If there is a silver lining to the current global crisis it is that COVID-19 has brought issues of economic injustice to the forefront of the investment conversation. We see daily proof of the significant inequities affecting every part of our social strata from race to gender to income, health and geography to name a few.
In a matter of weeks, social responsibility has catapulted to the top of every agenda — in government, company boards and households. Individuals and family offices want in on solutions to these problems.
They want in because they want to make a difference not later but now. They want in and demand a range of investment options that fit a variety of risk-return profiles that address the issues that they are passionate about.
For the financial advisor or firm who in the pre-crisis era might have resisted exploring impact investing options as a “nice to have” or on the (mistaken) idea that returns might be inferior to those in the traditional markets, the recent strong performance compared to broader markets of public equity investments using environmental, social and governance criteria has shut the door on that way of thinking.
The conversation is no longer just about impact — especially since these are terms that not every prospect is comfortable with. It’s about good investing. Period.
For the uninitiated this should be a wake-up call. As the CEO of an impact advisory firm, it’s my life’s work to grow and scale impact investing, and we need every financial advisor and firm to join in that effort.
Here are a few options you can explore, ranging from philanthropic solutions to investment strategies that can help you meet your clients’ needs in the COVID-19 era.