Author Archive

Carrie Van Winkle

Welcome to my archive of newsletter articles and blog posts. For more information on my service offerings, please go to my advisor webpage.

A Q&A With Financial Behaviorist Jacquette Timmons

Jacquette Timmons works as a financial behaviorist committed to helping people manage choices around money. She is the author of “Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship with Your Money and Your Mate” and hosts of one of my favorite money podcasts, “More Than Money.” Jacquette is a much-loved speaker, and her work has been featured on SiriusXM, Good Morning America, Oprah.com, CNN, HLN, FOX, Black Enterprise, NPR, Reuters.com, Wall Street Journal and Family Circle. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. You can find her at jacquettetimmons.com and listen to the entire one-hour interview at carriebvanwinkle.com.

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Capitalism: Reformation or Revolution?

My conversation with Esther Park of Cienega Capital for my Smart & Soulful Money® podcast brought me more clarity and also opened my thinking to what’s possible. I hope it does something similar for you! A few of my takeaways from our conversation include a more grounded idea of change based on growing up through the cracks (spaces of possibility) and how powerful and transformative this type of change can be. Part of this is a “whole systems” perspective—the opposite of monoculture ways of thinking and implementing.

Also, there is so much power and opportunity stored away in charitable foundations and other structures like donor-advised funds. Opening the flow of these resources, in a way that is wise and inclusive, can mean critical transformation for addressing so many needs we have—from climate change to racial  equity to the many social needs of our day. We don’t have to be Rockefellers to be a part of creating (and incubating!) systemic changes.

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Putting Equity at the Center of our Organizational Culture

Natural Investments as a firm has been on its own path of social justice since it began. It’s the core of our mission. And yet in the area of racial equity, we know there is much more that we can and want to accomplish.

Our natural focus is external, in that we are always looking for ways to help clients invest in systems change. But for the past few years, our firm’s rapid growth and circumstances in the bigger world have called on us to look inward—particularly when it comes to racial and gender equity.

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Pandemic Planning: Transitions, Endings, and New Beginnings

Most of us have experienced important disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of publication, more than 128,000 Americans have died from the illness, leaving entire communities in mourning. Shut-downs and quarantine orders have devastated the economies of entire cities. Nearly everyone—even the most privileged—have had to make major changes to their daily lives.

With the pandemic still in full force, a national response to the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans who lost their lives to institutionalized racial violence has swept across the nation and even the world. The tumultuous events of spring have created one disruption after another. Although disruption can be painful, endings create space for change.

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Investing with Your Values

It can be overwhelming to think about the ways that our values and money interact in our lives. Some people might know they want their money to create positive impact but feel unsure of where to start. Unless we bring intention and clarity to our money life, the money flowing through our lives may be fueling human suffering and environmental destruction.

What do we do with this knowledge? If we are able to work on our relationship with money, we can learn to engage with money so that it becomes not just neutral but positive. Money can even become a sacred tool for good if we use it purposefully to support a positive vision—for our own lives and in the bigger world.

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From “Noble Poverty” to My Brand of Joy

Releasing my “noble poverty” mindset has been an exhilarating journey.

When I first heard the term “noble poverty,” I had a visceral reaction of relief at finally having a name for a condition I had lived with since I was a child.

Mikelann Valterra, founder of the Women’s Earning Institute, has defined noble poverty as “the belief that there is virtue in not having money and that good people do not have it.” People with this mindset live by the phrase “It is better to be good and poor than rich and evil.”

The roots of the noble poverty mindset I used to carry run deep. I was raised in a devout Catholic family in a small rural town in Kentucky. My parents had me when they were both nineteen and worked hard to make a sweet little home for my siblings and me, but they struggled over money. The conflicts over power and control were exacerbated during their divorce, when I was a teen.

My experience of church teachings gave me clear messages about money: “You cannot serve both God and money,” “The love of money is the root of all evil,” and the most memorable to me as a child, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

I first started earning money through small jobs: brushing my grandmother’s hair for ten cents and later babysitting. At sixteen, I worked at a local video and record store and did my own tax returns. I worked two to three jobs at once to put myself through college, and even still, I took out as much in student loans as I could to pay my tuition; I was part of the first generation of students to incur unprecedented educational loan debt without fully grasping the consequences.

I went on to get an M.S.S.W. in social work and worked for nonprofit organizations with refugee and immigrant families and affordable housing. In my early thirties, when I began teaching financial literacy, I realized that I needed to start a retirement account and found an SRI mutual fund for my first IRA.

