Hello, all. I hope to start a slightly different conversation with this thread, namely, suggestions on how to invest our money (rather than how we invest our time - through our work, or how we spend our money - through finding aligned businesses).
For individuals and families that have been fortunate enough to put aside savings, their investment dollars might have a greater impact than their spending dollars. Aligning our investments with our values could cause a massive shift in the relative balance of power in our economy and institutions today, allowing for intentional organization-building around shared values.
Here are my high-level observations, as someone involved in lots of financings and deals, about some of the pitfalls and possibilities of investing (feel free to disagree):
(1) There is a lot of misdirected and wasted philanthropy out there, which (notwithstanding tax benefits) should instead be spent on values-aligned investing. Charitable work is important, but locking up dollars that could be virtuously invested elsewhere in the coffers of a pet charity is ultimately a losing strategy.
(2) Public investments, while highly liquid, cannot be a meaningful part of an investing strategy aligned with one’s values if those values are at all conservative. The lack of control, and public companies’ tendency toward public wokeness, simply precludes this. [But I’d love to hear counterexamples.]
(3) Owners legally control businesses; executives and team members execute their stated visions until they are legally removed. Keeping businesses closely and intentionally held hopefully will allow for alignment of owners and managers. Owners have the power to hire and fire managers. If you are a business owner, don’t be reckless about the identity and values of your investors and directors. If you are an investor, don’t be reckless about the business plans and goals of the companies in which you invest.
This was a bit broad and conceptual, with nary a stock tip in it, but I hope you understand. We ought not to be nihilistic about how our money is invested–on the aggregate, investments and fees pay salaries to companies and their employees, and unless conservatives put their money where their mouth is, the arc of companies tends toward wokeness.
I am curious as to others’ experiences and opinions on this matter. What sorts of investments (by name or by asset class or investment structure) would you recommend or avoid? What investment platforms and strategies would you recommend to someone who is a non-accredited retail investor and cannot access private funds and other more limited investments?
[PS - I realize that some of this is a bit circular with how we spend our money - i.e., we should invest in the kinds of companies where we would also like to spend our money. Nonetheless, I think it would be fruitful to discuss in broad terms how money might best be invested. Is it developing your downtown, or is that a losing battle? Startups with values? Christian-led funds? Or can you make a good case for just sticking it into the market and then pulling the money out to donate your time or cash to causes in which you believe?]