Max has been recognized as 40 under 40!

I’m proud to announce that InvestmentNews has recognized my partner, Max Mintz as a 2019 40 Under 40 Honoree! Max was chosen from a pool of about 1,000 nominees by a panel of reporters, editors and other representatives of InvestmentNews, to make a list of 40 talented individuals.

“I’m honored to be included in this year’s 40 under 40 list, and it highlights the increasing importance of my specialty in Sustainable, Responsible and Impact investing” said Max “I credit this award to our firm’s commitment to managing and communicating the impact of our investments.”

InvestmentNews’ 40 Under 40 project strives to award the young talent that is rarely recognized in the financial advice industry. By rewarding these honorees, InvestmentNews hopes to reveal the promising future for the industry.

“The men and women chosen as this year’s 40 Under 40 honorees were selected based on their level of accomplishment, contribution to the financial advice industry and leadership,” said Frederick P. Gabriel Jr., editorial director of InvestmentNews. “They serve as role models for other young professionals and suggest the financial advice industry has a bright future.”

Max Mintz, along with the others making the 6th annual 40 under 40 list, is highlighted in the June 17th issue of InvestmentNews and online at investmentnews.com.

To learn more about Max, the other 2019 winners, awards and the luncheon please visit the profile they wrote on him by clicking here. 

Quantifying the risks from Climate Change

CDP (formerly the Climate Disclosure Project) came out with a new report this week, their Global Climate Change Analysis for 2018. The summary of the report is well worth a read (it has some really great interactive charts if you’re a data nerd like I am), but there were a few takeaways that were so spectacular that we felt compelled to write a short post highlighting their findings. I’ll go through a few of the top quotes from the report and provide a little commentary of my own.

215 of the biggest global companies report almost $1 trillion at risk from climate impacts, with many likely to hit within the next 5 years

5 years is not a long time, especially for clients nearing retirement. We believe we have a duty to manage these risks in our investment portfolios.

Companies report potential $250 billion in losses due to the write-offs of assets

These are assets on the books, that contribute to the current valuations (and therefore stock prices) of many of these companies. In addition to “stranded asset risk” from fossil fuel reserves that cannot be extracted or burned, this number includes the damaging impacts from severe weather and other impacts from climate change.

Climate business opportunities calculated at $2.1 trillion, nearly all of which are highly likely or virtually certain

THIS is the opportunity for sustainable investing. By investing through the lens of sustainability as we do, we hope to capture these opportunities in our portfolios while mitigating the risks from climate change.

Potential value of sustainable business opportunities almost 7x the cost of realizing them ($311 billion in costs, $2.1 trillion in opportunities)

There are more takeaways, which you can read a summery of at CDP’s Press Release on the report, (where these quotes were pulled from). They highlight the challenges that disclosure still faces, but as investment advisors, the message to us is clear:

  • Climate risk must be managed in investment portfolios.
  • These risks are not something that future generations alone will bear – we are feeling the impacts today, and business leaders expect these impacts to accelerate to the point where there are material effects on their bottom line within the next 5 years.
  • We have to act. Our firm is doing our part as much as we can – from building sustainable portfolios, to offering no-minumum fossil fuel free portfolios so anyone can join our movement.

I hope you’ll be motivated to join us. Click the link in the bottom right corner of this page to schedule an appointment with us to learn how you can join our community and use your investments to create change.

 

Common Interests Forms Cadre of Allied Professionals

Common Interests is very proud of the holistic nature of our work and has now created a Cadre of Allied Professionals in order to fully meet our mantra of “Empowering Financial Wellness.”  We are actually driven to make sure our clients and their families have their entire financial houses in order!  In this regard we have discovered that we need to have a group of ‘experts’ to turn to for the “heavy lifting!”

  • Senior Care Specialists

    This group of professionals (who are all MSW, LCSW, C-ASWCM, or similar) is very proficient in helping families create a plan for their aging adults.  They liken themselves to the “Healthcare General Contractor” to build this needed program. They will be with the family every step of the way, from initial assessment to determining the level(s) of care needed, to implementation of the plan.

  • Medicare Planning and Insurance

    These days there are many plans and solutions to solve the Health Insurance problem for Seniors.  And, more and more rules and deadlines all the time! These experts are trained to help find the proper solution, in the correct time frame, with the correct benefits to fit the clients needs. They will fully discuss the options, educating the client and building the plan with your needs and concerns in mind.  