Even then, by age forty, I was still living with a mindset of noble poverty. I realized that I wanted to retire from this way of thinking and living. I came to understand that my calling was socially responsible investing, and I began doing deeper personal money work to liberate myself from the noble poverty mindset as I helped people align their money with their values.

As they say, when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money, taught me that we live in a world of abundance, not one of scarcity. From her work with Buckminster Fuller, she saw that our systems that are still catching up with the reality of abundance. I now work with my clients to leverage their investments to transform these systems, so that fair trade, gender equity, inclusion, and economic justice become integral to our economy.

Barbara Stanny, in her book Sacred Success, taught me about women and our relationship to both money and power. She says that women’s challenges with money are often really challenges in their relationship with power. I continue to explore this for myself and help my clients in their own challenges with power.

There are many other teachers, of course, who have helped shaped the unique path I find myself on today. I am thankful to have defined my own “brand of joy,” an idea coined by Tanya Geisler that emphasizes the WHY of my work. As we begin a new year, I am thrilled to be continuing this journey with my clients and colleagues.

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Conscious Leadership Isn’t Just About the Do-ing

In June I participated in the inaugural Conscious Company Global Leaders Forum, a gathering of about 200 business executives who are interested in evolving themselves as a conscious leaders. They share a goal of bringing deeper awareness to bear inside companies to change how business is done, and to create positive, meaningful ripple effects in the bigger world.

As you might guess, some of the attendees were from recognizable companies like Google, Patagonia, Clif Bar, GoPro, and Seventh Generation. Economic innovators like Kat Taylor from Beneficial State Bank, and mission-oriented CEO Vincent Siciliano with New Resource Bank were there. Game changing leaders from BALLE, Bioneers, Social Ventures Network, Oxfam, B Lab, and American Sustainable Business Council attended as well, along with many chapter heads and members of the Conscious Capitalism national network, NEXUS, and Village Capital.

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Wide-ranging SRI and resiliency interview with Carrie

Natural Investment’s Carrie Van Winkle was recently featured on Forward Radio, a Louisville radio station. This is one of the best overviews of NI’s approach that we’ve heard.  The forty-minute conversation covers some of the themes of resilient investing, as well as offering a quick introduction to SRI in general.  Topics include fossil-fuel free investing, first steps for millennials, and bees.

Check it out here: Sustainability Now from Forward Radio

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Four ingredients for powerful change in your money life

The new year offers us a burst of energy for starting fresh and recommitting to the changes we’d like to see in our lives. In the Mindful Money Transformation work I do to help clients achieve their money goals, I’ve found that there are four important ingredients that work together to help create powerful change.

#1 – Our WHYs

We start by identifying the goal (the WHAT) but then quickly dive into the WHY. There’s little energy in the “what” until it’s accomplished—the energy to fire our actions is in the “why.” If the goal is to pay off credit card debt, the why might be “to feel free from the stress of the debt hanging over me.” If the goal is to contribute the maximum amount into their IRA for the year, the why might be “to know that I am sending love to and caring for my elder self by what I do this year.”

# 2 – The energy of 90 days

Many of our goals are long term and that’s OK, but it can be overwhelming and hard maintain momentum toward goals that are still out of reach. So looking at the year by seasons can be a powerful lens that really focuses your energy: using the energy of your WHY, look at the next three months (set a specific target date) and set yourself an achievable goal. Shifting to this seasonal focus can really help you keep the momentum.

Let’s look at an example.

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Women Invested: Katherine St. Onge

Katherine St. Onge, Calvert Foundation

Calvert Foundation | Senior Officer, Investor Relations

Katherine is a Senior Officer on the Calvert Foundation’s Investor Relations team. She is responsible for managing relationships with individual investors, institutions and financial advisors to increase their understanding of Calvert Foundation’s impact investing products and services. Prior to Calvert Foundation, Katherine worked at the Aspen Institute where she focused on building entrepreneurial and early-stage investment ecosystems in the Middle East and North Africa. She also worked for Louisiana Economic Development, crafting policies and strategies to enhance the state’s economic competitiveness, and Goldman Sachs, managing both equity and fixed-income investment products. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in economics and mathematics from Bucknell University and her M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Women Invested Interview with Katherine St Onge of Calvert Foundation

Women Invested Interview with Katherine St. Onge – Transcript

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