Are You Ready to Have the ‘Divestment Talk’?

Are You Ready to Have the ‘Divestment Talk’?

We live in a rapidly changing world. The Climate Crisis is no longer a looming threat, but something we’re actively contending with. Movements for gun control, gender equality and racial equity are gaining steam. And more investors are asking questions about what their money is funding.

There is a pervasive belief that investing in at least some of the traditionally “bad stuff”(fossil fuels, arms manufacturing, tobacco) is necessary to generate strong returns, though many investors don’t view those investments as harmful at all. Whatever your loved ones’ personal philosophy, there is an investment strategy to match.

Financial legacy isn’t just about what ends up being bequeathed in a will; it’s about consciously choosing to invest your money in a way that aligns with your values.

For many families, money isn’t something that’s discussed openly or often, so broaching the subject of financial legacy can be tough. To help, here are some conversation starters and talking points for adult children looking to talk to their parents, grandparents, and relatives about aligning their investment portfolio with their values.

The case for socially responsible investing

Older generations may not actively seek out ways to ensure their financial portfolio is socially and environmentally conscious, because until recently, it hasn’t been common practice. It’s important to communicate in a conversational and non-judgmental way how the choices of older generations will affect younger generations of the family in the future.

It may feel awkward to discuss financial legacy with a parent or loved one at first. Discussing recent headlines around countries and institutions announcing major fossil fuel divestments or shareholder activism, and the rationale behind them can be a good way in.

Questions to ask

Here’s a few questions to ask to spark the ‘Divestment Talk’:

What causes do you care about, and would like to support?

Do you know what types of projects your investments are supporting now?

Would you be willing to make changes to your portfolio if you knew it was important to your loved ones?

What are your biggest concerns when it comes to divesting?

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