Aligned investments - where and how should we invest?

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?]

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a difficult hurdle for this strategy is that in order to invest money in a lot of nontraditional vehicles you must be by law an “accredited investor” Meaning you have annual income greater than $200,000 or a net worth > $1 million. Accredited Investor Definition I think forming business “partnerships” or other such structures to pool money around is allowed but I am not an expert on these arrangements.

For me I tend to invest in individual stocks, generally focused on domestic industrial companies that still build things in America, or some smaller regional banks and other locally headquartered companies that lend or employ people locally.

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Good point about the nontraditional vehicles. One path that I have been seen taken by new tech firms is using cryto-tokens that determine company ownership and dividend payments. While this might be a bigger topic in technology, it does allow companies to avoid the stock exchanges to get investors and quite a few of these companies are selling direct to retail investors (not the accredited investors).

If any of us are fortunate enough to have a company we want to take public, I suggest exploring this new method of getting investors. The stock exchanges and Wall Street in general are not friendly to the average person and no business owner should have to butter up to vile bankers who would destroy their business for pennies (i.e. Gamestop).

Whether you’re a small investor or an accredited investor, I think a large part of aligning your investing practices with your principles starts with conducting some major due diligence.

Find out as much as you can about the leadership of companies you want to invest in. Read interviews they’ve given, press releases on policy, find out who sits on their boards and what their ideology happens to be, and if you can … have real conversations with these people before making a decision.

You may not be able to have a phone conversation with the CEO of Coca Cola, but then … you don’t need to in order to know where the company stands politically. There are articles all over the place where they tell you flat out what they stand for.

Start-ups are trickier and riskier and all that jazz … but it’s easier to get their executive staff on the phone, particularly if they’re in a funding phase.

Bottom line, make sure the investment is financially sound and within your risk tolerance … and make sure the ideology of the company leadership aligns with yours.

Finding those companies is all a matter of due diligence in my view.

Investing in Funds is a bit different. I’m not super knowledgeable about putting money into funds, but I do know that Vanguard and Fidelity have their own SRI or ESG lineups. Schwab offers “socially conscious” exchange-traded funds on its platform.

So, there are obviously platforms out there that allow people to invest in funds that cover certain political ideologies. I don’t think there are any “based” funds at the moment … but maybe those that know how to create funds should think about forming one that deals primarily with Non-Woke business investments.

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Great topic. I’ve found it easier to avoid spending money with the woke than finding the non-woke investments. For example, I left Merrill Lynch/BOA due to their wokeness (the breaking point was when BOA canceled business lending to gun manufacturers) and moved my investment management to Stifel, which is much less woke.
I am fortunate to be an accredited investor and can invest in PE deals through a local DFW PE firm. The opporutnities are in both operating companies and real estate, heavy on multi-family housing renos/flips and senior living centers. It’s politics agnostic but I take some satisfaction in deferring the investments from stocks to this, where I know the people involved and where the money is going.

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There is a fund (American Conservative Values ETF) which is an “actively managed diversified large-cap core ETF seeking to boycott ownership of companies that are most hostile to conservative values.” There is more info on their website. https://acvetfs.com/. You can see a list on their website of who they boycott.

I do not think this solves the original post by @bigonehearted, and that discussion should continue, but this could be another part of the strategy of redirecting investments at least in the short run. The upsides of the (American Conservative Values ETF) is that the returns should be similar to the S&P 500 so for folks wanting a more stable investment over the long haul this could be part of that plan. The downsides is that many of the companies still do not actually align that well with conservative values (to bigonehearted point earlier which i agree with).

Aaron Renn has a good take on “The Importance of Owned Space” in his newsletter/podcast and lays out a bit of a road map for “developing your downtown.” I think that would be another part of the strategy.

I’d love to hear more about Christian-led funds and startups with values.

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Good call. That was a great point Aaron Renn made

I am looking for investment for a new ecosystem app that is highly influenced by the Tencent’s super-app wechat. We look to solve problems and increase efficiency rather than commodifying distraction and profiting off user data. It is going to be a closed app that has payments and hopefully will allow you to accomplish many essential life tasks within the app. Let me know if you are interesting in hearing more.

No mention of Angel Studios yet? We’ve invested in both the new Tuttle Twins cartoons and in a production of The Riot and the Dance: https://invest.angel.com/ .

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I don’t know a great deal about investing, though I should learn, but Ave Maria Mutual Funds is either a good answer to this question or they would be able to recommend what you’re looking for. https://www.avemariafunds.com

They are a pro-life, pro-family firm that takes great pains to avoid investing in moral evils.

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Who woulda thunk that it would take c0vid-1984 trojan horse to get more people to reconsider what really matters in life – a value system that includes independence, family, stability, love, self help, work, and integrity. I pray that people will stop the consumerism, greed, envy, pettiness, fear-based mentality and ego that is destroying the US and our planet. Smash your tv and take control of your life again.

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Looking into Stifel thanks to your post! Also super excited for ProLife Bank!

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Has anyone heard of Pax Financial Group? Charlie Kirk is advertising this group on his podcast.

  1. True but what about the non-profits (NP) that are aligned? They are few and far between but they’ll be growing. Supporting an NP that can affect a terrible blow to woke capital while getting a tax exemption is not only effective, and cost-saving, but can bring deep satisfaction, especially when it is a situation where woke capital cannot do anything against it.

  2. I agree, it seems to be a drop in the ocean anyway. I believe that public investments should be the last thing heterodox investors should consider.

  3. Scott Shepard from the National Center was at the recent CPAC and in his speech he urged shareholders to pressure boards, shareholders meetings, and the people in charge of investor relations. He claims that not a lot of pressure is required as people tend to get antsy about it and that’s why the Left has made such great strides in recent years. While I agree with him on the short term, I’m afraid this may not be a viable long-term strategy.

Some wise Joe recently tweeted: “95% of your grandparents are not woke, but 50% of college graduates are”. There was no data to back this claim but this man is on to something. The future generation of supervisors, managers, and CEOs has been indoctrinated in academia for many years now. Not only do most woke don’t shed their wokeness once they leave the campus, but Academia hasn’t even begun to slow down its churning of woke activists. If the current captains of industry are simply being bullied into adopting DEI, what will the situation be once the younger generation gets into positions of power and wilfully institute DEI or strengthen the existing framework?

Since change from within will become extremely hard, perhaps the long-term solution is to push center/right-leaning individuals to entrepreneurship and help them found their own companies? The resulting pressure can be two-fold; competition itself, but also competition in manpower, as the gifted professionals will be more interested to work in an environment free of ideology. That’s a risky move though, many entrepreneurs will fail, for whatever reasons, and resources will be lost to the woke, not to mention that we’ll end up with penniless allies.

We have quite the problem on our hands…

Thanks to @bigonehearted for starting this discussion and apologies for my long-windedness, I’m new here and I wanted to take the opportunity of this thread to lay down a substantial response that would convey my thought process and let you know more about me.

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I recently started looking into Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) and am looking at moving my accounts away from Fidelity (they have partnered with the World Economic Forum). There are a number of companies out there that can help an individual with investments that align with Biblical values: PAX Financial Group, Inspire Investing, Ambassador Advisors, and Envoy Financial. I’ve already spoken with an individual who used to work at Inspire (said it was a great company) and is starting his own financial planning company. I’ll be going with him, however, it’s worth looking into the other companies. For my husband and I, we want to be good stewards of the money the Lord has blessed us with.

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