Speaking of handling wealth, I am drawn to the idea of socially responsible investing. There are now several credit unions and financial planners that specialize in investing in companies that are environmentally responsible & socially responsible, as well as environmentally progressive. They weed out the companies that support violence/war efforts, non “green” companies (oil companies are the most obvious), and companies that don’t do business in a sustainable way. You can invest and make money this way regardless of how much money you have:
- They say if you have enough money for a checking or savings account, you can open your account in a credit union or community bank that invests this way, and gives you a small return in those accounts. Much like putting your money in a normal bank, but with the money going toward something good.
- If you don’t need the money for a few months, you can put it into a liquid Money Market fund at a similar institution and get a little more interest paid.
- If you don’t need the money for about 12 months, you can put it in a CD and earn even more interest.
- You can put it into bonds if you don’t need it for a few years.
- You can invest with a socially responsible financial planner in a mix of stocks & other green investments if you don’t need the money until you retire.
They say the “green” market has actually out-performed the “normal” S&P-type market over its lifetime, but to be aware that when gas prices are high, or during times of war, that the general market will outperform the green market due to the Lockheed Martins, the Exxon-Mobiles, etc.
When I left Chevron, I cashed out my 401K. Part of the reason was to pay off some credit cards. But another reason was that I was becoming aware that I didn’t know exactly what kinds of companies or investments my money was going into. I was broadly diversified nationally & internationally, and I had no way of knowing who or what kinds of practices I was funding. This way of thinking actually started when I tried to launch an investment club while living in Bakersfield, CA. We were getting to the point that we would have to start choosing companies to invest in, and I starting thinking that their ethical practices would come into the picture and I may not be able to contribute with good conscience, even if the profit potential was substantial.
Just something I felt like sharing today…