More Action, Less Talk: The Case for Racial Equity Investing

Life in the financial sector sometimes feels like swimming upstream in a river of alphabet soup — there are so many acronyms to remember. There are the titles we tack onto our names—MBA, AIF, CPWA, CFP, CFA, AAMS—and, in the world of impact investing, where I’ve spent my career, there’s SRI and ESG investing, where we like to talk about ROIs, KPIs, and CDFIs.
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ESG Data Isn't Telling the Right Story

When I started my writing career as an analyst for Morningstar, what made it work was my appreciation for data. Indeed, one reason I like financial communication is that it aspires to speak truthfully to a sophisticated understanding of the world, as represented by data. And that’s what makes it so hard for me to utter this sentence:
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Which Countries’ Equities Outperformed During COVID-19?

Brad Hanson, Managing Director Magni Global Asset Management   Magni Global Asset Management LLC (Magni) updated its analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on equity valuations of countries for the first half of 2020. The trend of equity outperformance of the better-responding countries increased by more than a half percent in just one month to 7.80% YTD through June versus 7.26% YTD through May. The Global COVID19 Index continued to be used in this update as the measure of the effectiveness of a country’s response and we excluded the US from this particular analysis(1). As part of the overall analysis, Magni reviewed a variety of characteristics of the countries with a better response to the pandemic. One of the most important distinguishing characteristics across the better performing markets was the prevalence of female leaders.
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Shareholder Advocacy: A Positive Use of Power

I’ve aspired to work toward a just and sustainable world for most of my life. My initial interest stemmed, in part, from feelings of dread and urgency about the trajectory of society. Driven by a personal goal of sustainability, I have centered my life around my values by living with my family in an off-the-grid house powered by solar energy and growing our own food.
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Sustainable and Impact Investing in the New World

Many pundits discuss the “New Normal” that will arise when the pandemic ends and the economy recovers. For many in the U.S. and for most in the developing world, the “Old Normal” was not that great. The “Next Normal” will need to provide more equitable and more sustainable living conditions for a much larger portion of the population. As I near the end of my 33rd year at First Affirmative Financial Network, I reflect on what I have experienced in, and hopefully have learned from, the financial marketplace. The “Crash of 1987.” The “Asian Contagion.” September 11, 2001. The “Dot-Com Bubble and Burst.” “The Great Recession.” “The Flash Crash.” Except for 9-11, these market experiences were all the result of government, economic, or market decisions or conditions, frequently combined with some type of “financial engineering.”
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