Intentionally living from your heart comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes.
When it comes to your money, intentionally spending, saving and investing should also be from your heart. That means to be congruent with who you are and living authentically. Sounds simple, but for many it’s not so easy.
There's great power in knowing your true self ... the essence of who you are. When you know this, live your fullest life in alignment with that; including how you are investing your money.
There are many ways to do this. One often overlooked or unknown option is investing your money with companies that are doing things in the world that align with your values. There are many great companies, B Companies for example, that are on a mission to not only grow profitably, but impact world for the better.
Kathleen Lindquist, CFP® has built a niche through Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) to help clients align their money with their deeper held values to effect positive change in the world.
Here Kathleen shares some real-life stories about how SRI companies are impacting the world in a positive way.
Making an Impact on the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing our society today. Many families have been affected by opioid addiction as the number of overdoses continues to rise. A November 2017 report by the Council of Economic Advisors found that over 33,000 of the 50,000 deaths from drug overdose were related to opioids.1 The number of opioid overdoses that lead to death have doubled in the last ten years.
The impact of the opioid crisis goes well beyond health-related issues, also carrying significant economic and social costs. The Council of Economic Advisors also found that the economic cost of opioid related deaths reached $504 billion in 2015, or 2.8% of GDP, a figure more than six times larger than previously estimated.
How can our wealth work to combat this deadly crisis? Two of the mutual funds in our Responsible Wealth portfolio have taken action to help thwart the epidemic.
They employ three key tools: engagement, divestment and coalition forces.
Engagement begins with dialogues with opioid industry companies and their potential role in drugs getting into the wrong hands. Drug distributors have a legal obligation to monitor controlled substance distribution and to prevent suspicious orders from being shipped.
One of the mutual funds talked with two of the largest drug distributors in the United States to identify their roles in controlled substances possibly getting into illicit supply chains. Numerous issues were brought to light by the fund about the monitoring and distribution by these two companies.2
Ultimately, both drug distributors did too little to address the issues and the mutual fund sold all $750 million worth of holdings related to these companies.
Another Responsible Wealth mutual fund has joined the Investors for Opioid Accountability (IOA) which is a coalition to combat the opioid crisis and companies who play a role in it. IOA engages with manufacturers and distributors to hold them accountable for any practices that may be contributing to the increase in addictions.
Over the past year, more than 100 lawsuits have been filed by cities, counties, and states against companies for negligence and lack of vigorous responses to the epidemic.
As responsible investors, the mutual funds know the risk of their exposure to these companies and they continue to hold them accountable when they find negligence in manufacturing, distributing, or marketing the drugs.
Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please note that individual situations can vary.