Public equities play a prominent role in most of our investment portfolios. Although many of us have some familiarity with this asset class, we may not understand the breadth of options within the stock market or feel confident making investment decisions. Public equities offer more opportunities for diversification, values-aligned investing, and targeted investing than many of us realize
You will start this course by looking at the investments you already have in the stock market, and you will be exposed to some online tools that will help you understand how your current holdings align with your values. You will discuss how to make sense of all the choices you could make, including which values you would to integrate into this part of your portfolio. Together with other members of the course, you will research a few investments. But before doing that, you will learn about the elements of due diligence that you will want to apply to your analysis. As you share results, you will understand how all the pieces come together and you will be able to make decisions about stock funds that you would like to add to your portfolio. In the last session, you will make commitments to your next steps. You will continue to receive support for taking those actions even though the course has finished.
The Stock Portfolio course is a 3-part series that will be supported by monthly Circle discussions, as well as mid-month check-ins with an accountability buddy.
9 am to 10:30 am PT / 12 pm to 1:30 pm ET
- February 28, 2023
- March 28, 2023
- April 25, 2023
By the end of the course, you will have:
- Analyzed the financial and social characteristics of the stock funds you own
- Compared and discussed the financial and impact characteristics of different investments, enabling you to make more informed decisions
- Conducted research to find more values-aligned options using a set of freely available online tools
- Learned about shareholder advocacy and how you can use this tool in your investing
- Discovered a class of alternative investments that you can make through the stock market
Prerequisites & Level of Effort
Completion of IFB’s Core Curriculum or prior experience in values-aligned investing is recommended
Monthly Commitment: 3 hours
Each meeting is expected to last 1.5 hours with approximately 1 – 1.5 hours of pre-work prior to each meeting. The amount of time spent will depend, in part, on the number of stock investments you currently own or that you choose to research during the course. The more effort you put in, the more you will gain.
This course will walk you through the three steps to adding values-aligned stock investments to your portfolio: (1) understanding what’s in your current portfolio, (2) clarifying how you want to apply values-alignment to your stock portfolio, and (3) identifying investment for you and planning your next moves. Session 1 grounds you in public equity fundamentals. We will dive into how to bring your values into your stock market investments in Sessions 2 and 3.
- Meeting 1: Understand What’s in Your Current Portfolio
The first session in the Public Equities course, you will be introduced to different approaches you can take to investing in the stock market. You will learn how to analyze stocks you already own. Since many women invest in funds rather than individual stocks, there is an emphasis on mutual funds, index funds, and ETFs. You will learn how to quickly identify key attributes of any fund, such as the category of the investment, related fees, companies held, and how to measure performance. Equipped with this knowledge, you will complete a spreadsheet to track and compare the funds you own. During your first meeting, you will discuss findings with other members in the course.
- Meeting 2: Defining Value Amidst All the Noise
In the second session, you will explore the key concepts related to values-aligned investing. You will learn about, and discuss, the current state of the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investment movement in the United States, and you will be introduced to the power of shareholder activism. Although you have a range of options when it comes to integrating values-alignment into your portfolio, the pre-work and discussions in this session will help you narrow the choices in a way that is more meaningful to you and consistent with your financial and social impact goals.
- Meeting 3: Plan Your Moves
In the final session of the course, you will learn from your peers. Each member of the course will research and perform due diligence on a few public equity investments. They will report on their findings in the third meeting. The reports will be followed by a group discussion of the pros and cons of the opportunities that were presented. You will conclude the course with a commitment to your next steps. Buddies will schedule time to follow-up with each other once a month for a three-month period, at the conclusion of which the entire membership of the course will gather together once more to share their progress and make requests for any additional support.
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.
Special Guest: Caitlin Appleton
Caitlin Appleton is an Invest for Better member. She is also a Senior Portfolio Manager and Financial Advisor with South Shore Capital Advisors. During Caitlin’s participation in her first IFB Circle, she heard about the power of about shareholder advocacy. She became so interested that 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.
Course Enrollment Includes Invest for Better Membership
- Advanced Network Building: Engage with women in our global community through our private IFB networking communications platform. Be supported as you take action moving more of your money into alignment with your values.
- Live Events and Training: We offer several live events for members each month (Activation Series speakers & Ask the Expert sessions). Check out our Events Page for what’s coming up next.
- Partner Services: Obtain discounts to partner-sponsored services, conferences, and events. Benefit from our partner, ValuesAdvisor, when you are ready to search for a values-aligned financial advisor. Receive a 50% discount on membership to the American Sustainable Business Network.
- Activate Your Money: Invest to Grow Your Wealth and Build a Better World by IFB Co-founder Janine Firpo. (Members in the US will receive the hardcover version of the book. International members will receive the e-book version.)
- Deep Dive Courses: Members can participate in 3-month courses (such as this one) that use our signature Circle format to cover advanced topics. New topics are introduced three times per year and Deep Dives are free for the duration of your Membership.