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Towards Aware and Values-Centered Investing

September 9, 2019 at 12:00 am - November 17, 2019 at 11:30 pm PDT

Towards Aware and Values-Centered Investing – A Money Quotient University Course

To help financial planners gain an understanding of investment options and tools that are available to help clients truly align their financial and life plans with their values.


Click here to watch the first five minutes of Marco’s first lecture. In this video, he discusses his background and motivation, and shares information about the course structure and descriptions of each course session.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, there has been a growing sentiment of skepticism and mistrust aimed at Wall Street and our globalized and opaque financial system.  As a result, a growing number of clients and prospective clients are looking for ways to truly align their portfolios with their values, and are dissatisfied with investing all of their assets in the stocks and bonds of large multinational corporations.

This disconnect between personal values and traditional investment choices is becoming even more glaring due to an increased awareness of the role our investments play in shaping the world we live in.  Media attention and a number of movements (i.e., Slow Money, Occupy, 350.org, and re-localization movement) are all adding fuel to the fire of discontent with business as usual on Wall Street.

However, an honest evaluation of a majority of the stocks and bonds that comprise a typical socially- or environmentally-responsible portfolio would also fail to make a direct link to the issues and causes that your clients care about most.  In addition, even the sincerest and most well-intentioned values-based financial planning process often falls short in the implementation phase.

This course is designed for financial professionals who are ready to engage in out-of-the-box thinking regarding options for clients who want to  a) know their investments are doing no harm; and/or b) actively engage in making the world a better place via their investments.

Learning Objectives

Participants who complete the course requirements will:

  1. Understand the role finance played in shaping the geopolitics of the last five centuries worldwide
  2. Understand ­­the problems with our current financial system and the role our investments play in creating some of the largest societal challenges we collectively face
  3. Understand the application of ecological economics techniques to the quantification of the natural capital subsidy to our economic growth and financial returns
  4. Realize the importance of being aware of the non-financial impact of all our/our clients’ investments
  5. Understand the money system, the money creation process, the banking sector’s incentives and activities, the role and actions of the central bank, their collective effect on asset class valuations and implications for investing
  6. Develop a healthy skepticism of traditional capital market expectations and understand the importance of tactical asset allocation especially around time characterized by secular shifts
  7. Integrate non-financial considerations and clients’ specific personal values into the portfolio management process
  8. Understand the importance of an expanded understanding of fiduciary responsibility to include the non-financial impact of clients’ investments
  9. Introduce the concepts of meta-allocation and regenerative investing component of a client’s portfolio
Course Requirements

Each session of this five-session, ten-week course will include a recorded lecture, required reading, online interaction with the instructor and students, and completion of an online learning assessment.

This course is self-paced; however, online interaction via a discussion forum will include weekly deadlines.  All requirements for each session must completed within the 2-week timeframe.  Additional instruction will be included in the on-line classroom platform.

Session Overview

(*Note: you are responsible for obtaining your own copy of Sapiens; the other materials will be provided to you via downloadable links.)

Session #1              September 9 – September 22

Awakening to the Problems of Conventional Finance

Required Reading:
*Harari, Yuval Noah. Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind. Harper Collins Publishers 201; Chapter 16: The Capitalist Creed (pp. 305-333)

Session #2              September 23 – October 6

Understanding Ecological Limits, Money Creation and the Federal Reserve

Required reading:
*McLeay, Radia, Thomas. “Money Creation in the Modern Economy.”

Session #3              October 7 – October 20

Challenging Capital Markets Expectations – A Holistic Approach to Portfolio Management

Required reading:
*The Economist. “The Long and Short of It – Getting It Right in Two Years and Ten.”
*Rich, Nathaniel. “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.”

Session #4              October 21 – November 3

Implementing Aware Values-Centered Investing

Required reading:
*Vangelisti, Marco. “What returns can we expect from local investing?”

Session #5              November 4 – November 17

Regenerative Investing and the True Path to Financial Freedom

Required reading:
*Tasch, Woody. Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money – Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered.

CFP® CE Credit

6.5 CFP® CE, as accepted by the CFP® Board. Requirements to receive the CFP® CE include the following:

  1. Watch all five recorded video lectures
  2. Complete assigned reading as listed above (*note: you are responsible for obtaining your own copy of Sapiens; the other materials will be provided to you via downloadable links)
  3. Interact with instructor and fellow students via online discussion forum in response to posted topics and questions
  4. Complete online learning assessments (acceptable passing score is 70%)

Click here for full description of each session and to register


September 9, 2019 at 12:00 am PDT
November 17, 2019 at 11:30 pm PDT
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