DON’T PANIC: INVESTORS ARE CHANGING THE WORLD FOR THE GOOD

#investors #stockmarket #socialproblems #purposeoriented
It’s tough to love the stock market with the volatility we’ve seen in recent weeks.
Certainly, both the market and the government have tarnished reputations, as New York Times columnist David Brooks recently pointed out.
But there are a few big-money types who have tried to use the market to solve social problems. Brooks writes that these investors have opposable minds. They are part profit-oriented – nothing is done in the markets without someone making money – and part purpose-oriented.
These investors have created organizations that look a little like businesses, a little like a social-service providers and a little like charities – or some mixture of the three, Brooks writes. His column was published in July 2015 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream led the first wave in this sector, Brooks says, but now you’ve got a burgeoning array of social-capitalist tools to address problems. They range from B Corporations like Warby Parker, which gives free glasses to the poor, to social impact bonds, Brooks writes.
Brooks cites a phenomenon is called impact investing, which seeks out companies that are intentionally designed to both make a profit and provide a measurable and accountable social good.
We all would like to put our hard-earned savings into companies that do good. But as a small saver, or one who is diligently saving a small portion of what he or she earns toward retirement, one has to focus on getting the most growth and income from his contributions.
For these folks, gyrations in the market, like the ones we’ve seen recently, cause great consternation. But most experts in the field would advise them not to panic. Usually, what goes down goes back up, as we have seen. You see, those with some cushion in their accounts, and with good advisers, will have raised cash by selling some of the underperforming investments, so they can use that cash to buy some great stocks cheaply when the overall market tumbles.
Remember that when the market reacts this way, an individual stock is just following the market. It does not mean the companies, or their products, are no good. Those good companies will come back because investors see discount shopping opportunities in tumbling markets.
So, if you are small, careful investor, who has put his or her money into good companies or good funds, relax. When the market drops, it’s usually a temporary glitch. Stick to your original plan, and follow the advice of the person you trust. If it helps, don’t watch the news – at least the parts about how the market is doing. If you know that your savings and investment plans are well-thought-out, cringe if you must at what’s going on, but breathe easily.
Someday, you may have enough money to make a real impact on a global problem. For now, though, secure your own nest egg little by little, and don’t let the market gyrations get you down.
Of course, there are many other worthwhile things you can do to enhance your wealth. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. If you are thinking of getting a second, part-time job to throw a little bit more toward your retirement, think a little outside the box. You just might find a way to better utilize any free time you would devote to a second job, and have a lot more fun than a second job would be.
It’s a marvelous thing that some smart, rich folks are looking for ways to solve the globe’s problems with their own money. We all may wish to be in that situation, but, for those who are not rich, it’s best to work on enhancing your own wealth FIRST, and help others do the same.
When, and only when, you’ve done that, by all means feel free to make an impact on the world. Work hard, play hard, save and invest hard. Help others, and you will be enriched. Once enriched, keep helping others. It will bring you great joy.
Peter

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