Profits? Nice, but for These Investors, Conscience Matters More

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Seth Holehouse, who owns an auction house in New York City, has focused his investments on renewable energy and recycled products. He has done so for the last five years — despite steadily losing money on the strategy.

“I’d like to say that it’s been phenomenal,” said Mr. Holehouse, chief executive and co-founder of Fortuna Auctions, which specializes in estate jewelry. “But it hasn’t been great over all.”

It is passion, not profit, that guides him. And he is not about to let up. Instead, he is prepared to keep losing money in the near term with the expectation of gains down the road.

“We’re in it for the long haul,” he said. “This philosophy is how we’d like to invest in 20 years.”

Investing with a guiding passion isn’t the same as being an impact investor, who aims to effect social change while earning a solid return. Passion investing is purer — if not puritanical. And seeing how people who embrace it deploy their strategies shows just how hard it is to follow a passion in investing without some level of compromise. Its better-known cousin, impact investing, tends to attract people who are pragmatic.

Source: New York TImes (link opens in a new window)

Impact Assessment, Investing
ESG, impact investing, renewable energy