Author: Marco Vangelisti

Marco Vangelisti, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a 100% Aware™ and No-Harm™ Investor with a longstanding commitment to Positive and Restorative Investing™.

The Lesson in the Brexit Vote

I am re-posting as blog my July newsletter since the recent US election has made it quite prescient. Note in particular the sentence ” Mistrust in the political establishment is at a level not fully appreciated by the mainstream media nor by the major parties” and the last paragraph. 

EK4T July 2016 Newsletter

A drop of 600 points in the Dow on June 24th following the outcome of the Brexit vote in the UK made people in the US take a passing interest in European affairs.

What is Brexit and why should we pay attention here in the US?

Local Investing and State Crowdfunding Securities Laws

After shopping locally and eating locally, the next step necessary to building a livable future is investing locally.

I make the case for it in this podcast – From Wall Street to Main Street: an interview with Marco Vangelisti on local investing and Slow Money.

Most understand by now the importance of local investing yet very few people have actually made any local investments.

Why is local investing so difficult?

The answer lies in part with our securities laws introduced at the beginning of the Great Depression to protect investors.

Making Human Survival Illegal – the Unintended Consequence of TPP

Imagine a world where global multinational corporations have the power to sue any government that passes laws or regulations that have negative impacts on their current or future profits. Imagine that they could bring the case to a private tribunal whose judges are private lawyers working for other large multinational corporations, who sometimes bring cases to the same tribunal on behalf of their corporate employer. Imagine that such private tribunals can override decisions made by the highest courts of the country being sued. Imagine that there is no limit to the amount of taxpayer money the tribunal can order the defending government to pay the corporation who brought the suit. Imagine that the proceedings of these tribunals are both secret and cannot be appealed.

Well, this is the world that twelve nations, including the US, will be living in if they ratify the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a deceptively named “trade agreement” that will have broad impacts on many aspects of social life in the countries that bind themselves to its dictates. If you think of the system of law in a particular country as its social operating system, then you could say that any nation which signs the TPP will effectively override its social operating system with one that elevates current and future corporate profits to the highest value of society.

An Interview with Amy Cortese of Locavesting

From Wall Street to Main Street: A Conversation with Local Investor Marco Vangelisti

Amy Cortese | June 5, 2015

This interview originally appeared on Locavesting.

Marco Vangelisti left his job as an investment fund manager in 2009, after an eye-opening discovery about the kinds of companies the fund, and its mission-driven clients, were investing in. The first thing he did was to liquidate his Wall Street portfolio and reinvest it in local and sustainable investments. The second thing was to embark on a quest to understand the big picture and the large systems shaping our society—the economic system, the global system of finance and the money and banking system. This inquiry forms the basis of his recent talks. We spoke with Marco about what he’s learned along his journey—and what anyone thinking of local investing should know.

Amy Cortese: You had a lucrative career as an investment manager… what caused you to walk away from that?

Marco Vangelisti: I spent the last six years of my career in finance working for a very well respected investment management firm. I was part of a team managing a $20 billion equity fund investing in emerging markets. We were quantitative managers, meaning that the fund was constructed by a series of algorithms that used statistical models we had built, rather than being the result of stock picking by members of the team. The fund was performing very well and our clients, mostly endowments and foundations including environmental foundations, were very happy with us. I discovered that one of the best performing stocks we owned was a palm oil company in Malaysia that had taken down tens of thousands of acres of rainforest and planted a monocrop of palm oil plants for the international commodity market. Its earnings and therefore the stock price got a big boost that year since the company earned lots of carbon credits for planting trees!

“One of the few investments I made that resulted in a total loss was due to my investing prior to gaining sufficient understanding of the entrepreneur’s character”

I’ve always been a nature lover and a big supporter of the environmental foundations whose money we were managing. When I found out that their money, and therefore my own charitable contributions, were implicated in funding the destruction of the natural habitats those very foundations were created to protect, I realized that the financial system was a very destructive force in the world. The level of opacity and intermediation in the global financial system had concealed until then the disconnect between my personal values and my own livelihood, a cognitive dissonance that, once recognized, made it impossible for me to continue working in the finance industry. That’s what led me to leave a very well paid and rewarding job in the middle of an economic recession in 2009.

My Impressions of Cuba (2015)

In January I finally visited Cuba with a tour organized by Human Agenda in Palo Alto. I have been meaning to visit the island for at least 25 years since I wanted to see Cuba before it turned into the 51st state of the US or before it got colonized by international corporate and financial capitalism and lost its unique character. The trip could not have been more timely. I had booked the trip in October of 2014 and just two months later, President Obama announced a major shift in the 50-year old US policy towards Cuba aimed at reestablishing diplomatic relationships and ease some of the economic and travel restrictions.