Media, Media, and more Media

If news reports are any indication, people are finally catching on to the growing demand for green investments. I think they’re also figuring out that I’m a good interview : )

Here’s the clip from last night’s story on CBC’s The National: 

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Life Just Got Easier (and Cheaper) for Sustainable Investors

Imagine my great joy when I saw this announcement:

Vanguard launches two new ESG index ETFs

Vanguard is an absolute leader in the ETF world, but they sadly didn’t have any sustainability ETFs - until now! They launched two last month:


Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF (VSGX)

I have some issues with their approach (you’ll see below), but they are - by a mile - the most diversified and the least expensive sustainability ETFs available today. Together, they make it very easy for investors to ‘do less evil’ with global stocks and now I need to update my Organic Couch Potato model portfolio.

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Green Sectors Are Flourishing With $9.3 Trillion of Private Investments Since 2007

We started counting green investments in 2009, just as The Great Recession was starting to turn around. Research was telling us that roughly $10 trillion of investments in green sectors were needed by 2020 to avoid worst-case climate scenarios. A friend and mentor Hazel Henderson posed the question, “How close are we?”, and I decided to start counting.

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Despite Trump, Green ETFs Soar in 2017

This time last year, it was hard to see a bright future for green technologies as the US prepared to inaugurate a President who dismisses climate change. But America is not the world, and nothing trumps good economics. Green investments had a banner year in 2017, outperforming most other sectors:

(all data taken from on Dec 31, 2017)

Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT) +63.36%

The Organics ETF (ORG) +41.20%

PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (PZD) +30.26%

PowerShares Global Clean Energy ETF (PBD) +27.76%

Guggenheim Global Water Portfolio (CGW) +26.63%

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Couch Potato Podcast & Update

I was honoured to appear on the Canadian Couch Potato’s podcast (you can listen here). We had a great chat about my approach to index investing and I decided it was time to update my Organic Couch Potato model portfolio.

The most profound change to the portfolio is that we can swap out the old Meritas International Equity mutual fund (with its 1.96% MER) for a couple of new sustainable ETFs that give us global exposure at a much lower cost (0.4% – 0.45%). They’re not perfect, but are a good option for people looking to build a globally-diversified portfolio with a sustainability lens:

iShares MSCI EAFE ESG Optimized ETF (Rich Countries in Europe, Australia, Far East)

iShares MSCI EM ESG Optimized ETF (Emerging Markets like China, India, Brazil)

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Three Reasons Credit Unions are Awesome

***Disclosure: I am a member of three credit unions: Libro, Alterna, and DUCA. I have not been compensated for this piece (nor do I earn any income from my blog). I am a co-operative fanboy who genuinely thinks credit unions are awesome.***

I received lots of feedback from my last post How To Fire Your Bank. Lots of readers were positive, some defended the big banks, but most people just wanted to know more. I couldn’t believe how many people assumed there had to be some sacrifice involved with joining a Credit Union, and that they would have to settle for fewer services. When hearing this in person, I gleefully pull out my smartphone and show them the map of ATMs and one of my mobile apps for easy banking. You can check it out yourself by visiting this site to see which institutions are part of The Exchange ATM network:

I deliberately wanted my previous blog to be a practical how-to guide, without digging deeper into the ‘why’. I didn’t want to overwhelm people and lose them in the weeds. This piece is a bit deeper down the rabbit hole, so come along with me to find out why Credit Unions are awesome:

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How to Fire Your Bank

Oh, big banks. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

This is a guide to firing your bank and joining a credit union. I’ve included the tips & tricks I’ve learned while helping clients make the shift with their chequing account. Comment below if you have questions or have run into a roadblock yourself and want to share. 

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How Sustainable is Wealthsimple’s Socially Responsible Portfolio?

I was really excited to read that WealthSimple, one of Canada’s better-known robo-advisor services, has introduced a socially responsible investment portfolio. It’s a wonderful option for new investors, and people who simply can’t be bothered to learn how to do it themselves. Of course, me being me, I immediately opened it up to see what they mean by ‘socially responsible’.

Here’s what’s inside:

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The Potluck Economy

Imagine that instead of living in constant scarcity, we live in an economy of abundance. I see it happen all the time. All I need to do is invite people over for dinner!

When’s the last time you went to a potluck? The person who ‘won the potluck’ probably brought something ridiculously amazing and delicious, and there was lots left over.

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Don't let your money do things you wouldn't