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Monday, May 7, 2012

Impact Investing for the Rest of Us | David Farrell,

"Impact investing"? What's that headline talking about? Here's the David Farrell's explanation (emphasis added):
Impact investing, like traditional investing, is intended to bring a financial return. Instead of buying the usual types of stocks, bonds and real estate, however, impact investors sink their dollars into companies or organizations known to be accomplishing some social good, such as developing clean energy, making loans to small-business owners in impoverished nations or constructing affordable housing in depressed urban neighborhood
"In theory," Farrell adds, "the investments generate a return even while they help to address significant problems both at home and abroad."

Much of the rest of the article is about how Ron D. Cordes, 52, co-founder of AssetMark investment Services, sold that multimillion dollar firm (along with his two partners) with plans "to be equally successful in a new, wholly different career mission: giving money away."

He and his wife created the nonprofit Cordes Foundation and eventually adopted impact investing strategy. Cordes didn't think the traditional investment approach for the foundation was accomplishing enough to help people in need.

The article continues, describing Cordes' efforts and success at impact investing. 

Says Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of the baby boomer think tank Civic Ventures (emphasis added):
He's thrown himself into the idea of creating a better world for future generations. He's the embodiment of someone who's taken skills from an earlier chapter and is applying them to new ends. It's not really a reinvention of himself but rather a bringing together of earlier expertise and lifelong passions and a desire to accomplish something in the next part of life. He has a kind of clarifying intelligence. He makes everyone around him feel smarter and be smarter -- and that's a wonderful gift.
Says Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and co-author of the book Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference (emphasis added):
Because he's speaking to people who recognize him as a peer, he's had the ability to open up doors. He has a level of credibility you need to bring these ideas into the mainstream.
This article gives me some hope. I wish more wealthy people with follow the model Cordes and others have set.

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