This is my last regular column for RIA Citywire, which means it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned over the past two years and how we can use it.
I’ve used this space to sort through some of the thorniest issues of our time, spanning everything from race to gender and neurodiversity. I also told you a lot about myself, from how my identity as a transgender woman informs my perspective on inclusion to the lessons my great grandmother taught me about how to effectively promote social change. .
The theme underlying all of these columns is that it is impractical and inefficient to consider these issues in isolation. They intersect, shaping the experiences of our customers, colleagues and communities in non-obvious ways. They also came with a simple take-out: we have multiple opportunities to make a difference. And we have to grab them.
I know these essays made a difference because of the fantastic conversations I had with readers. We rejoiced together when the CFP board revised a backward policy on advisor bankruptcy and rephrased our views on what kind of change is possible in the process. We have also learned to aim higher, replacing the aspiration to âgood enoughâ with an ongoing commitment to our best efforts.
This brings us to what I do next.
I have already written in these pages about the steps I have taken to ensure that Invest Vegan, the ethically driven asset management company that I founded this summer, is as inclusive as possible. But I haven’t really explained how it works, what makes it unique, or the possibilities it opens up for us to work together in the future.
The name of the company is intended as a two-word mission statement. We seek to invest in businesses that prevent preventable damage to living things while making a significant contribution to a better world for all. This means no slaughterhouses or tanneries, but also no predatory loans, surveillance capitalism or discriminatory employment practices.
Once I manually sifted through the listed company landscape to weed out the objectionable ones, I applied the fundamentals of investing I learned in nearly nine years at the CFA Institute to produce a concentrated portfolio. of the most interesting opportunities. The result is a distinctive portfolio yet sufficiently diversified to play a central role in client portfolios.
This is crucial because many of the people we collectively work to include do not trust the values ââthat underpin most investment options. As a result, they don’t invest at all, miss the magic of compounding, and stay poor.
The only way to rectify this is to renovate the underlying process, make sure any potential issues are resolved long before they arise, and operate with values ââthat are easy to determine and see in action.
There is no doubt that the game is against me. Forget for a second that investing is inherently difficult and remember that asset management companies run by women and other minorities are so rare that they are an endangered species. I don’t know of any other trans-owned business in the world. Building mine means I’m going to have to open some doors, but it’s also one of the best ways to make sure they’re open to others.
So it’s not a farewell. You will hear from me again on these matters, maybe even more than you have been.
Instead, you should take this as a direct invitation to apply the ideas I’ve shared with you to the problem of portfolio building and work together to rebuild the industry in a more inclusive form. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us.