Great Challenges = Great Opportunities

As Baby Boomers and their parents age, the United States is in the midst of a $40 trillion wealth transfer, much of which is ultimately going to be invested by women and millennials. Within these demographic groups, investments that align with investors’ goals and values are especially important, although impact investing is also gaining support across all investor classes. At the same time, a survey of 750 experts conducted by the World Economic Forum reveals that they see a catastrophe caused by climate change as the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016 — bigger than water crises, mass involuntary migration, energy price shocks, or the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It’s not just economists who are worried. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility say that climate change is one of the greatest health threats facing humanity in the 21st century. They tell us that the disruption of the balance of climate and life caused as worldwide patterns of temperature, precipitation, and weather events change, will have serious effects on food and agriculture, water, and health. But legendary stock investor and business author Peter Lynch declares that climate change also presents us with the greatest investment opportunity of all time, and believes that the fastest and cheapest way to address the issue is with renewable technologies like solar, wind, and biomass distributed over reliable energy networks. Meanwhile, clean energy investments in wind and solar broke new records in 2015, and are seeing double the global funding of fossil fuels. In fact, two years of plunging prices for oil, natural gas, and coal have triggered massive downsizing in those industries, and there are more people employed in the U.S. solar industry than in the distribution of oil and gas. The beneficiaries of all these trends are the investors we mentioned earlier, who want to align their investment goals with their personal values, and agree that the carbon emissions generated by fossil fuels must be reduced to mitigate threats to the world economy and human health presented by unchecked climate change. Investment in clean, renewable energy is not only a way for them to sleep better at night, knowing their money is growing for future generations, it is also a way for them to increase their chances of having a healthier world to wake up in.

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