Our Industry Needs To Do Better.

Bob and I are about to head out to the SRI Conference in Colorado Springs, and we both wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the state of our industry, and highlight an issue that’s become more and more prominent in the past few years: The way our colleagues are treated, both in general, and specifically at conferences.

First, some background: a few weeks ago, a fairly major figure in our industry made a number of morally reprehensible comments about women at a major financial services conference. In the wake of this event, major investors, including pension funds and others, have pulled almost 3 Billion dollars in assets out of his firm. This is the first time we’ve seen real consequences for behavior like this, and we hope that the industry will stand up and take notice.

But more needs to be done. Our friend Sonya Dreizler, who runs a consulting service for advisers that are trying to incorporate Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing into their practices, was at the conference in question, and has taken a leadership role to try to change our industry. We’ve been reading and following her “Do Better” series, where she’s been collecting stories from women in the financial services industry. These stories can be difficult to read, but we believe it’s important for us to confront the reality of the industry we work in.

Yesterday (as of this writing), Sonya put out a call on Linkedin:

We’re proud to answer this call. This blog is our firm’s public facing voice, and I can think of no better way to use our platform than to boost the stories that Sonya is telling. So I’ll stop now, and let her words speak for themselves:

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, we’ve seen many articles about why there are so few women in financial services, as well as surveys and statistics about sexual harassment and discrimination. While statistics and surveys are helpful for measuring the issue, I want to share real stories from real women about their experiences with sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Please click here to visit her website and read the stories there

Sonya also gave a great keynote at last year’s SRI Conference where she touched on these topics. Here’s what she said on the topic:

I’m proud to serve with Sonya on the Advisory Board for the InvestmentNews ESG & Impact Forum. If you’re a financial professional, I hope you’ll join us there. We’re trying to make this an open and inclusive event.

My Wonderful New Car Is Powered By Wind (mostly)!

That is actually a true statement!  My Prius Plug-In Hybrid gets charged nightly when I plug it into my garage outlet.  However, the power to my house is generated by Wind Power, thanks to my supplier Arcadia Power. So, I can truthfully say that, for the first 20-25 miles each day, it is a Wind Powered vehicle!  As a Financial Advisor, I’m always looking for little tricks to keep my costs down.  In this case,  I’ve set the charging cycle to start at 10:00pm, so I receive the ‘Off Peak’ electrical rates which are close to 50% of the ‘Peak’ rates; roughly $ 0.15 per KWH!

However, this is only the beginning of this car’s economics…it gets even better!  The car has essentially two batteries; a smallish one that is charged manually, and powers the first 20-25 miles, and then the big battery that is used by the Hybrid System. Following the ‘driven by wind power’ theme, my daily commute is roughly 10 miles each way.  Therefore, my daily commute is done USING NO GASOLINE – “wind” electricity only!  

Here are some important numbers to consider.  I last filled the tank on 9/21/2019.  In that time I have driven 651 miles, used ⅛ of the tank of gas, so by-the-numbers, I have an average of 330 miles per gallon!  These numbers make me a happy man!

Think Hybrid

It gets even better than that!  Consider the “Full Hybrid” part of the equation. Full Hybrid means that there is an engine and a battery and they work together to make the car go. At times the engine makes the wheels go around, at other times the battery makes the wheels go around, and at still other times they both work at making the wheels go.  Basically, this all happens as needed. In the middle of all of this the engine will also keep the big battery charged so it will never run out. This means tremendous efficiency! On our first long trip we drove over 600 miles on one tank of gas! Check out this interactive graphic to learn more about how the systems play together while I’m driving, and compare my Full Hybrid to other “hybrids”:

Global climate change is a very serious issue as evidenced by some very dangerous scientific studies and the rapid rate of the changes happening. I am a strong proponent of Sustainability.  My car is an important player in my desire to do my part to fix this problem. Wind Power from Arcadia provides electricity to both my office and home, and I have contracted to add solar panels on my home roof. I hope to have them installed sometime this month.

Actions Matter

My car is a symbol, as is the wind power at the office and the solar power at the house. I care about our planet and the people who live on it and these steps are part of my commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I am proud that my personal and professional work is aligned, as my firm is a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investing, and is a Certified B Corp. This means we use our business to make positive change in the world.  Please join me, and my firm, in making our world a better place for future generations. We are in fact now a “Global Village!” Let’s make it work!