Purpose & Profit: Impact Investing for Doctors

giving goals impactinvesting profit purpose tax benefit May 09, 2022

Purpose & Profit: Impact Investing for Doctors

 

“To change the world , we must first change how we do business — starting with where and how we invest our money.”

Sir Ronald Cohen

 Do you know what you are investing in now?  Are your current investments in index funds, ETFs, or bonds? When speaking with Holly Ruxin, founder and CEO of Montcalm Wealth Management, I was not surprised to hear that 9 out of 10 people she meets have no idea what their money is invested in. I have been that person and have decided I want to learn. 

The first thing to consider about your investments, is that you are already making an impact with your investments – and you have the power to choose your investments and what they impact.  By learning and paying attention to what you already have in your portfolio, and then thinking about what kind of impact you’d like to have, you can align your values and your investments.  One way to do this is with impact investing.  

The Global Impact Investing Network, defines impact investments as investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

This goes beyond just minimizing harmful outcomes of a company’s practices, to actively creating and measuring positive outcomes.  In the past, these types of investments were thought to expect returns lower than market-rate returns, and that you wouldn’t make as much money with impact investments compared with other investment opportunities.  Over the years, however, this has been shown to not necessarily be the case, and impact investments may in fact mitigate some risks in your portfolio. 

 Impact can be broadly categorized into social and environmental impact.  Social impact being improvement in well-being of people and communities, and environmental impact being positive consequences that business has on the planet.

 A great example of a company that was created to make a positive social impact alongside their financial return is Zipline – which was described in Sir Ronald Cohen’s Book - Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change.  Zipline was established to use technology to help distribute medical supplies in Rwanda. A robotics entrepreneur developed a drone delivery system for delivery of medicine and blood products in Rwanda. They tell the story of a 2 year old girl with complications from Malaria needing an urgent blood transfusion.  The storage facility was 3 hours from the hospital, with roads sometimes impassable.  However with the Zipline drone, she was able to get blood products in 6 minutes – possibly saving her life.   Their system saves time, lives and government money – where the company’s drones could serve 80% of the population from just 2 distribution centers.  So this company was established to generate a beneficial impact AND positive financial returns.  I personally love the stories about these WIN – WIN situations, which are all over the impact investing space. 

As you begin to consider impact investing and how you can integrate it into your financial plan, it is important to remember that Impact investing is not an all or none kind of thing.  It is something you can do thoughtfully and intentionally, starting slow, starting small.  Even that – starting slow and starting small, with a small portion of your investment portfolio, can make a difference.  As you learn you may want to scale, or just have a portion of your portfolio for this – whatever makes sense within your personal financial plans and goals.

 

To learn more about impact investing and how you can get started, make sure to sign up for the newsletter and be the first to know when the online Purpose & Profit: Impact Investing for Doctors Course is available. 

 

You can be the change you want to see in the world through effective, efficient, and impactful philanthropy. Check out my course, The Physician Philanthropist, for a comprehensive education on and strategy for maximizing the impact of your giving both for you and your causes

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