Most business owners, CEOs and executives are laser focused on driving their business or enterprise towards success. They are responsible for preserving and expanding sales and revenue. They are responsible for hiring and firing. They are responsible to investors and stakeholders to manage risk and ensure success. They handle client relationships, research and development, marketing and IT… As leaders they wear many hats and carry a lot of weight on their shoulders.
I met Charlotte and her Husband Randy years ago at a Green Drinks in Philadelphia. It was before the days of Tesla, widespread solar power and organic food sections at the grocery store. People got together to share a beer and dream about a future that would be more sustainable. Things have changed a great deal in the past few years.
Charlotte is a graphic designer based in Philadelphia. She has agreed to share some of her experiences and insights so that we all might have an easier path to financial security.
Charlotte has been interested in supporting socially responsible investing for many years. I asked her what it means to her. Charlotte said, “For one thing it’s smart. We have a finite amount of resources and we are running out of them. To continue doing things in the old ways is to set yourself up for failure. Green investment is where the growth will be.”
The economy is changing at a rapid pace. Companies in many sectors that have been pillars of the economy have fallen on hard times. Companies that were leaders in industrial America have seen their market cap fall by 2/3rds in the past year. Leaders in retail have closed hundreds of stores and laid off thousands of people. Even technology companies that started off strong in the past 10 years have suffered setbacks in the past year due to corporate governance issues.
As technology advances, the challenge for businesses to stay competitive becomes amplified. In the last 3 years, advances in robotics and AI (Artificial Intelligence) have significantly added to the bottom line of companies. That pace of change seems to be accelerating.
Learning how to deal with this change is a crucial issue for businesses.
Several years ago, I was asked to give an opening keynote speech to a gathering of social innovation entrepreneurs. The message I think is one that continues to be relevant…
We are on the edge of the greatest entrepreneurial revolution in the history of mankind.
We are entering a new age…
According to Bloomberg, over the past few years millions of people have entered the ranks of the self-employed. The digital economy has made it easier for the business savvy to go off on their own and be their own boss. Facebook has brought people closer together, texting and email have increased communication. Associations and Meet-up groups create networking opportunities. LinkedIn in particular has created rolodex transparency within companies and whole industries. (1)
While being self-employed is not for everyone, it is easier now than ever before. A connection on Facebook or LinkedIn is a potential client. Whatever you do, whatever your expertise the reality is there are hundreds and thousands of people who need to talk to you. Many of these are newly sprouted entrepreneurs as well. Building connections to individuals, as well as businesses is the new road to success.
In Iceland the government there recently passed a law making it illegal to pay women less than men.(1)
A recent study by Economic Policy Institute found that women earn 74 cents for every $1 earned by a man with similar education and experience. This wage gap has always existed and is disturbing in a society founded upon equality and justice. (2)
This wage gap has important implications for women and their financial security, especially during retirement.
Last year I had the pleasure of seeing Gary Vaynerchuk and Stephanie Ruhle in New York City at the 92Y. (1) During the evening Gary shared many insights on the nature of the new economic system that we are seeing develop and how we can survive and excel.
I have written before the current age has been called the Anthropogenic Era, the human era, because mankind is reshaping the geology and environment of the world. The economic system is adjusting to these changes taking place. The economic system set up 100 years ago does not behave or react the same way because the environment is different in which it operates.
Each day we read reports that the economy is booming.
“U.S. manufacturing production just had its best year since 2011.” (1)
“Factory output is poised to speed up.”
“Stronger global growth expectations and a weaker dollar should help.”
With that being the case you might find it surprising that several large corporations have recently announced they will be laying off large numbers of employees, especially managers.
A recent study by McKinsey Global Institute examined how robotics will affect labor and the economy. The study estimated that 800 million jobs (1/5 of all jobs) will be impacted by advances in robotics.
Among the jobs most impacted include brokers, accountants, office staff, machine operators, and food service. Lower skilled, repetitive tasks are most likely to be replaced.
What does this mean for family finances in the years to come?
I have recently had several people ask me about SRI. What is it? Why does it matter?
The first thing to understand is SRI means different things to different people. Several years ago I attended a gathering of advisors focused on sustainability at the Bloomberg headquarters in NYC. I talked to many of the 300 attendees and what I found was every single person had a different interpretation of what SRI meant.