personal values http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14288/all en-US A Simple Guide to Socially Responsible Investing http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-socially-responsible-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-simple-guide-to-socially-responsible-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_terrarium_000085064581.jpg" alt="Learning the simple guide to socially responsible investing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may have heard that Stanford, Harvard, and other universities have divested certain stocks from their endowments, such as coal and oil companies. The idea is to make an anti-climate-change statement and deprive such industries of capital.</p> <p>Increasingly, individuals are also realizing that their investments aren't just a way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-smart-thing-you-can-do-for-your-retirement-today" target="_blank">save for retirement</a> &mdash; but a way to boost companies we like, and withhold support from companies we don't.</p> <p>But can you afford to think about the social impact of your investments? Before you decide whether socially responsible investing is for you, learn what it's about.</p> <h2>It's Not New</h2> <p>Socially responsible investing, also referred to as &quot;green investing,&quot; &quot;sustainable, responsible, and impact investing,&quot; or just plain &quot;sustainable investing,&quot; was around long before we had these names for it. As far back as 1700s, some American churches urged their parishioners not to invest in <a href="http://sustainability.thomsonreuters.com/2013/08/09/history-of-socially-responsible-investing-in-the-u-s/">slavery, alcohol, or war</a>. During the Vietnam War, thousands divested from Dow Chemical after seeing a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/26/vietnam-wars-napalm-girl-kim-phuc-has-laser-treatment-to-heal-wounds">horrifying image</a> of a Vietnamese child being burned by napalm. In the 1980s, investor pressure was a major force in ending South African apartheid.</p> <h2>It's Growing</h2> <p>Since the 1980s, socially responsible investing has become a greater part of mainstream investing, with mutual funds, index funds, and other vehicles available to the average investor. From 2012 to 2014, the number of assets managed using these strategies <a href="http://www.ussif.org/Files/Publications/SIF_Trends_14.F.ES.pdf">increased by 75% to $6.57 trillion</a>, according to The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. That's about a buck out of every $6 invested in the United States.</p> <h2>It Screens Out Companies Based on Set Principles</h2> <p>An SRI fund manager doesn't simply decide what constitutes a &quot;good&quot; company based on their personal values. Based on a few main categories &mdash; such as environmental impact, social behavior, corporate governance, and the type of product or service offered &mdash; managers screen out companies that don't measure up to predetermined standards.</p> <p>For instance, the <a href="https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/ffs/87244W300.pdf">TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity Fund</a> favors &quot;companies that are strong stewards of the environment; devoted to serving local communities; committed to higher labor standards; dedicated to producing high-quality and safe products; and those managed in an exemplary or ethical manner.&quot; The <a href="http://trilliummutualfunds.com/mutual-funds/portfolio21-global-equity-fund/">Portfolio 21 Global Equity Fund</a> &quot;excludes companies directly engaged in fossil fuel exploration and production, weapons manufacturing, egregious labor practices,&quot; and other behaviors.</p> <h2>SRI Doesn't Mean Sacrificing Returns</h2> <p>&quot;You do not have to assume you are making a financial sacrifice if you use mutual funds that do socially responsible investing screening,&quot; said J. Patrick Costello, founder of Green River Financial Services.</p> <p>Socially responsible funds apply similar strategies to those of mainstream funds, with the same goal of maximizing returns. The only difference is that the SRI funds are picking their winners out of a pre-screened pool of companies they consider to be more responsible than the rest.</p> <p>&quot;Sustainable investing does not attempt to select just a few obscure companies that get a perfect record. We just try to narrow the group of companies, exclude the companies with the worst behaviors, and emphasize the companies with the better behaviors, within realistic bounds,&quot; Costello said.</p> <p>In fact, there is evidence that some socially responsible moves, such as including more women in the corporate ranks, make for better returns, Costello said.</p> <h2>You Probably Don't Need to Change Investment Providers to Try It</h2> <p>If your retirement fund is with Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, or another large investment firm, they probably have one or more socially responsible funds to choose from.</p> <h2>It May Not Be for You</h2> <p>Despite the win-win appeal of doing good without giving up financial returns, not every investor buys into the promise of socially responsible investing. One problem with such funds is that the definition of socially responsible can vary, and any fund available may well include some companies that you personally find objectionable. For example, some funds <a href="http://time.com/money/3951822/socially-responsible-investing-mutual-funds-problem/">include McDonald's</a>, a company whose labor practices and history of pushing high-calorie, low-nutrient foods on children turn many socially conscious folks off.</p> <p>If you choose to pursue socially responsible investing, you still have to do the standard due diligence that you would do before investing in any fund. Ultimately, the decision of how and where to invest remains yours alone.</p> <p><em>Are you a socially responsible investor? How do you choose your investments?