What’s Up on Wall Street: Fall 2019

The U.S. stock market dipped notably in early August and exhibited considerable volatility throughout the month. The market drop and subsequent instability, which stretched into September, were related to concerns about growth prospects for the U.S. and global economies. These concerns were validated by the Fed’s decision to cut interest rates in late July—the first rate cut since the Great Recession.

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Gold: Is there a Socially Responsible Option?

In a time of trade wars and political leaders on the fritz, investors may consider more conservative options to avoid market volatility. Real estate, bonds, and even gold might look appealing in times of turmoil. For socially responsible investors with even a cursory awareness of the gold mining industry, however, the question of whether gold holdings are compatible with human rights and environmental protection is urgent and important.

No Dirty Gold is an advocacy group of nonprofits and companies in industries that use gold. The group supports voluntary improvements in environmental and social practices by the industry.

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Battling Government’s Assault on Shareholder Rights

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced its intention to make fundamental changes that would impede one of the most important tools to advance corporate social responsibility: the rights of shareholders to influence corporate policies and practices. In order to raise public awareness of what’s at stake, leading advocates for socially responsible investing have launched the Investor Rights Forum website. The forum provides current information and commentary on the importance of shareholder advocacy, case studies of successful shareholder engagements, details on the SEC’s proposals to undermine long-standing precedents, and efforts underway to prevent proposed rule changes from going into effect.

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Returning to the South: Part 1

This article is Part 1, by Tiffany Brown, in a new series exploring the racial wealth divide across the Deep South.

My business partner Kate Poole and I are clear that our core focus for Chordata Capital is to address the racial wealth divide. How could we not? Kate and I first crossed paths at Resource Generation, when I was the retreat director. Nearly every Resource Generation conference begins with some form of a timeline activity to explore the racist history of wealth accumulation in this country; during this activity, people walk the room locating points where their family accumulated wealth adjacent to a counterpoint of a racist law (like the Homestead Act).

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The Power of Protest

On a recent beautiful September weekend, I traveled to Hawaii Island (also known as the Big Island) to support the protests against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. On one side of this issue, science institutions and the state government are moving to start construction on a giant, highly advanced telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea, a stunning 13,800-foot-tall volcano. On the other side, Native Hawaiians and their allies have blockaded the only access road to the summit of Mauna Kea to prevent construction of the facility on a site that many hold as a most sacred place.

Arriving at the site of the demonstration, I saw dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Hawaiian flags and heard the rhythmic sound of drumming and chanting in the Hawaiian language. The Mauna Kea protectors built a whole village at this remote highway intersection on a windswept volcanic plain. It included a medical tent,

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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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2009: After the Financial Crisis, Reform

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

Policy matters. Natural Investments has participated in public policy conversations and attended meetings on the Hill in Washington, D.C., for years and will continue to serve as a voice for fair and just financial regulations.

It’s been over a year since the fall of Lehman Brothers sparked major tremors in the U.S. financial system that rippled around the planet. Though lawmakers called for reform, much of the financial services industry remains unchanged a year later. The wholesale restructuring advocated by the social investment industry, economists, and academics has thus far been met with strong opposition from the industry, and Congress’ lack of expertise left them unable to do anything other than infuse large banks with cash.

The needed structural changes in our system remain conceptual and haven’t even been fully debated. Yes, there were calls for bonuses to be recalled and executive pay to be restricted,

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