14 Chapters
Medium 9781626563377

Chapter 4: A Field Guide to Resilient Investing

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A Tour of the Nine Zones of the Resilient Investing Map

NOW THAT YOU ARE ORIENTED TO THE ROWS AND COLUMNS OF THE RIM, you are probably eager to see the colorful variety of investments that are blossoming all across this expanded territory. What do you find in the place where tangible assets chart an evolutionary course, or financial assets come close to home? This section is designed as a field guide, one that will help you recognize some of the species that you will encounter in each of the nine investment zones.

Here is where you’ll experience just how rich and vibrant resilient investing can be; the write-ups are packed with detail, providing a solid introduction to the diversity of options available in each zone. As with any field guide, this detail is fascinating but perhaps best taken in small doses; digging in to a couple of these zones in a sitting may give you more than enough to chew on. If so, we suggest that you return to this section periodically. Of course, the book’s website fills out every zone in ways we can’t fit into a book.

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Chapter 3: Weaning off Wall Street

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Three Investment Strategies:
Close to Home, Sustainable Global Economy, and Evolutionary

AS WE TURN OUR FOCUS TOWARD THE COLUMNS OF THE RESILIENT Investing Map, it is time to recall our quick survey of the VUCA world—volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous—in which we live. There’s an unfathomable intertwining of relationships that underlies the global economy and the physical world, making predictions virtually impossible. As financial advisors it has not been easy for us to overcome our desire for certainty about where the world is heading. But once we acknowledged that the world as it is may not be sitting on the most solid of foundations—and that our clients hold a range of views about our possible futures—it became essential to explore strategies that speak to both emerging innovations and local resilience.

Even a few years ago, such a multifaceted approach would have been impractical, as there were few opportunities to invest our money in either the close-to-home or evolutionary strategy. Now we are energized by the explosion of creativity taking place in virtually all the RIM zones—particularly for one’s financial assets, where it is increasingly possible to select options that do not come from Wall Street. In recent years formerly obscure niches, such as international microfinance, local food systems, and “social purpose bonds,” have catapulted into categories recognized by institutional investors. The World Economic Forum describes these outside-the-box approaches as moving “from the margins to the mainstream.”1 And while some of the ways to invest in personal and tangible assets are timeless, here too there have been exciting innovations, many of which—such as the sharing economy—have been empowered by technological advances.

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Chapter 5: Find Yourself on the Map

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

What You Are Already Doing: Self-Assessment

NOW THAT YOU HAVE A FULL PICTURE OF THE RESILIENT INVESTING framework, it’s time to learn how to put these concepts to work in your life. In this chapter you’ll be assessing where your current actions fit on the Resilient Investing Map and begin thinking about how your own priorities and life situation can find expression within our expanded view of investing. While the RIM may seem fundamentally new, you have undoubtedly been making investments for many years that can be plugged right into your personal map.

For example, we are guessing that you already devote time each week to your familial, social, and community relationships. Great! You’re investing in zone 1. Do you periodically plug in to online social networks or take personal or professional training courses? Check, zone 3. We know you buy stuff, from cereal to cell phones: zone 5. Gardening? Zone 4. Have you supported an interesting new project on Kickstarter or Kiva? Hip hip, you’re at work in zone 9! If you chose your job or career in part because it makes a positive contribution to the world, then zone 2 is in play, too.

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Resource 3: The Resilient Investor Online Resources

Brill, Hal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE COMPANION WEBSITE TO THIS BOOK, RESILIENTINVESTOR.COM, offers in-depth and up-to-date guidance that can help you build on the ideas we introduce in these pages and apply them successfully in your own life.

While the book serves as a concise introduction to the resilient investing framework, the website builds on this by exploring key themes in more detail and providing current information about potential investments and resources for the nine zones of the Resilient Investing Map.

The website offers several downloadable RIMs, including blank ones for you to use as you work your way through your own inventory and planning, as well as examples of completed maps from a variety of types of investors and from readers of the book.

A central feature of the website is comprehensive resource sections for each of the nine zones of the RIM. You’ll find links to articles and websites that will help with your self-education on new topics, as well as information about companies, projects, and organizations that may be of interest to you as you round out your own resilient investing plan. This material is regularly updated to reflect the best of current thinking and opportunities in each zone.

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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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