Michael Kramer’s most recent interview recently appeared as an episode of Leisa Peterson’s podcast, The Art of Mindful Wealth. To listen in on a half-hour conversation that goes into a bit more of Michael’s inner life and inspirations, click on over to the podcast’s website.
Here’s an author interview that takes some fresh new angles: Michael Kramer recently spoke to the folks at Urban Farm about the ways that permaculture has informed both his life and our resilient investing approach. The interview can’t be embedded here, but you can hear it on the Urban Farm page: Michael Kramer on Permaculture and Economics. Poke around their site a bit; you’re likely to find other articles and interviews that’ll be of interest.
Michael Kramer continues to put the rest of our author team to shame in the media-appearance department; this time, we find him on ThinkTechHawaii, a daily online show based in his home state. The first half of this interview is a great overview of what Natural Investments’ approach to SRI is all about, including our new resilient investing framework; the second half digs into an initiative in the Hawaii state legislature to have the Employees Retirement System divest from fossil fuels.
Here’s another radio interview about our book and system, again featuring the dulcet tones of co-author Michael Kramer, guiding the interviewer and audience through a quick introduction to what we’re all about. You can listen below, or on Soundcloud. For more MoneyLife interviews, see their site.
The Resilient Investor has won the 2016 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal in the “personal finance” category! Nearly 500 books were entered for Axiom awards this year, in 22 categories; we’re honored to be among the winners. Golds in other categories went to one of our favorite future-thinkers, Philip Tetlock, and to Jeremy Balkin’s recent book on impact investing.
“This year’s Axiom Award-winning books offer the freshest ideas from the world’s brightest minds,” said a spokesman from the Jenkins Group, one of the sponsors of the awards; other sponsors include Independent Publisher Magazine and Inc. magazine. Winners came from a blend of established New York publishers, university presses, and independent and self-publishers of various sizes. Women are also well-represented, with 26 female authors among the 100 total authors and co-authors.
We’ve always known that our book offered a fresh and timely perspective on personal finance and life planning; it’s especially rewarding to be recognized by an award that spotlights “cutting-edge books that help people young and old succeed in a fast-changing world.” The Resilient Investor is a concise introduction to our approach; in under 150 pages, it offers an engaging new framework that can help build personal, social, and ecological resilience in the face of today’s unprecedented challenges and opportunities.
Forbes recently ran a piece entitled How to Invest Your Money in 2016: Top 10 Fund Buys from 10 Pros, which featured Michael Kramer, Resilient Investor co-author and Natural Investments managing partner. Michael highlighted a large cap fund from one of our longtime SRI faves, Parnassus:
One of the best performers in this space is the little-known Parnassus Endeavor Fund (PARWX), a 10-year-old fund with $1.4 billion in assets managed by Parnassus Investments’ founder Jerome Dodson. . . . It emphasizes holdings that are considered outstanding places to work in terms of labor standards, diversity, benefits and leave policies, and employee health and safety. The fund is also one of a small group of funds that by policy does not hold companies engaged in the production, manufacturing, or refining of fossil fuels, while its broader environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria excludes alcohol, firearms, tobacco, gambling, nuclear power, and non-medical animal testing while prioritizing companies with outstanding track records in community relations, board and executive compensation and independence, and environmental issues.
Read the rest of Michael’s contribution on the Forbes site (his is the final one in the list). As always, it’s rewarding to see our approach getting some notice in the mainstream financial press!
Not along ago, we were introduced to Brad Kaellner, a kindred spirit who is engaging in the world of investing from a foundation in permaculture. He recently did a solid brief review of our book, which he called “a relatively short book with a big vision,” and noted:
My favorite chapter was “Tales of Resilient Living” where the three authors share how they use the Resilient Investing Map to guide their unique investment plans based on their personal outlooks and personalities.
Returning the favor, we’d like to say that Brad’s Permaculture Investor website is a valuable resource, especially for those new to investing or to adding a social and environmental overlay to their investment decisions. He’s studying to become an SRI financial advisor, and shares what he’s learning, as well as accessible overviews of investing strategies; he also pokes around in the dirt a bit, shedding light on some of the lessons he’s learned as he tries to more fully align his money-making decisions with his values. We look forward to following his journey!
Fast Company recently ran an article on Building the Business Case for Doing Good, a topic that’s obviously right up our alley. So we were very pleased to be among the companies that the author reached out to as she was putting it together. The topic was workplace philanthropy, and Natural Investment Managing Partner (and Resilient Investor co-author) Michael Kramer outlined NI’s 1% giving program, whereby our collaborative team of independent advisors decides where to direct their portion of the annual gifting. Thanks to Fast Company for including us!
We’re psyched that this month’s Financial Advisor magazine includes a feature on our company, Natural Investments, under the title Rebels With a Cause. It provides a solid overview of what we do and why we do it. The author spoke with Michael and Christopher, along with two of our long-time NI colleagues, Susan Taylor and Scott Secrest, about the expansion of the company over the past couple of decades. As Michael explained, “We get approached periodically (by advisors who would like to join the company) and we’re very selective because we want to make sure it’s the right fit with our very small company. The people we bring on really have to walk their talk and not just see this as business. We want people where this is really core to who they are because clients want us to be leaders in social and environmental change. ”
And Susan expressed our core purpose very well here:
We’re in this industry where standard Wall Street thought has, in my opinion, defined capitalism in an extreme way. And we have lots of clients who are longtime activists and social critics who question whether they should even be in the stock market. We live between those two perspectives.
I think extreme capitalism, where profit is the only thing that matters, isn’t the way capitalism was intended. Our planet and social structure can’t survive with that version of capitalism. That’s not sustainable in the long run on a social or mental health model, or any way you look at it. How do we take what works with capitalism and make it better, and make sure human and environmental health have a priority that supersedes profits? Yes, profits matter, but it can’t matter exclusively.
Co-author Christopher Peck was recently interviewed by Pat Lynch of WomensRadio, in advance of his upcoming talk at the San Francisco Green Festival. In a nice concise thirteen minutes, he introduces the core principles of resilient investing and offers a quick overview of his career as a holistic financial planner. Listen below, or on the WomensRadio site.
Michael Kramer also offers a great, brief overview in a recent interview at the Sustainability Unconference in his home state of Hawaii; click through to hear his summary of the system, and take a look at this short article that illustrates the system as well. Stay tuned to the end to witness the historic first utterance of what’s sure to become a major socio-philosophical movement (or Muppet character?) when Scott Mooney of Triple Pundit dubs Michael an “apolocaloptimist!”
Michael was recently interviewed on KSFR, the top-notch community radio station in our old home town of Santa Fe. The half-hour conversation, which aired on their New Era Economy show, is a great overview of the themes behind resilient investing. You can listen below, or here on Soundcloud. A teaser:
What we’re trying to do here is to help people understand that there is a risk to whatever perspective you have, and because any perspective can be wrong, we should really be hedging our own bets on our own perspective. That’s what real resilience is—is being well-prepared for any possible future scenario, not just the one you think is going to happen, because the truth is, nobody knows….I think that’s what makes this not a radical notion; this makes this a very conservative approach to living your life.
The summer issue of Green American, the quarterly member’s magazine of the venerable consumer and business organization, Green America, features perhaps the best interview yet about resilient investing. Michael Kramer was the voice of the team this time, and if you’re looking for a solid introduction to the thinking behind our approach, there’s no better place to start.
You can read the interview on the Green American site (it’s part of a very good special section on socially responsible investing), or click through to read it here.