If #GivingTuesday wasn’t great enough on it’s own, Facebook ‘s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stole the show with an absolutely extraordinary pledge to give away 99% of his Facebook fortune over his and his wife Priscilla Chan’s lifetime. That amount, as it stands today would total over 45 billion dollars. This will be done through their ongoing platform entitled the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Basically, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative allocates money to organizations around the country — and eventually, the world — in order to make it a better place for everyone.
The news of this incredibly selfless pledge was announced through an online posting, via Facebook of course, entitled “A Letter to Our Daughter” in honor of their newborn baby girl, Maxima. Of course it has quickly become today’s biggest headline and rightfully so. Here is a young man of extraordinary wealth that has an enormous amount of influence on the minds of so many around the world. He doesn’t just capture the attention of Wall Street, business tycoons, or venture capitalists for his impeccable savvy in growing multiple technology platforms, he inspires so many more of us. And today, in my opinion, he has made his biggest impact yet on the minds and in the hearts of today’s younger generation. This is how leaders lead. And he has set an amazing precedent by demonstrating that it’s not about him and it shouldn’t be about us either. What our lives should be about, to a large extent, is seeing what we can do to better the lives of others. And that is exactly what he and his wife are going to do with this pledge, and have already been doing for years.
As many of you know, our focus here at Epic Capital is on Impact Investing, and investing with a purpose. We believe that it is our mission to have a meaningful impact on the financial lives of our clients so that they in turn, can have a positive and sustainable impact on the lives of their families and on the charitable organizations, causes and communities around the world that they hold in their hearts. It sounds like Mr. Zuckerberg is as big a fan of impact investing as there comes. Highlighting a few lines, listed below, from today’s 2000+ word letter, I believe you may agree. One doesn’t need to read much between the lines when it reads like this …
Investing alongside of your personal values has many names: socially responsible investing (or SRI); sustainable investing; environmental, social and governance (or ESG), corporate social responsibility (CSR) and now impact investing. They all boil down to investment vehicles that own stakes in companies or lend to organizations that are trying to make a positive difference in the world. Impact investing is not an asset class; it’s a lens through which one looks when constructing an investment portfolio. Whether through the public markets or through private investments, impact investing is here to stay because that is what the world needs. There is simply not enough money raised through philanthropy or supported by government to fund today’s social and environmental issues. These issues need to be supported by public and private enterprises in tandem with those other sources so that collectively they have the ability to leverage the biggest investment dollars, thereby having the biggest net impact.
As you can see, we are big fans of today’s announcement, and I hope we continue to see more announcements like this from many others who have the ability to do so. Mark Zuckerberg was not the fist person to make such an announcement, and I well acknowledge that fact. There are many before him that have pledged a very large percentage of their wealth to incredible causes. I don’t discount those efforts at all. I am simply pointing out, that here is a 31-year old man, who knows exactly what his purpose is, what he was put on this earth to do after the successes he’s had. That to me is incredibly inspiring, and I hope that same level of inspiration reaches hundreds and thousands of others as well. And more importantly, moves them to action to forward, however they may, the causes that are most important to them.
If you would like to read the full version of Mark and Priscilla’s letter, click the link below:
Bravo to both Mark and Priscilla, Bravo.
While doing my annual Spring “office clean”, I came across an article that I had printed out from June of last year (Trust & Estates, June 30, 2016 – Patricia Angus). I re-read it and felt that I needed to share it here. It resonates with me on several fronts, and it may very well resonate with you as a … Continue reading “Are You “Wealthy”?”
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2016 – Sustainable, responsible and impact investing assets now account for $8.72 trillion, or one in five dollars invested under professional management in the United States according to the US SIF Foundation’s biennial Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends 2016 which was released today. The biennial Trends Report—first … Continue reading “US SIF Foundation Releases 2016 Trends Report”
Donald Trump has completed his landmark quest and will become the nation’s 45th President after a contentious and often divisive campaign. In addition, the Republican Party has retained control of both houses of Congress. This outcome marks a significant reversal from just a few weeks ago when a Hillary Clinton presidency was highly probable and … Continue reading “Market Impact of a Trump Presidency”
The phrase “impact investing” has become the lead moniker chosen to represent several purpose-driven or values-driven strategies that have evolved over the last two decades. Other names such as “sustainable investing”, “socially responsible investing or sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI)”, “corporate social responsibility (CSR)”, “environmental, social and governance (ESG)”, all seem to have been folded-up … Continue reading “Impact Investing: Performance, Purpose and Positioning”
“Conscious” Capitalism? An oxymoron it is not. It is a movement sweeping across the globe and growing in size, popularity and in the impact that it is having for those business leaders who embrace it. It, in my opinion, should become the standard by which businesses are evaluated for investment and judged in the court … Continue reading “Why We Embrace Conscious Capitalism®”