Impact Investing’s Image Problem
Friday, August 1, 2014
Steve Schueth, president of First Affirmative Financial Network, offered an analogy that made the usual invest-to-make-money-first-and-then-be-philanthropic-later approach sound something like a Viking raid.
“The notion of approaching investing from the rape, pillage and philanthropy model . . . make as much money as you can, pay little attention to the impact you’re having on the world, and give some of it away at the end of the year to try to solve some of the world’s problems doesn’t work for me and it doesn’t work for the clients who are attracted to what we do,” he said.
Schueth, whose independent investment advisory firm focuses on socially conscious, purpose-driven investing, spoke today at the Impact Investing Conference in Denver hosted by Financial Advisor and Private Wealth magazines.
The notion of making as much money as you can and then turning around and trying to be a saint by giving it away is partly a byproduct of investor doubt that impact investing can provide both competitive performance and have a positive impact, Schueth said.