Highlights of May 30 2017: Joel Solomon and Karn Manhas’ Talk Clean Money Revolution

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Your Name is on Your Money

Article by jenny Tan
More photos by Daniel Rotman
Check out Joel’s new book, the Clean Money Revolution.
Find out more about Karn Manhas’ company Terramera.
Listen to a clip of Joel’s talk

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Maybe you and I should look at money in a different light.

Last Tuesday, chair of mission venture capital firm Renewal Funds Joel Solomon and entrepreneur Karn Manhas sat down and asked the audience what money means to them. “We have pretty much one goal with money,” said Joel, “which is ‘more’”.

The issue is partly structural, pointed out Joel. Investors have not had much diversity in the investment menu; people are patted on the head by financial advisors and persuaded that investing is best left to the professionals. The options available are uninspiring. Milton Friedman’s statement still echoes loudly in the offices of wealth managers: “There is… only one social responsibility of business… to increase its profits.” Without diversity in choice, ordinary investors demand only the pre-existing options.

Investing for profit–without consideration of where the money comes from–is deeply rooted in our culture. Well-meaning financial advisors shake their heads when investors ask for socially responsible options. Don’t let that stop you. “My name is on my money, and yours is too,” said Joel.

Helping socially responsible investing become the norm is partly a chicken-and-egg issue. Without a diversity of feasible choices, financial advisors will continue dissuading their clients putting their money towards socially responsible venues. A quick practical guide: for high net-worth individuals, consider investing with venture capital firms such as Renewal; for retail investors: consider options such as CoPower, SolarShare, and mutual funds listed on the Responsible Investment Association website. Keep pushing your financial advisors to seek options aligned with your values, or do it yourself.

Change is slow, but take heart: “there’s been an explosion across the world [of socially responsible investing],” said Joel. “It has hit critical mass.”
“[With cleaner money], we actually can solve the major problems on this planet.”

Invest with your values and fuel the revolution.

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