New year, new focus – starting with, what are my priorities?
I set up Moxie Future because I want to have real conversations with women about money and how we use it. I am just really frustrated that it’s not easy to invest my money in companies and sectors that I want to support, in companies and sectors aligned with the kind of world I want to build.
I simply refuse to accept that I do not have power over this. I am tired of being told it’s too difficult. And I am convinced that millions of other women feel the same.
But it‘s not just about investing in women
Here’s a funny thing … since embarking on this journey, I’ve noticed that every time I speak about women and money, the listener assumes that I am ONLY talking about investing in women, with a gender lens. Don’t get me wrong, I am whole heartedly behind using my capital to drive fundamental change for and by women. In fact, I try to ensure that every decision I make has a female flavor.
But just because I am a woman talking about investment doesn’t mean my only concern is gender diversity in companies or supporting female founders. Sure, that’s part of it, but there are so many other issues that I also keep me up a night. And that’s what My Moxie Journey is all about. Figuring out some answers to all of these.
What is the kind of world I want to build?
The first big challenge is defining exactly what matters to me (aside from investing in women of course). It’s easy to say ‘oh, I am a responsible or a sustainable investor’, but what does that actually mean? I know from the conversations with other women, this is a real sticking point. Our instinct can be loud and clear but what do we actually do with it?
To be honest, I am not sure either ‘responsible’ or ‘sustainable’ are great labels for what I am trying to do with my money. Increasingly I like the word ‘conscious’.
Yes, I like the notion that I am a ‘conscious investor’. It tells me that I am thinking about where I invest and not just following the crowd (or what my bank or a financial advisor tells me).
So what actually matters to me?
Last year Moxie Future published Your Responsible Investment Roadmap – and one of the first steps we talk about is identifying priorities and translating these into actual investment beliefs. Kind of like a ‘value framework’ for future decisions.
It seems an obvious place to start but, in all honesty, it takes a bit of time to really suss out. I know because I’ve spent the last month really trying to identify my own priorities.
After a lot of soul-searching, where do I land? Instinctively I want my money to tackle the ravishes of climate change. Why? Because I believe climate change is far bigger and scarier a threat than the media or governments are letting on. And it is already affecting those who have the least. Environmental issues really worry me for similar reasons. And I believe our ability to effectively and quickly respond to these will define the lives of billions of people. Now and in the future. I am also concerned about child labor, inequality of access to education and healthcare, the sustainability of our food industry … it’s a long list.
I need something more
Admittedly my thought process has felt a little unstructured and I need to tidy it up a bit. Fortuitously, last week I read something the wonderful Dr Bob Eccles wrote on Forbes about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). Some describe the SDGs as “the closest thing the Earth has to a strategy” – and this got me to thinking. What if I design my investment strategy around the SDGs? With 17 aspirational goals and a whole bunch of specific targets, surely this can give me some kind of framework? The good news is that there is an entire goal dedicated to gender equality and this theme is interwoven throughout all of the others, so I’ll have that covered!
Over the coming months, I am going to figure out this out – I am going to plot my priorities, my worries and my vision against the SDGs … I get the sense it won’t be easy but you have to start somewhere, right?
I hope you will join me on this journey – and share your experiences with me along the way at email@example.com.