What Does Your Money Do While You Are Asleep? | Net Impact

What Does Your Money Do While You Are Asleep?

What Does Your Money Do While You Are Asleep? | Net Impact

For all our intentions and efforts toward driving a just and sustainable world, it is easy to think that money, a byproduct of our work, is something ephemeral and intangible. Instead, I ask you to challenge yourself, do you know what your money is doing and its impact on people and the planet?

Money is a Tool, Like a Spatula or a Shovel

For centuries, if I produced tomatoes, I might trade them with you for clothing or other goods and services. Barter caused acknowledged connections related to the value of goods exchanged. While the creation of money, a representation of value, drove economic growth, it became this separate thing - elusive and ill-defined for many. Banks, investment firms and advisors took up the charge, seeing the opportunity to build businesses around safe-keeping and investments on behalf of people that made their money doing other work. 

Over time, most people have come to feel quite distant from money. This distance suits the business of finance, which surely benefits from the language and work of managing money feeling complex and byzantine. But it is important to remember that the money is yours and should be looked at as a tool, in the same way that a spatula or shovel is a tool that you use to reach a goal (flip an egg, harvest your veggie garden, etc.) The difference is that while the spatula and shovel are tools you keep in your home and use directly for an output, money is often in a bank or investment account, so it is easier to forget that it is a tool at your disposal to achieve desired outcomes.

What Does Your Money Do While You Are Asleep?

Through modern markets, your money is ‘put to work’ (typically) by others, doing something to earn you returns. If it is in your bank, your money earns you some modest amount of interest while it’s there. The bank actually borrows this money from you, in order to pay you that interest, and it lends it to others at a higher rate, in order to make enough of a return to pay you and themselves. If your money is in an investment account, it’s likely invested in shares of the stocks of companies. For this, your advisor/firm, is paid fees.

You are making a difference in your work and/or in your community, with friends and family. But when you sleep at night, do you know what your money is doing? For the modest interest you earn on your money in your bank, do you know if the bank lends money to industries or companies that you are uncomfortable with? How about the bank’s policies on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? Do you know your bank’s practices in lending money to People of Color for homes? Do you know if people working at your bank are paid ratably for the same work, despite gender identity? That POC are paid ratably with White personnel? How about the diversity of their Board of Directors and senior leadership? 

Maybe you do, and you are comfortable with the arrangements. But, if you are like many and do not, you can choose to find these answers and better align your tool with the desired outcomes you wish to see in the world.

If, as you think of this, you realize that there are industries you aren't comfortable with your bank lending YOUR money to, you could do something about it - you can move your money to a bank more aligned with your purpose and objectives. And if you have problems with your bank for these reasons, how about all the companies’ shares you may hold in your investment account? So similarly, your investment advisor/firm - who works for you - can be told what is and is not acceptable to you. You can choose to exclude industries or companies that aren't aligned with your personal perspectives.

Take Control - Create Harmony amongst Your Personal Purpose, Work, and What You Do with Your Money

You may already be asserting your purpose in how you use money, buying products that you believe in and express your social/environmental perspective. Now let's extend that to what happens to your money while it sits in safety, remains on reserve and/or builds wealth for you. 

You can choose banks that are aligned with your personal objectives with regard to their lending criteria. Learn more about this here:

You can choose to invest, or direct your advisor to invest for you, via and Environment, Social & Governance (“ESG”) screen, or choose to invest in Funds or Exchange Traded Funds (“ETF’s”) that chose only top performing companies’ shares that comport to your chosen ESG objectives (and industry/company exclusions). 

Net Impact as a Resource for Financial Inclusion, Education, Empowerment and Freedom

Its Net Impact’s mission and obligation to its members, to inspire, equip and activate our rising leaders to foment a just and sustainable world. With 160,000 boots on the grown, our membership can assert much influence, but it starts with each of us as individuals. To each of you, count on us as a resource to assist your financial journey too, to drive financial inclusion through educational initiatives with objectives of increasing individual empowerment and financial freedom.