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Align your Investments with your Values – Webinar series

June 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm PDT


Global finance is an opaque landscape for individual investors. All too often, our investments can end up tied to socially and environmentally harmful industries, without our knowledge. How can we empower ourselves to act in this sphere, and direct our money toward profitable, progressive businesses?

If you long to operate with integrity in all parts of your life but feel underequipped or bewildered by the idea of aligning your investments with your values, this webinar series is a chance to learn essential portfolio management skills and link your financial resources with local resilience.

In this webinar series (six one-hour long webinars offered on a monthly basis) you will:

  • Learn about the problems with global finance from an ex-insider
  • Clarify your own values and build your personal investment compass
  • Learn basic concepts of portfolio management and the tools to assess your liquidity and risk profile
  • Learn to include non-financial considerations when evaluating investments
  • Determine the prudent allocation of your portfolio to direct, impact or local investments
  • Learn how to assess the risk and the alignment with your values of an investment opportunity
  • Connect with a group of like-minded individuals interested in building a better world through their investments
 Webinar 1: Awakening to the problems of conventional finance (view recording)
 Webinar 2: Understanding Money Creation and Ecological Limits Tuesday 2/7/2017 4:30pm PT
 Webinar 3: Beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance Tuesday 3/7/2017 4:30pm PT
 Webinar 4: Portfolio Management Tuesday 4/4/2017 4:30pm PT
 Webinar 5: Direct Investing 101 Tuesday 5/2/2017 4:30pm PT
 Webinar 6: Due Diligence 101 Tuesday 6/6/2017 4:30pm PT   

Each webinar is one hour long including at least 10 minutes of Q&A at the end. If you cannot participate in person, by registering you will have access to the archive of the recorded webinars.


Webinar 1: Awakening to the problems of conventional finance –  (view recording)

  • From abstract math to finance
  • Awakening to the problem – the story of a forest
  • Natural capital at risk
  • Slow Money
  • From greed and fear to biophilia and empathy
  • Examples of aligned investments

In this first webinar I will tell my personal journey from global finance to Slow Money which began when the story of a forest awoke me to the problems of conventional finance. We will look at an important 15-year study by the UN called “Natural Capital at Risk” showing how we have been using natural capital to subsidize our global economic activity and financial returns. We will then explore the themes and ethos of Slow Money which urges us to “bring money down to Earth” and invest with the ultimate goal of restoring soil fertility. We will then look at the psychology of investing and imagine a portfolio inspired by biophilia and empathy instead of by greed and fear.

Webinar 2: Understanding Money Creation and Ecological Limits – Tuesday 2/7/2017 4:30pm PT

  • The carbon math
  • The virtual and the real
  • Money creation and the origin of investment capital
  • The source of financial returns
  • Bringing money down to Earth

In the second webinar we will expand on the intuition gained in the first webinar and look specifically at the carbon math and its implications for the market valuation of oil companies. We will also look at the concept of financial intensity and realize the disconnect between the amount of investment capital around the world and the finite limits of our biosphere. We will discover the unlikely origin of investment capital by understanding the basics of the money and banking system, and the impact of money creation on the business cycle and asset bubbles. As we recognize the virtual and constructed nature of money and investment capital we will realize the importance of moving beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance and considering the true impact of our investments.

Webinar 3: Beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance – Tuesday 3/7/2017 4:30pm PT

  • How most financial returns are generated
  • From greed and fear to biophilia and empathy
  • Expressing deepest values through our investments
  • Personal portfolio transformation
  • Building the personal investment compass

The third webinar summarizes what we learned in the first two webinars and integrates it with our own personal values allowing us to move beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance when considering our investment options. I will talk about my personal transformation and how it translated in the transformation of my personal portfolio. We will talk about building one’s Personal Investment Compass (PIC) and look at a number of examples from prior participants in the daylong local investing workshop “Align your investments with your values.” You will gain both the motivation and tools to develop you own PIC.

Webinar 4: Portfolio Management – Tuesday 4/4/2017 4:30pm PT

  • Key concepts of portfolio management
  • Financial and non-financial returns/benefits
  • Liquidity and diversification
  • Self-assessment: liquidity needs and ability to bear risk
  • Determining prudent allocation to local/direct investing
  • The chimera of capital market expectations
  • Insufficient diversification (size and geography)
  • The why of local investing

The fourth webinar will introduce key concepts of portfolio management like risk, return, liquidity and diversification. Unlike traditional portfolio management we will integrate an understanding of both financial and non-financial risks and returns. You will be able to assess your own liquidity needs and your ability to bear risk which will determine your prudent allocation to local and direct investing in your portfolio. I will then challenge some of the assumptions made by financial professionals especially in relations to capital market expectations and show that past returns of major asset classes (types of investments like stocks and bonds) are a poor basis for predicting returns in the next 10 to 15 years. I will also argue that traditional investing based on mutual funds and public securities is insufficiently diversified both in terms of size and geography. We will then look at the reasons to include some local and direct investing in one’s personal portfolio.

Webinar 5: Direct Investing 101 – Tuesday 5/9/2017 4:30pm PT

  • What is direct investing?
  • 5’ on securities laws
  • Understanding non-financial risk
  • Local investing as “livable future insurance”
  • Investing vs. purchasing livable future insurance
  • Beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance
  • Report from 8 years of direct and local investing – lessons learned

In the fifth webinar we will explore direct investing and understand both the function of securities laws, the challenges they present to local investing and the recent changes that are opening up the field of direct local investing to the general public. I will argue for the importance of a conceptual reframing of local and direct investing as buying “livable future insurance” and how thinking of it as a spending decision will both ensure we do it in a financially prudent way and reduce the paralyzing fear of making “mistakes”. We will put into practice the idea of moving beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance by bringing non-financial consideration in the process of evaluating investments. I will then share my personal experience and lessons learned doing local and direct investing over the past 8 years.

Webinar 6: Due Diligence 101 – Tuesday 6/6/2017 4:30pm PT

  • Assessing risk level
  • Factors affecting risk level: longevity, stage of development, type of investment
  • Assessing risk level for equity investments
  • Assessing risk level for secured debt
  • Assessing risk level for unsecured debt
  • A whole-person approach to due diligence: heart, mind and gut
  • Joining a community of practice

In the last webinar we will dive deep into due diligence. We will look at the traditional checklist of factors considered by investment professionals when doing due diligence on a potential investment. I will then present a simple model for characterizing the risk of an investment in an enterprise based on its longevity, stage of development and investment structure. Finally, we will look at an integrated whole-person approach to due diligence that integrates our personal values (PIC) and involves not only our mind but also our heart and our gut in the process. You will be given an opportunity to join a community of practice – people who have attended my workshop in the past and assisting each other in the process of aligning one’s investments with one’s values.



June 6, 2017
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm PDT
Event Category:


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