Investing with Intent – Winter 2022

Indigenous Representation Matters by Sylvia Panek, AIF®

Moves to Make Before Tax Time by Kirbie Crowe, AIF®, CFP®

The Deal with Donor-Advised Funds by Brady Quirk-Garvan

Shareholder Advocacy Review – Winter 2022 by Michael Kramer

Market Report – Winter 2022 by Scott Secrest, AAMS®

In the News – Winter 2022


Download a full PDF copy here: Investing with Intent – Winter 2022

Photo credit: “T.V. Indians” © Cara Romero. 2017. All rights reserved.

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Indigenous Representation Matters

In 2007, when I worked at The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF)— The national association for socially responsible investing (SRI) firms and professionals—I became the staff liaison for the Investors and Indigenous Peoples Working Group (IIPWG). One of IPWG’s main  campaigns at the time was asking companies and investors to pressure the owner of the Washington, D.C. professional football team to change its name to anything else that was not a racist slur.

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Moves to Make Before Tax Time

As you clean up the corks and streamers from New Year’s celebrations, finances may not be top of mind. With the holiday season fuss, many people forget to check on year-end to-dos in December. Good news: there’s still time to make some moves that can positively impact your 2021 tax situation and your overall financial health.

IRAs can be opened and funded this year before April 15, 2022 (or October 15 for SEPS, SIMPLEs, and 401(k)s) to count for 2021. The deductibility of these contributions depends on the type of IRA as well as whether you are enrolled in a workplace retirement plan.

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Invested In Racism – Asset Manager Woke-Washing

So you have money invested with Vanguard, BlackRock, State Street, or Fidelity, and you recently heard that these Asset Managers have failed to utilize their power as large shareholders of publicly traded companies to address structural racism.

You don’t want your money held at, or managed by a Company that is supporting voter suppression and other public policies that cause great harm to communities of color. After all that we have learned about racial injustice in American society, some companies are still, to this day, voting to approve all-white corporate boards of directors, or blocking shareholder efforts to improve corporate disclosures of lobbying activities and political contributions.

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Shareholder Advocacy Review – Winter 2022

We finally get to take some victory laps! After years battling the previous administration, we are finally seeing executive branch actions that roll back its archaic rules and guidance that clearly benefited corporations and not investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for example, recently issued new guidance addressing the criteria by which shareholders may submit proposals to the ballot for a shareholder vote. The guidance restores the original intent of the shareholder submission process in order to reduce the subjectivity of SEC staff interpretations, which typically blow in the political winds depending on which party controls the executive branch.

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The Deal with Donor-Advised Funds

After wrapping up another season of end-of- year requests from non-profits, it seems to make sense to take a broader look at philanthropy and charitable giving.

Philanthropy in the U.S. is a massive undertaking. In 2020 Americans gave $471 billion to charitable causes. That is almost the same amount the federal government generally spends every month.

Why people choose to give, and what causes they support, is often a deeply personal matter. Some choose to support scholarships, while some support causes they think the government could or should cover; others to further a cause or ideal.

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In the News – Winter 2022

Executive bonus programs at fossil fuel companies, meant to encourage better environmental practices,
evolved to allow firms to award executives full bonuses even in years with major environmental damage or total emission increases.
Washington Post

With socially responsible investment becoming mainstream, unpacking how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics are analyzed at different firms becomes an important distinction for investors to understand.
Financial Times

An important pillar of responsible finance, community investing has evolved over the past several decades. The resurgence of anti-racist discussions in the public narrative has invigorated new efforts to support BIPOC low-income communities.
GreenMoney Journal

Amidst the pandemic and Great Resignation, employee-owned businesses are increasing in the form of cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans (ESOP).

The movement to reduce electronic waste is picking up steam and corporate giant Microsoft is one of several tech firms bowing to federal pressure, consumer demands, and investor concerns to expand repair options.
As You Sow

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Market Report – Winter 2022

The stock market ended the final quarter of the year with some measures higher and some measures lower, though for the year markets were solidly higher. For 2021, large company stocks rose 28.7%, small company stocks rose 14.8%, and foreign stocks were up 11.3%. Domestic bonds for the year were down 1.5 percent.

The initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 created a sudden freeze in global economic activity on a historic scale. In the following phase—roughly beginning June 2020 and continuing to the present—the economy has experienced an astonishing rebound surpassing all expectations. The rebound has been fueled by unprecedented government stimulus programs in various forms, as well as the deployment of effective vaccinations, which helped bring people out again.

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Planning for the Inevitability of Loss

The past year was defined by incomprehensible loss—and for many, the losses were personal. In May, my father-in-law Bernie passed away on his 94th birthday. In the end, he said he was ready to go, but we are mourning the loss of an attentive and engaged family man who was like a second father to me.

In the midst of our grieving, I was thankful that we had done some planning ahead of time for this moment. With this recent experience in mind, here are some steps you can take to prepare in advance for inevitable end-of-life transitions.

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