  • Student Coaching Service

    This service is able to help college bound students with Test Prep, Scholarships and financial aid, applications, essays, school selection, interviewing and resume writing and tutoring in specific subjects that may be needed. We work with professionals that are members of the IECA, who are held to a higher ethical standard. 

  • Mortgage Origination Experts

    These experts know their way around the mortgage business and have multiple mortgage options which helps them ‘shop’ for solutions.  These folks handle both Forward and Reverse Mortgages (which are tricky, but have enabled a number of our clients to retire with dignity when used properly), as well as Lines of Credit. They are able to tackle the really tough situations, and have helped rescue some financial situations.

  • Attorneys and Elder Law Attorneys

    These Attorneys have special practices set up in order to work through the legal maze of documents needed.  Elder Law, especially, has a lot of unique problems that need to be solved in order to protect and pass a family’s estate correctly. We will help direct you!

  • CPAs

    We are pleased to be working with a number of CPAs with varying specialties. Accounting is a huge field and we decided long ago to find CPAs with different focuses. We will direct you to a firm that fits your needs, from simple returns to complex estates. 

In the case of all of professionals above we have worked judiciously to select the person(s) who will relate well with our clients, can fulfill the needs in each case, and be part of the team.  We also wanted to have professionals in various geographic regions. Lastly, and most importantly, our RULE is that “They work for the client. The client pays them for their work and Common Interests does not receive any payment from them or from our client. There are No Referral fees, No ‘Kick backs,’ No Non-Cash Compensations. We do not want our clients to be paying any more for this work than they ordinarily would if they dealt with these professionals directly! Also, in this way there will No Conflict Of Interests!  To use a sports analogy, Common Interests is the Quarterback, these professionals are part of the team, and we all get paid according to what we do and how well we do it!  This keeps it very clean and problem free!

We have a table in our Conference Room with the brochures and business cards for all of these people.  During our meetings we will introduce these professionals if their services are needed. If you need a referral, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!

We are very happy to have built this Cadre to help add the abilities to help more people “Empower (Their) Financial Wellness.” 


Although we’ve tried to make this clear in the text above, there are a few things our Compliance Department wants you to know in connection with this program: The Cadre’s professionals are not employed by or associated with Common Interests or Vanderbilt Securities, LLC or its’ parent companies or subsidiaries (“VFG”). Neither Common Interests nor VFG are responsible for the advice provided by any of the Cadre’s professionals. By design, neither Common Interests nor VFG receive any remuneration of any kind from the Cadre’s professionals. Membership in the Cadre is based only on our experiences working with the Cadre’s members, and the roster of members can and will change if we feel our clients would be better served by such a change.

Common Interests has been awarded the 2019 Flourish Prize for Global Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth!

It is our great honor to share that Common Interests has been awarded the 2019 Flourish Prize for Global Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth!

We were selected based on the AIM2Flourish story written about our organization: Investing for a Reason Beyond Money. Our firm is one of 17 Flourish Prize Honorees for 2019.

This award would not be possible without Professor Joseph Markert from Rutgers Business School, and the student authors who wrote the piece: Swetcha Ananthu, Silas Okoth, Matthew Hennessey, Jeffery Shen, and Paul No.

AIM2Flourish, a program housed at the Fowler Center, is used by professors around the world to facilitate student interviews with business leaders about positive and profitable business innovations that advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) established by the United Nations.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit the Fowler Center’s Facebook and Twitter pages to participate in the 2019 Flourish Prize Virtual Celebration where they are announcing all 17 Honorees. Check out the hashtag #FlourishPrizes2019 to see all of the reactions and related content!

Impact with Purpose

How you invest your money makes a difference. This documentary was created to inspire investors to consider impact investing – investments that generate a measurable positive impact alongside a traditional financial return. The latest cut of this film features a variety of experts, including:

• Peter Turkson, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church

• Jon Hale, global head of sustainability research at Morningstar, Inc.

• Hazel Henderson, futurist, economist and author – one of the founders of the movement to responsible investing.

• Judith Karl, executive secretary of the U.N. Capital Development Fund

• Jonas Kron, senior vice president and director of shareholder advocacy at Trillium Asset Management

• John Streur, president and CEO of Calvert Research and Management

“Impact” also follows the entrepreneurial journeys of David Katz, founder and CEO of The Plastic Bank, and George Taylor, CEO of TRU Colors Brewing Company.

