Align your Investments with your Values! (Oakland)

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Ecocity Builders Office

339 15th street

Oakland, CA 94612

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Event description


Global finance is an opaque landscape for individual investors. All too often, our investments can end up tied to socially and environmentally harmful industries, without our knowledge. How can we empower ourselves to act in this sphere, and direct our money toward profitable, progressive businesses?

If you long to operate with integrity in all parts of your life but feel underequipped or bewildered by the idea of aligning your investments with your values, this workshop is a chance to learn essential portfolio management skills and link your financial resources with local resilience.

In this safe, supportive and constructive workshop you will:

  • Learn the terminology you need to speak confidently with your financial advisors
  • Learn basic portfolio management tools so you can analyze your own financial profile and needs
  • Clarify your personal values and connect them with your investments
  • Determine what portion of your portfolio is prudent to allocate to local or direct investing
  • Explore a list of potential investments based in CA and practice what you learned by assessing their risk, return and alignment with your values
  • Connect with like-minded individuals on a similar quest!


8:30 – 9:00 check-in, coffee and light breakfast

9:00 – 9:30 Introductions, Overview of workshop, learning objectives

9:30 – 10:00 Talk: The problem with global finance and business-as-usual investing

  • My personal journey from conventional finance to regenerative finance
  • Narrow lens of finance (risk/return/liquidity)
  • The origin of investment capital and the bubble economy
  • The role of global finance in the Great Recession
  • The carbon math and stranded carbon assets
  • Investment returns and natural capital

10:00 – 10:40 Discussion and Activity: From the global to the personal

  • Clarify personal values: What problems would you rather NOT contribute to? What positive impacts would you like your investments to create?
  • What non-financial returns are important to me?
  • Create your Personal Investment Compass

10:40—10:50 Break

10:50 – 11:20 Talk and Discussion: Towards a Personally Responsible Solution

11:20 – 12:10 Basic Portfolio Management 101 – Understanding the Terms and Concepts

  • The portfolio management cycle: assess, determine, allocate, implement, monitor, rebalance
  • Overview of the 7 elements of portfolio management for an individual investor (risk, return, liquidity, time horizon, taxes, legal, unique circumstances)
  • Risk (definition, ability vs. tolerance, financial risk vs. non-financial risk)
  • Return (real vs. nominal, financial vs. non-financial return)
  • Liquidity
  • The portfolio perspective – diversification

12:10 – 12:30 Self assessment

  • Liquidity profile and needs – when do you need it back?
  • Time horizon
  • Return requirement – apply your compass!
  • Risk: your ability to bear it and your tolerance

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch break

1:30 – 2:00 Shortcomings of traditional portfolio management

  • Risk vs. fundamental uncertainty
  • Insufficient diversification!
  • The chimera of Capital Market Expectations
  • Role of cash and local investing

2:00 – 2:30 Direct Investing I – Determining prudent allocation

  • What is direct investing?
  • How much “livable future” insurance do you want to buy?
  • A closer look at risk
  • Determining prudent “risk budget” for direct investing

2:30 – 2:45 The Bad, the Good and the Amazing: a report from 6 years of direct, local and impact investing

  • Financial and non-financial returns
  • Financial and non-financial risks
  • Lesson learned

2:45 – 3:00 Break

3:00 – 3:30 Direct Investing II – Due Diligence 101

  • Professional due diligence
  • A personal approach to direct investments – heart, mind, guts

3:30 – 4:30 Practicum: Hands on experience – practice your newly learned skills on actual local investing offerings

4:30 – 4:45 Discussion

4:45 – 5:30 Sharing, connecting, feedback and closing

Date and Time


Ecocity Builders Office

339 15th street

Oakland, CA 94612

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