball that could tell you how the future will unfold, enabling you to make prescient decisions as you glide through life. Indeed much of today’s media aims to quench that thirst for guidance, projecting a steady stream of “experts” onto our screens, each of whom is rife with insight to help us understand how things will unfold. And we lap it up, even though we have seen all too often how their predictions are mocked by the actual turn of events.

So we need to say right at the outset that you’ve just picked up a book that is not going to tell you what’s going to happen this year or next. It would certainly be much easier to market a book that reveals our “three smart money secrets”—everyone’s a winner! Once in a great while, those sorts of books guess right—but we cannot in good conscience make that pitch for one simple reason: the future has yet to be written. There are no simple formulas that can be relied on in this complex and unpredictable world.

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Chapter 7: Dancing with the Future

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Resilient Investor Profiles:
What Is Your D-Type?

CHAPTER 6 OPENED SOME PRETTY BIG WINDOWS, LOOKING BOTH inward and outward. With a view in each direction, the panorama invites you into the vast potential and freedom that resilient investing offers. You can see how to embrace the qualities of the martial artist, gracefully moving across the landscape of our future, engaging its unlimited potential, and aware of its unprecedented challenges.

In this chapter we see how your assessment of future scenarios helps shape the ways you direct your investments across the RIM. We will have a bit of fun with this, introducing some characters that represent various perspectives on the scenarios. They provide a playful and practical way to ensure that your resilient investing plan reflects your best thinking about what the future will ask of us. You will undoubtedly see some of yourself in one or more of these archetypes, and you’ll draw on the insights you find here when you design your new RIM in chapter 8.

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Chapter 8: Your Resilient Investing Plan

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating Your Resilient Investing Plan

WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY TOGETHER, AND YOU’VE BUILT UP A clear understanding of the resilient investing landscape—the new framework of the RIM along with your own worldview and priorities. You are indeed ready to face the uncertainty of tomorrow by having a future-proof portfolio in hand. Now it’s time for the rubber to meet the road.

There are many kinds of travelers. Whether you do comprehensive research and decision making on your own, or tend to collaborate with professionals, or follow an inner compass that points you toward your next destination, we want to help you find a path that will enhance your life while making the world a better place. However you make your decisions, you will want to do all you can to ensure that your choices fully reflect your sense of purpose and long-term goals.

In the pages that follow, we outline a step-by-step process that will help you map your route forward. Of course this is just the skeleton of how it would look in practice—the flesh and blood come from your own reflections and conversations. Whether you follow the structure we lay out here or take a different approach to the process of personal change, you will want to carry these questions with you—to a personal retreat, in conversation with loved ones, on long quiet hikes, or as part of your consultations with trusted advisors. As you do, you are likely to find that the resilient perspective has become integrated into the ways you process new experiences and contemplate the future.

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Resource 1: The Case for SRI

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

AS CHAMPIONS OF SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE INVESTING FOR 25 years, we embrace the goal of bringing your financial investment portfolio into harmony with the choices you are making across the entire Resilient Investing Map. As we noted in chapter 3, we feel that in this time of global challenges, it is crucial for corporations, financial institutions, and investors to take responsibility for the social and environmental consequences of their actions. SRI’s combination of community investing, positive and negative screening (filtering companies based on issues and activities investors wish to support or avoid), and shareholder advocacy (direct engagement with corporate management) has helped reform capitalism while providing investors with an avenue to bring their money and their values into closer alignment.

SRI emerged in the early 1970s as a protest against the Vietnam War and a desire to avoid investing in military contractors; today a wide array of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are assessed by SRI and conventional money managers as metrics that add value to their investment selection process. Environmental and resource-related concerns are increasingly being seen by the financial world as risks to corporate strategy.

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