Impact Investing Journal

First Quarter 2019

For as long as I have known him, my father has often used a favorite word to describe the work that we do. That word is “Stewardship.” Often in meetings with clients, both new and old, he will use this word to describe the heart of our job as financial advisors and our mission as a Wealth Management Practice.  Since 1987, when he began the practice, he has seen what he does as helping our clients to be good stewards of their assets.  At the heart of this sentiment is honoring what these assets mean to their bearers and ensuring that, however they choose to invest or spend those dollars, they are in line with what the client values as what’s right. In short, we seek to make decisions with money that seek to do something good.

Since those early days, much has happened and many things have changed. However, regarding this concept of Stewardship, little has. Throughout the years, as each new team member has joined, my father has taken great care, not only in choosing team members who are responsive to this kind of thinking, but also in passing this message very clearly on to each of us. He continues to provide examples of what this means to all of us through his daily life, and to make the term a centerpiece of many client meetings. Stewardship is in our DNA.

When I re-joined the team last year, one of the key areas that I was keen to explore was the emerging and growing field of “Impact Investing.” I was excited to discover that my new teammate, Cort, shared similar passions. Since then, Cort and I have devoted many hours to learning more about this type of investing by looking deeply into our own Environmental and Socially Responsible Investing (ESG) portfolio. We have also ramped up our interaction with the associated community of Impact Investors locally and abroad by attending conferences and starting many new conversations.

Through these talks and experiences, our vision of what Impact Investing can be has broadened tremendously. Gladly, it continues to. As more people seek to align their investments with their values, the Impact Investing space has begun to flourish and our offerings are expanding. It is an exciting thing to be a part of. 

Besides traditional investments, we have started to think about the Impact we are making on an individual, team and firm-wide basis. We have realized that Impact is not only about how we invest our dollars, but also with our time, ideas, and energy. We are excited about the direction we are headed in and very much looking forward to what’s to come. 

As we experience and expand our definition of what Impact really means, we intend on sharing our findings with you in as many ways as we can. We invite you, too, to share our journey with others who may find it interesting or worth a look. After all, the more people who are doing their part to help the greater community, the better.

Over the course of this year, we will be making a push as a practice to investigate the word Impact. Specifically, we will be looking more deeply into how it applys to our clients, our team, our firm, and our investments.  This inquiry will take a variety of forms both internal and external– from our team’s (Baird supported!) active engagement in local volunteer and community based actions, to client events focused on education and engagement with people and practices that we believe make an impact on our community, to a quarterly written check-in (this being the first) reflecting on our findings.

Through this process, we hope to continue and strengthen our lasting commitment to not only to doing “well” but also doing “good.”  We want to expand what it means to be good stewards of our client’s trust in us.

We welcome your ideas and opinions and hope that you will join us in this ongoing conversation.  

Please feel free to email me at DJester@rwbaird.com, or call any time (919) 918-2900.

In gratitude and excitement for the future.

Invest in good.

David Jester


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