We’re committed to working for you, with you.
Common Interests was formed in 1994 after Bob Goellner got his big office in the corner as manager of a mid-sized insurance and stock brokerage branch. Succeeding by every available metric, he realized he wanted to move beyond the way the industry worked at the time, and resolved to strike off on his own. Eventually he hired Max, who had been a client of the firm and shared his values, to learn the business and become his successor. In 2023, just after Bob’s 80th birthday, Bob completed this succession plan when Max purchased the firm (click here to view his retirement video). Today, Max and his team carry on Bob’s legacy, helping clients navigate anything related to personal finance, while aligning their investments with their values.
The name comes from the way we choose to work with clients. When we work together, our interests become common. There are no winners, no losers, and nobody comes out on top. Problem solving comes first, and any products we discuss are only presented as tools to solve whatever issue brought you into our office.
Our story concludes with our logo: the world in an eye. This is the driver, the mechanism that meets the standards of social responsibility while looking ahead to a bright future; for ourselves and the global village in which we live.
Social responsibility lies at the core of our Practice. At Common Interests, we start our investment process in the same place as the rest of the industry: with the fundamentals of the companies we invest in. We look at balance sheets, price-earnings ratios, and the rest of each company’s financial statistics. The difference comes when we overlay our values system on the investments we choose.
We view long term investing as casting a vote. For the core of our portfolios, we refuse to cast that vote for companies that are messing up our planet, treating their people in ways we wouldn’t want to be treated, or “cooking the books.” Investments are filtered through Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) screens to ensure we’re having the most impact.
The team at Common Interests is proud to be active citizens of our community and the world. We are an award-winning certified B-Corporation and signatories of the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment.
Common Interests is a Certified B Corp!
We believe that trust needs to be earned. Our clients trust us with so much that we wanted to go an extra step to proritize transparency. To this end, Common Interests became a Certified B Corporation in 2014 to “put our money where our mouth is” by having the independent organization B Lab audit our business practices. We believe that our investments should practice transparency by disclosing their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards and performance, and we hold ourselves to the same standard. It’s important to us that our clients see and understand our business practices as well as our commitment to sustainability. As part of this, we commit to having at least 75% of our clients be local and independent. And we only surround ourselves with like-minded individuals and companies—those that believe in giving back and making the world a better place. We invite you to view our historic al scores and public disclosure of our B Impact Assessment (the tool used to certify B Corps) on B Lab’s website, which you can find by clicking here.
What is a B Corp?
B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Alongside Common Interests, there is a growing community of more than 2,400 Certified B Corps from 50+ countries and over 130 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. Read more at bcorporation.net
We’ve been voted “Best for the World” – Six Times in a row!
For the Sixth time in a row, Common Interests has been honored in the Best for Customers list! These businesses set the standard for serving their customers. By providing critical services like education, healthcare, and finance management, they add value to customers’ lives while supporting the greater good. These B Corps scored in the top 5% of the Customers portion of the B Impact Assessment which measures the impact a company has on its customers through their products or services.
The Customer portion of the B Impact Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers by focusing on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit and if those products/services are targeted toward serving underserved populations. The section also measures whether a company’s product or service is designed to solve a social or environmental issue (improving health, preserving environment, creating economic opportunity for individuals or communities, promoting the arts/sciences, or increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises). Honorees scoring in the top 10 percent set a gold standard for the high impact that business as a force for good can make on consumers around the world. You can view the 2022 “Best for Customers” list by clicking here. Unfortunately, this is the last time B Lab will issue this award – you can learn more about that here, and we’d like to use this space to register our disappointment in this decision.