Investing for Positive Change: Christie Stephenson

Wanting to get your investments out of fossil fuels? Looking to invest in high-impact solutions that accelerate social change? More and more investors, institutions and financial professionals are deploying and managing capital to build a more sustainable and equitable economy. And they’re increasingly able to do so while also generating healthy financial returns.

At a recent seminar on Fossil Free Investing, Christie Stephenson, one of Vancouver’s champions of corporate social responsibility and sustainable business, explained Purpose Capital’s mission as an impact investing advisory firm to mobilize all forms of capital to accelerate social change. She also outlined the advantages of responsible investment, whether it be Socially Responsible Investing, Thematic Impact Investing, or Impact-first Investing.

The Financial Spectrum

Responsible investing considers environmental, social and governance risks.

Stephenson defines socially responsible investing as “an investment approach making reference to environmental, social, and government factors in the selection and management of investments.” It is a marriage between traditional financial analysis and ESG analysis.

As a part of financial risk management, many investors are getting out of primary fossil fuel industries, citing long term uncertainty around the energy sector in general, the possibility of devaluation and stranded assets, as well as evolving moral compasses.

Responsible investing creates high impact solutions.

By deliberately focusing their capital, investors are choosing which industries they support. Capital gets directed towards some sectors, and away from others, lowering or increasing the cost of capital for those companies, thereby influencing their growth and, ultimately, their impact potential.

The upshot is, that wherever you fit on the financial impact investment spectrum, you know that you are making good financial decisions, helping create high-impact solutions, and accelerating social change.

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Client impact

“Graduating from a big bank to Genus was one of the best financial steps we've ever taken. Genus has delivered reliable asset growth despite our moderate risk tolerance. As our financial security has grown, we've also been the beneficiaries of a great client experience. The company's communications have been consistently transparent and informative, including educational webinars and a well-designed web portal where we can track investments daily. Most importantly to us, our portfolio manager has always responded swiftly and thoroughly to our questions and requests. ”
Martin T.
"Having relatively diverse financial goals and needs, along with a slight reticence regarding the stock market, Genus skillfully addressed all of our concerns, and put together a truly exceptional plan: Fossil free funds and a diversified investment portfolio, check; An effective Impact investment portfolio that coincides with our hopes and dreams for a better world, check; Professional advice and assistance to create a donor advised charitable fund with immediate charitable receipts for tax purposes, check. Returns? Way beyond our expectations! We even had some fun along the way and certainly enjoyed an incredible two-year start to what will be a satisfying long-term relationship with Genus."
Marc B.
“I love the service I get at Genus.”
Chris H.
“Leslie and I were fellow board members when we met twenty years ago. For the last ten she has been thoughtful in the construction of an investment strategy for my family and is executing the strategy as planned. The team at Genus has met my expectations and are a pleasure to deal with.”
Bob Q.
“For over 15 years, I have provided selection and performance evaluation of multiple investment managers for a significant family office. Leslie and Genus have been foundational for me in my role. I have always found Leslie and her colleagues to be insightful and proactive, and found the performance of their portion of the portfolio to be well above benchmarks. And they have been a great pleasure to work with.”
Douglas H.
“Genus is a very innovative firm. I am pleased to invest in their Fossil Free and Impact strategies that help me invest in line with my values.”
Marnie C.
“Great team of professionals. Excellent website and reporting. Responds to inquiries promptly. Very pleased with the process of changing from another company to Genus as well. Kudos.”
David L.
“Genus consistently provides a good, clearly explained, comprehensive picture of the general economic and financial situation, along with an excellent account of the investment decisions made in relation to this. Genus’ equally strong concern with clients’ questions and requests for further information is also a very important part of the service it provides.”
Allan S.
“Back in 1992 when I found myself at fifty with a substantial amount of money to invest, I knew just one thing — that I didn’t want to contribute to tobacco companies, arms manufacturers, or oil. But over the ensuing years the options for socially responsible investing have become far more sophisticated and I’m very happy that this is a big part of the Genus approach. I also very much appreciate the long-term relationship with my portfolio manager, Mary Lou.”
Ann P.

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