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-socially-responsible-investing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/socially-responsible-investing-goes-green">Socially Responsible Investing Goes Green</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-investing-tips-from-a-1-wall-street-stock-picker">15 Investing Tips From A #1 Wall Street Stock Picker</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/investing-with-your-values">Investing With Your Values</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-invest-when-youre-in-debt">6 Ways to Invest When You&#039;re In Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-way-to-invest-in-the-worlds-biggest-companies">The Easiest Way to Invest in the World&#039;s Biggest Companies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment climate change environmental impact personal values social impact socially responsible investing SRI Wed, 25 May 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1717159 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Pay in Time http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-pay-in-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-pay-in-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pocket-watch.jpg" alt="Watch" title="watch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You probably think about costs in terms of dollars (or whatever your local currency is). I suggest that you experiment with an alternative way of thinking &mdash; think about costs in terms of time: The time you spend earning the money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-spending-or-not">Track Your Spending. Or Not.</a>)</p> <p>There's a famous part in &quot;Walden&quot; where Thoreau argues that it's cheaper to walk than to take the train &mdash; if both people start from zero.</p> <p>Thoreau gets up and heads off walking toward your mutual destination. You, planning to take the train, first have to go to work and earn the money to buy a ticket. Given the wages and ticket prices at the time, it's almost a day's pay to buy the ticket, meaning that Thoreau had a good chance of getting there ahead of you, even though it will take him all day to walk.</p> <p>Plus, Thoreau gets to spend the day on a pleasant walk in the countryside, while you're spending the day working.</p> <p>Depending on what you earn and how much the ticket cost, the results might be different for you. But the point is that you ought to do the calculation.</p> <p>You ought to do the calculation for everything.</p> <p>Of course, things are more complicated than in Thoreau's day. He made a big point that having to buy new clothes to undertake some new enterprise was a danger sign &mdash; it would take days or weeks of labor just to get even for the cost of your new wardrobe. He would have been horrified at the idea that having a job meant that you had to buy a car &mdash; it takes weeks or months of labor to cover that cost. (And weeks more every year, to pay for registering, insuring, fueling, and maintaining the car.)</p> <p>He probably would have been horrified at the idea of income taxes, too.</p> <p>That's the calculation I want you do &mdash; for any expense, what is your all-in cost <em>in terms of time</em>. By &quot;all-in&quot; I mean for you to include not just the time you spend working. You also want to include both the time you spend supporting your work habit &mdash; your commute, the hours you spend sitting in a stupor after work because you're exhausted, the time you spend on vacation escaping from your work &mdash; plus the time you spend earning the things you only need to pay for because you're working &mdash; tools, clothes you buy because you need to &quot;look nice&quot; at work, your car, and so on.</p> <p>A lot of people have thought of making this calculation before me, of course. In particular, it's a central theme in the book &quot;Your Money or Your Life&quot; by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. (I wrote a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-your-money-or-your-life">review of the book</a> for Wise Bread.)</p> <p>The point is to make yourself a thoughtful consumer. It probably only takes you a few minutes to earn enough to buy a snack, if you do the calculation in terms of your gross pay.</p> <p>Instead, do the calculation the right way. Figure it in terms of your net pay, after taxes have been deducted. Figure it in terms of the hours you actually spend, including your commute.</p> <p>Only when you do the calculation correctly do you have the information you need to make an informed decision about whether this or that little indulgence is worth it, in terms of the minutes of your life you spend earning it.</p> <p>If you try to do the calculation for real, you'll run into borderline cases. Is it a work expense to hire a lawn service? If you work so many hours you don't have time to mow your own lawn, maybe it is. Is it a work expense to go to the hairstylist? If your boss insists that you look your best for customers, maybe it is. Is it a work expense to hire a tax accountant? If your taxes are more complex because of your job &mdash; or if you don't have time to do them yourself because of your job &mdash; maybe it is. No doubt part of your vacation is pleasure; it's not merely an escape from work.</p> <p>Don't get hung up on details like that. The goal isn't to come up with the one precisely true number. The initial goal is to be clear in your own mind about how much of your time is spent supporting your efforts to earn money &mdash; and how much of that money is spent just to enable you to spend your time that way.</p> <p>The deeper goal is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-budget-is-not-a-constraint">align your spending with your values</a>.</p> <p>How many hours does it take to buy a week's worth of meals? If the answer is what you expected, you're all set. If the answer is a shock to you, then maybe your spending is not properly aligned with your values. Maybe you'd honor your own values better by eating out less. Maybe you'd honor your own values better by eating less expensive meat and more cheap rice and beans. On the other hand, maybe spending the extra hours commuting and working so your family can eat locally grown organic food is exactly in line with your values.</p> <p>I don't know. I <em>can't</em> know. Only you can figure these things out. I just want to provide this extra tool for figuring them out accurately &mdash; think about what you pay in terms of time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-pay-in-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-time-worth">What Is Your Time Worth?