Author Archive

Natural Investments, LLC Recognized as a “Best For The World” B Corp for Exceptional Impact on Customers

Natural Investments, a Certified B Corporation, has been named a Best For The World honoree in recognition of their work to improve the lives of their customers through the use of their product or service. Ranking in the top 10 percent of all 3,000 B Corps for their positive impact on their customers, Natural Investments earned this honor because their financial services promote public benefit, is designed to generate positive social and ecological environments, in addition to uplifting under-served populations. The firm aims to set a gold standard for how business can be a force for good for people around the world.

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Natural Investments Tops $1 Billion

NI Venn Diagram

Natural Investments, LLC today announced that its assets under management (AUM) now total over $1 billion.  Founded in 1989, but rebranded under a revised name in 2007, Natural Investments’ advisors have for 30 years been one of the original firms to exclusively focus on sustainable, responsible, and impact (SRI) investing. Publishers of three definitive books on SRI, the firm has long been a leader in helping to transform finance, society, and the environment through the deployment of investment capital.

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NI Newsletter Summer 2019

100th Issue Cover

Tales of the Quarter Century by Michael Kramer

2019 Summer Market Commentary

The following articles appear from our archives as part of the 100th issue special, celebrating twenty-five years of quarterly newsletters.

1994: Viva South Africa! by Hal Brill

2000: NI Scores High in New York Times Fund Study by Jack Brill

2001: Bringing Consciousness to Capitalism by Hal Brill

2003: How We Can Help Stop the Genocide in Darfur by Jack Brill

2006: Community Investing after Hurricane Katrina by Michael Kramer

2009: After the Financial Crisis, Reform by Michael Kramer

2011: Call for Chevron to Pay Ecuadorian Communities by Jim Cummings

2013: Gender Lens Investing by Malaika Maphalala

2015: New Insights on SRI Performance by James Frazier

2016: Get that Oily Mess Out of My Money! by Eric Smith

2018: Divestment as a Moral Imperative by Kirbie Crowe

 

Download NI Newsletter Summer 2019

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2003: How We Can Help Stop the Genocide in Darfur

This article is from our archives as part of the 100th issue special, celebrating twenty-five years of quarterly newsletters. 

Finding this article in our archives, shortly after the attempted coup in Sudan this spring, we are reminded that the human toll in resource-related conflict is real, and economic consequences can extend for decades.

The statistics are mind-boggling: 200,000 dead, 2.5 million refugees and the holocaust in Darfur continues. Investments in oil companies in Sudan are supplying the money that supports this genocide. 70-80% of Sudan’s oil revenue is being funneled into its military. Oil ventures in Sudan are an undeniable enabler of Khartoum’s genocidal policy in Darfur.

There is a growing economic force currently going on to stop the violence. The Sudanese Divestment Task Force (SDTF) instituted a targeted divestment program last year.

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2000: NI Scores High in New York Times Fund Study

This article is from our archives as part of the 100th issue special, celebrating twenty-five years of quarterly newsletters.

For seven years, we took part in a New York Times study to find the best investment portfolio. As the only socially responsible money manager invited to participate, our founder Jack Brill was the “long shot,” but Natural Investments excelled in the competition. It was a very satisfying and public refute of the myth that SRI sacrifices financial returns.

In 1993 the New York Times asked five of the nation’s leading investment advisers to design model portfolios for a hypothetical retirement portfolio for an investor having $50,000 and twenty years to go until retirement. I was asked to participate and create a portfolio using only socially screened mutual funds.

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2018 Notable Highlights

Natural Investments, LLC welcomed five new advisors to the firm, expanding our company to twenty advisors across eleven states. We are cultivating the next generation of SRI leaders with wide-ranging expertise in sustainability, social justice, and impact investing.

 

Donor-Advised Funds

In 2018 we began a relationship with Triskeles Foundation to provide donor-advised funds (DAF). These are charitable giving investment vehicles that an individual, family, or business use to direct an irrevocable contribution of assets to a public charity.

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ESG & Advocacy in 2018

Environmental & Social Impact

Of the $524M in assets under management by Natural Investments, $354M is in ESG-screened funds on the publicly-traded market. ESG refers to a variety of environmental, social, and corporate governance guidelines, known as avoidance and affirmative criteria, used to screen investments. We use them to steer clear of the practices and sectors that cause harm to people and the planet, pressure companies to change their behavior, and support companies and projects that lead to a more just and sustainable society.

While we directed $160M and $110M of assets into weapons-free and tobacco-free funds, our fossil-fuel-free (FFF) portfolio has

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2018 Social Impact Report

A Year of Emerging Leadership: 2018 Reflections, by Michael Kramer

2018 Notable Highlights

2018 ESG & Advocacy

Carbon Offsets: Making a Positive Climate Impact, by Christopher Peck

Profile: Green Century Capital Management, by Brady Quirk-Garvan

Profile: American Homeowners Preservation Fund, by Amy Pender

Profile: Blue Hub Capital, by James Frazier

Profile: Calvert Impact Capital, by Susan K. Taylor

Profile: Iroquois Valley Farms, by Andy Loving

Download a full PDF copy of our 2018 Social Impact Report

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Bloomers and Doomers, Two Groups Driving Local Investment

Excerpted and adapted from
The Resilient Investor.


In Local Dollars, Local Sense, a thorough survey of the local investment movement, Michael Shuman makes a compelling case that small businesses comprise about half the GDP of the United States, but most investors are completely missing out. Overinvesting in Wall Street and under investing in Main Street (and other Close to Home Strategies) is a diversification problem that this book, and especially this Strategy, intends to help you overcome. As we mentioned earlier, while this type of financial investment has been difficult at best for most of us, there are encouraging developments underway.

While everyone is involved with at least some, and usually many, “close to home” activities, there are two groups for whom this has become the main focus of their resilient investing practice.

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