The word is spreading! Since Till Investors’ book –Sustainable Investing: An ESG Starter Kit for Everyday Investors – hit stores on October 9, co-founders Ben Vivari and Kylelane Purcell have been hitting the road and the airwaves to talk about why, and how, investors can align their money with their values. Along the way, we encountered many allies and many curious investors who wanted to find out more about the new way to money.
The People You Meet
Our belief in sustainable investing is built around the people we encounter in this field – people who are looking for a better way to put their money to work. So with our book coming out, we knew we wanted to take it to places where sustainable-minded people meet. And that meant conferences.
We picked three conferences to attend in the month of October:
- ESG for Impact, which is the longest-running conference focused on sustainable advisors
- FinCon, the largest annual gathering of individual investors (or, as they are affectionately known, “money nerds”)
- SOCAP, the industry leading connection point for social entrepreneurs and those who finance them.
We walked away with literally dozens of new connections and lots of new ideas, particularly about how to make conversations around money less stressful and more valuable. We plan to apply these lessons to our work in 2024. If you have a group that would like to have a productive conversation about aligning their values with their money, reach out at our Contact Us page and we’ll put something on the books.
We’re Making Some Good Noise
Want to hear what a clear, understandable conversation about sustainable investing sounds like? Check out our recent podcast/YouTube appearances. Here’s a new one we’re pretty excited about – The Social Impact Show with the smart and popular Karl Yeh.
You can see some of the topics we’ve discussed in these podcasts on our News and Information page, such as:
- why there is so much confusion about ESG, from the professional-minded ESG Talks podcast produced by KBRA
- a look into the performance benefits of sustainable investing with the guys from Queer Money
And we’ve got more upcoming, including the excellent show Bad With Money starring Gabe Dunn. These short discussions are a great way to get a taste of why we believe sustainable investing is both compelling and achievable – along with some of our thoughts about how to get started.
Answering the Tough Questions
Among the people we met on our October conference tour, one of the most common – and toughest – questions we received was whether an individual investor can really make that much of an impact. The answer is yes! Because even a modest move to a modestly more sustainable investing approach puts you on a path of driving real change. We call it the Ladder of Impact, and here’s how we describe it in our book:
“In this chapter, we’re going to start by figuring out where you are in your personal investing journey. Sustainable investing functions a little differently for people at different stages of life, so we’re going to walk you through what we call the Ladder of Impact. Luckily, there are only a few rungs on that ladder. In later chapters, we’ll talk more about how you choose the investments best suited to your values, and then give you actions to take that will start you down the path – not just to making a sustainable investment, but to becoming a sustainable investor. For right now, though, the best place to start is where you already are.”
And as we say later in the book, history shows that sustainable fund performance is on a par with, or better than, traditional funds. You can find out more – and hopefully get inspired! – by ordering our book today on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the Business Expert Press website.
Closing the Gap
Another day, another report showing that people want to invest sustainably, but few feel they have the right information or advice to make it happen. According to a recent study by Morning Consult, US adults are largely positive about the potential impact of ESG funds, and approximately half of those who invest would like to make investments that have a positive impact on society. Nevertheless, “just 18% of investors say they have investments in ESG-related funds, and. .. consumers aren’t hearing about ESGs from financial professionals.”
Till Investors is out there trying to close the gap, and so is the US SIF organization, a trade group for sustainable investing professionals. This neat little infographic from US SIF answers a lot of questions; check it out.