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-really-need-to-pay-yourself-first-seriously">7 Reasons You Really Need to Pay Yourself First (Seriously)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency">8 Ways to Decide if It&#039;s a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance personal values time vs. money Walden Fri, 23 Nov 2012 11:24:30 +0000 Philip Brewer 955567 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Self-Promote without Selling Out http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-ways-to-self-promote-without-selling-out <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/7-ways-to-self-promote-without-selling-out" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/7-ways-to-self-promote-without-selling-out</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/7-ways-to-self-promote-without-selling-out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012181008Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have to sell ourselves at some point &mdash; whether it be as a corporate warrior, a small business owner, or an individual.</p> <p>Of course, the rub is that it can be hard to do it well. You don't want to seem sleazy or self-serving...but you need to present your idea, product, or service in the best way possible. With that in mind, here are seven tips for self-promotion that allow to maintain your dignity and self-respect.</p> <h3>Know Your Values and You Can Choose Your Methods</h3> <p>Before you begin promoting something, decide what you will and won't do. Some people tell everyone they know about their new idea. Others prefer to keep their personal and business interests separate. There is no right or wrong answer, but you should decide what is right and wrong for <i>you</i>.</p> <p>You may find yourself doing things you wouldn't normally do when you start promoting without setting clear boundaries first.</p> <h3>Be Ready to Own It</h3> <p>Entrepreneurs are starters and go-getters that are keen on action. Most of the time, that's a good thing. But the downfall is that every now and then, we find ourselves going all in on an idea before we really think everything out.</p> <p>Before you start self-promoting something, make sure that it's an idea, product, or service that you really believe in &mdash; not something that you just find cool, exciting, or interesting.</p> <p>Is this something that you're just interested in only this week, or are you ready to own it forever? Are you ready for your reputation to be attached to it?</p> <p>Be certain in whatever you promote before you start singing its praises. If you start promoting half-baked ideas to your friends, family, and peers ... then people are going to stop listening to you when you pitch them something genuine.</p> <p>If you're not ready to own your idea and believe in what you're promoting, then how can you expect anyone else to believe in it?</p> <h3>Start with Value</h3> <p>On a recent flight, upon arrival the stewardess came over the intercom and asked us to take a short online survey. She explained why the survey would be helpful to the airline and at the end of the speech she said, &quot;... and you'll be entered to win 100,000 frequent flyer miles.&quot;</p> <p>That pitch was totally backwards. By the time she got to the mileage offer, most passengers had stopped listening, put in their headphones, or started a cell phone call.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re promoting to me, then start with the value. Tell me that you want to give me 100,000 free miles. Get me to buy in before telling me what I have to do. Show me what I get for my time. Then, tell me that I have to take the survey to enter the contest.</p> <p>If you want to be a great self-promoter, then start by showing people how your product or service can provide value.</p> <h3>Listen for Problems Instead of Seeking Opportunities</h3> <p>Most self-promoters look for an opening. They search for opportunities to sell or a chance to fit their product into the conversation.</p> <p>Instead of cramming in a pitch whenever possible, spend some time listening for people's problems instead. If you discover what they are struggling with, then you can determine how your product, service, or idea can solve that problem.</p> <p>Nobody enjoys being promoted to, but everyone loves having a problem solved.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t Try to be Someone You&rsquo;re Not</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re not naturally outgoing outgoing and loud, then don&rsquo;t try to be. You should always promote who you are and what you stand for. Most people see right through insincerity, and they recognize sincerity, too. How would you rather be perceived?</p> <p>When you act like someone you aren't, you find yourself doing things that you wouldn't do. That's a recipe for being perceived as insincere and disrespectful.</p> <h3>Recognize That the World Doesn&rsquo;t Owe You Anything</h3> <p>A surefire way for self-promotion to go south? Act like people owe you something.</p> <p>If you think that your friends and family should love your idea, you're wrong. If you think that your business partners will promote your products because you promote their ideas, you're wrong. If you think that the world should enjoy your ideas because you put a lot of work into them, you're wrong.</p> <p>You aren't entitled to anything. You&rsquo;ll gain a lot of fans once you accept that attention and accolades must be earned.</p> <h3>Build a Better Product</h3> <p>One of the best ways to make self-promotion easier is to build something that is easy to promote.</p> <p>Enhance the features of your current product line. Improve on the experience your customers have. Build a better portfolio to show your prospects.</p> <p>It's so much easier to be a great self-promoter when you have a product, service, or idea that promotes itself.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/james-clear">James Clear</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-ways-to-self-promote-without-selling-out">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-weird-ways-people-get-promoted">3 Weird Ways People Get Promoted</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t">25 Products You Think You Need, but Really Don’t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business values marketing personal values promotion self-promotion small business Wed, 13 Jul 2011 20:47:16 +0000 James Clear 611284 at http://www.wisebread.com