New Year, New Resolutions

January 2016 | Impact Investing

It’s that time of year again. Yes, it’s time for resolutions. The typical ones come with the territory of a new year…lose weight, eat healthier, spend more time with family, volunteer in your community, etc.

Making financial resolutions can also be a great idea for the new year. The typical ones in this category include spending less, saving more, paying down debt, etc.

What if, though, in addition to making these classic resolutions, you craft a resolution to actually look at your portfolio holdings and see if they match your values and beliefs? It’s an interesting subject, one that is getting more and more attention. As a fixed income impact investing manager, our core focus is conducting a “use of proceeds” analysis on all the securities we purchase to make sure they are having an impact in the community. In other words, does the investment create jobs? Help revitalize the community? Provide more affordable housing?

Many investors may not even know the asset allocation mix of their portfolio let alone what companies stocks or bonds they may hold. It’s time to take on a new resolution and think about the following questions:

(1) Do my investments match my values?
(2) Am I investing in fossil fuel companies?
(3) What is my passion and is it represented in my portfolio?
(4) Is my portfolio having a positive impact in my community?
(5) Am I voting my proxies?
(6) Is my financial adviser/consultant knowledgeable in recommending ESG/impact investments?

So what’s one more resolution? Take a look at your portfolio and go through the questions listed above. It’s likely you might be making some “new year” portfolio resolutions.

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