David and George embody the artistry that takes place when entrepreneurism aligns with purpose.

You can learn more about this project at http://impactu.film/, join the ImpactU community at https://impactu.me/, and get more resources about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through the ImpactU Foundation at https://impactu.foundation/ 

Common Interests Model Portfolio Featured in Citywire RIA Magazine

As a part of our commitment to expanding the reach of sustainable investing, I sat down with Citywire RIA Magazine to talk about how we approach the design and implementation of our portfolios. We talked about our Investment Philosophy, the investment models we offer to clients, and how we add new investments to our portfolios.

We even shared our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) screened Moderate risk model with them so other advisors get tosee how we think about these issues.

We hope that by giving interviews like this one, we can encourage the larger community of financial advisors to take a harder look at investments that use Environmental, Social, and Governance factors. The interview also includes a discussion on the different approaches we take when clients come to us with specific requests, like Faith Based investing or Fossil Fuel Free Investing. If you’re curious, or would like to read more about our approaches, we’ve done a great blog post on the subject already!

Our Chief Morale Officer in the news!

In honor of National Pet Day 2019, our Chief Morale Officer was featured in RIA Magazine! He gave a great interview, and we invite you to check him out! He’s a VERY good boy, and you can meet him any time by booking an appointment using the “Schedule an Appointment” link in the bottom right corner of this page.

Here’s to all the pets that brighten our days, with a special message to boost your morale on a dreary Monday:

He's a GOOD BOY

 

InvestmentNews Impact Forum

We are excited to announce our collaboration with the United Nations and InvesmentNews to host the first Impact Forum on December 4-5, 2019 in New York City.

The vision for this event is huge. On Day One: A film festival will share the stories and stoke the inspiration. The next day, thought-leaders and experts will share strategies and insight for turning inspiration into impact investing action. We hope you will join us!

This event started with a film: Impact, a documentary. This film is the model, where we show the impact our investment dollars can have on the world. Now we want to take this global and highlight a story for each of the Sustainable Development Goals. Everyone we’ve shown the first film to has had a personal connection to the stories, and through this project we hope to show how, no matter which goal is most important to you, your investments can make a difference.

I’m proud to serve on the advisory board for this event! We have assembled a team of specialists in Impact Investing to build a world class event, but we need your help.

To pull this off, we need a community of ambassadors who want to help the financial advice industry make good investments that also make the world a better place.

Here’s how you can help:

We are looking for filmmakers, stories, attendees, sponsors, speakers and advocates. Fill out this short form if you would like to be involved with the event. Our partners at ImpactAssets (our high-impact Donor Advised Fund) are also helping us organize film ideas. They’ve created this form to accept submissions.

2019 Flourish Prize Finalists

Last year, we gave an interview to a group of students from Rutgers University working on the Aim2Flourish class offered at the Rutgers Business School. As a part of this class, students must select a business working to promote one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and these students chose to write about us. Their article, Investing for a Reason Beyond Money, was selected as a finalist for the 2019 Flourish Prize!

We’re in great company! The 76 Finalists for the 2019 Flourish Prizes represent stories from the more than 800 AIM2Flourish.com stories published in 2018, spanning the globe and showcasing business innovations for each of the 17 UN Global Goals. The 2019 Flourish Prizes Finalists include 76 stories from 30 universities in 16 countries under the guidance of 35 professors. The businesses profiled come from 27 countries and more than 19 industries. We’re proud to say we even know a few of them!

The prize-winning businesses, professors, universities, and students will be honored during the 2019 Flourish Prizes virtual celebration, taking place online the week of May 6–10. Follow the awards ceremony and see photos and videos from the winners by following #FlourishPrizes2019 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We hope you’ll join us. 

AIM2Flourish is the world’s first higher-education curriculum, story platform, and prize for the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and business’ role in achieving them. The program is an initiative of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management — Case Western Reserve University. For more information about AIM2Flourish, please contact Claire Sommer, AIM2Flourish Director at Claire@AIM2Flourish.com or +1 917-834-0323.

Highlights from the ANJEE Conference

I serve as the Treasurer of the Alliance for NJ Environmental Education, which recently completed its’ annual winter conference. Here are some highlights, which speak to the reasons I’m involved with this fantastic organization. This year’s keynote speakers were students from around the state who inspired us with their passion for Environmental and Social justice. Enjoy (and see if you can spot Bob’s very brief cameo)!