More and more investors today are incorporating their values and beliefs into their investment decisions. As a lifelong Catholic, I’d like to share a few thoughts about Impact Investing that I wrote for my fellow parishioners at St. Joseph Church in Stuart, Florida. Impact Investing is a strategy of investing that I refer to as ‘Investing for More.’
More than three decades ago, the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops issued investment guidelines to help Catholic organizations and families invest in a manner consistent with the tenets of their faith. The strategy primarily involved excluding companies from portfolios whose products or activities violated Church teachings. This negative screening approach continues to be valid today. However, a positive approach has emerged which seeks outcomes that extend beyond shareholder profit: it’s called Impact Investing.
The Global Impact Investing Network explains “impact investing is not the same as negative screening,” but instead seeks to invest in profitable businesses or investment funds while also producing positive environmental or social outcomes such as clean water, improved literacy, or poverty reduction.
The University of Notre Dame business school teaches that companies with an impact strategy can strive for a “triple bottom line.” An example of this concept is Better World Books (BWB), a company that recycles and sells used books, and redistributes them to under-resourced schools in Africa and Asia. The company makes a consistent profit, while promoting elementary education and literacy in the process. BWB’s triple bottom line is 1) reusing 320 million books previously going to landfills 2) donating 26.5 million books to overseas schools and libraries, and 3) generating over $28 million of support for global literacy programs.
As Catholics, and as global citizens, we have an opportunity to invest for impact in our communities, and in the world at large. Take a closer look at your money and ask yourself, ‘Am I investing for more than just profit?” To discuss an impact strategy for your money, give Price Wealth’s office a call.