How Do You Invest Intentionally and With Your Values?

“I’ve put my money into some stocks I really believe in. Where the company is focused on sustainability and green energy…” My friend took a sip at the wine glass and continued “I don’t know much about the business but I’m passionate about the cause”. She said that it was ok if she lost money because the cause was so important to her that she wanted to support the company and the cause - and if she got some money down the line that would be ok - but it was not the main objective of putting her money in stocks.

Another friend said the exact same thing later that evening. Supporting a cause through stocks.

It was interesting for me to hear how my friends chose to invest their money in the stock market and I believe there’s some important lessons that can be learned from them.

I have two ideas for you if you’re an investor (like many of us) who wants to invest intentionally and to support your priority causes. 

Collecting for SOS Children Villages

Voting with your money is so incredibly important and what it means is that you spend your money intentionally. What you put in your shopping cart at the store, buy second hand when possible, and certainly also the choices you make as an investor: the companies you choose to invest in. As an individual investor it is your choice and you can and should choose stocks that represent you, your values and core beliefs. 

If you want to invest for purely philanthropic purposes - if you find a business that has an important cause you want to support but may not be a “wonderful business” or it may not be at a margin of safety price, l proposes that you it so allocate a certain percentage of your portfolio to “philanthropic gambling”. For example, 10-30% of your allocated capital in your brokerage account is allocated for philanthropy. 

Here's an idea that may be even better. You can certainly invest using the principles of Warren Buffett AND invest in companies that support your values or have a philanthropic purpose. But instead of seeing it as you’re putting money into charity and potentially sacrificing your money for the cause why not look at it differently. What if you were to invest in a charitable business and get a return, so you can invest even more into charity. If you gain more, you can give more. Actually, Buffett founded The Giving Pledge, where the multi-billionaire donates more than 99% of his wealth to philanthropy. Wouldn’t that be a goal worth achieving?

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