Sustainable Portfolios Outperform in 2013

Investing comes with risk. This article is a general discussion of the merits and risks associated with these ETFs, not a specific recommendation. Speak to an investment professional and make sure your portfolio is diversified. Tim Nash owns shares of PZD and a SolarShare bond. Tim does not own shares of the other investments mentioned in this article.

As the clock ticked midnight and we entered 2014, I decided it was a good time to review the financial performance of my model portfolios.  I’m happy to report that 2013 was a great year for sustainable investment strategies, with each of my model portfolios doing about as well or better than its traditional benchmark.  The following table presents annual Net Asset Value (NAV) returns from Morningstar on Jan. 6, 2014:


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How to Divest from Fossil Fuels in 5 Easy Steps

I've been getting lots of emails lately from people who want to divest their personal investments from fossil fuels.   

Here's how to do it:

1. Learn about online investing here and here

2. Open an online brokerage account

3. Transfer your RRSP / TFSA into this account

4. Meet with a financial planner and develop a portfolio like this one

5. Execute the trades

Congratulations!  You are the now the proud owner of a fossil fuel free portfolio!!

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Ontario Nonprofit Network Presentation

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a quick talk at the Ontario Nonprofit Network's annual conference in Toronto.  It was a packed house with about 350 people in the audience (including Premier Kathleen Wynne).   My task was to showcase the importance of the nonprofit sector to Ontario's economy, and to explain how organizations who maximize revenue can maximize their impact.

Here's the video:

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A Big Green Ray of Hope

It wasn’t that long ago that the green economy was seen as an outlier.  Traditionalists were banking on the rebuild of established sectors like automotive and finance.  The green economy was readily dismissed as tiny and although it might one day be important, that day was far off in the future.  Well, the future is here my friends.  Since 2009, I’ve been tracking the growth of the global green economy through the Green Transition Scoreboard®.  Every six months, I hunt for the best research to quantify private investments in the following sectors - Renewable Energy, Efficiency, Green Construction, Green Research & Development, and Cleantech.  Back in 2009, research was scarce and I had to scrounge for numbers.  Now, I’m finding robust numbers from some of the most respectable market research firms.  My initial finding of $1.4 trillion has blossomed into a massive $5.2 trillion.  Read the latest press release here.

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Why Invest in Water?

Investing comes with risk. This article is a general discussion of the merits and risks associated with these ETFs, not a specific recommendation. Speak to an investment professional and make sure your portfolio is diversified. Tim Nash does not own any shares of the ETFs mentioned in this article.

Many of my environmentalist friends question whether it’s right to put a price on water. They see water as sacred, and get upset when I talk about it as a commodity.

My standard response? We already have several prices on water, so get with the program.

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Fredericton Presentation - Sustainable Investing

My east coast tour wrapped up today with a great presentation at the Fredericton Convention Centre. A giant thank you to the Co-operative Enterprise Council of New Brunswick, the Pond-Deshpande Centre, the Economic and Social Inclusion Network, and OMISTA Credit Union.

It was a well-received presentation, followed by a great World Cafe dialogue facilitated by the lovely Amanda Haché. Here are the presentation slides:

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Social Finance 101

I'm getting ready to present to a packed house at The Hub Halifax.  The topic is Social Finance 101, and we've got lots of social entrepreneurs in the house ready to learn how they can finance their organizations.  I've taken the presentation I gave last week in Moncton, and added some local content. 

Here's the presentation:

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Social Finance Tools

Here is my presentation from the Co-operative Enterprise Council New Brunswick's annual general meeting. My presentation covers social finance tools that will help co-ops finance start-up and expansion. Topics include social enterprise, crowdfunding, microloans, CEDIFs, community bonds, and social impact bonds.


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Reimagining the Non-Profit Sector

The non-profit sector does so much good in the world, why the heck do they define themselves in the negative?  Of course this sector is suffering from an identity crisis!  Even though the sector accounts for 7% of Canada’s GDP - a bigger share than our extractive resource industry -  it doesn’t get the attention or influence it deserves.

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