This course teaches you how to discover more about what you currently own in the stock market, and shows you how to use freely available online tools to find and replace some (or all) of your stock holdings with more values-aligned investment options. It also shows you how to use your position as a shareholder to influence corporate behavior on issues that you care about such as sustainability or human rights.
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The Stock Portfolio course is a 3-part series that will be supported by monthly Circle discussions, as well as monthly Ask the Expert sessions with the course creator and/or other experts.
Aligning your stock portfolio requires a time commitment to do research and to finalize and activate your investment decisions. Invest for Better Circles provide the opportunity to carve out the time to conduct the research and discuss the results with other women, a process that helps you make more informed and confident decisions. In this course you will learn more about how the stock market works and how to find values-aligned investment options. And you will conduct research together with your peers during one of your monthly meetings.
Between the Ask the Expert sessions, participants can utilize the Invest for Better Mighty Network to engage with the course creator, who will monitor – and respond to – questions on that platform.
Completion of IFB’s Core Curriculum or prior experience in values-aligned investing is recommended
Monthly Commitment: 3 – 5 hours
Each meeting is expected to last about 1.5 – 2 hours and approximately 1.5 – 3 hours of homework is required prior to each meeting. The amount of time spent will be dependent on the number of your current investments you want to research and the amount of time allocated to that research. The more effort you put in, the more you will gain.
Public equities often play a prominent role in investment portfolios. Although most people have some familiarity with this asset class, many of us do not fully understand the stock market, nor do we feel confident when making investment decisions. The stock market has more opportunities for strategic investing, diversification, and targeted investing than many of us realize. We can choose to invest in individual stocks, broad stock funds that hold large segments of the market, or targeted funds that focus on a specific industry or portion of an industry. We can choose actively managed funds, passively managed index funds, or ETFs. There are also choices across company size, geographies, and sectors. This course will help you make sense of the stock market and make sure your public equities investments are more values-aligned.
The first session in the Public Equities course is an overview of the stock market. You will be introduced to different approaches you can take to investing, and learn key terms and concepts that will help you make more informed decisions about your investments in this asset class. The videos will teach you how to evaluate the stock investments you have already made, or may be considering – whether those are individual company stocks or stock funds.
Within public equities there are literally hundreds of values-aligned financial products, and the numbers are growing each year. In this session, you will learn how to analyze your individual stocks and stock funds to determine whether they are aligned with your values or not. Our discussion in this session will go beyond the usual ESG conversations that you might hear about in the news to incorporate gender diversity, racial diversity, and other values that you may hold. The videos in this session will teach you how to find new investment options that deliver both financial and social return.
In this session, you will learn about the importance of shareholder activism, how actively managed accounts can be a tool for change and how you as an individual investor might participate. You will also learn about the role ETFs can play in offering diversity as well as values-alignment.
Co-Founder, Invest for Better
Janine Firpo is a seasoned values-aligned investor and social innovator, with a long history of working at the intersection of women and their money. From the early years of Apple Computer to senior positions with Hewlett-Packard, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Janine has always found herself making an impact. In 2017 she left a successful 35- year career in technology and international development to focus on how women can create a more just and equitable society through their financial investments. Janine walks her talk. She is taking action to move all her own assets into investments she feels good about and is watching them grow with market-rate returns. In 2021, she joined forces with Ellen Remmer to co-found Invest for Better.
Senior Portfolio Manager, South Shore Capital Advisors
Caitlin Appleton is an Invest for Better member and a Co-Leader of two IFB learning circles. She is also a Senior Portfolio Manager, Financial Advisor, and Fiduciary with South Shore Capital Advisors. She is an advocate for financial literacy and empowers women to know what they own, learn how to values-align their investments, and most importantly, to take action. During Caitlin’s own participation in her first IFB Circle, she heard about the power of shareholder advocacy. She became so interested, she started learning more; now she not only activates her own portfolio, she wants to help other women discover how to do this as well. Her video about this subject was made specifically for this course.