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Aligning Your Investments to Your Values

Tips to be more intentional about incorporating your values into your investment strategy. 

Podcast Transcript

Host: Dave Specht, National Development Manager for Family Dynamics, Wells Fargo Private Bank

Guest: Jane Marie Petty, National Director of Consulting, Wells Fargo Social Impact Investing


Many people express their personal values in the way they choose to live and in the way they decide to give, but very few are taking advantage of integrating their values into their investment portfolios.

So how can investors become more intentional about aligning their investments with their values? I’m Dave Specht, the Family Dynamics National Development Manager for Wells Fargo Private Bank and I’m your host for Your Financial Journey, a podcast series that explores questions that families of wealth often face. Today I’m joined by Jane Marie Petty, the National Director of Consulting for Wells Fargo’s Social Impact Investing team.

Jane Marie, what advice do you have for individuals who want their investments to reflect their personal values?

[Jane Marie]: 

As you noted, Dave, the conversation about money is changing and many individuals and families of wealth consider purpose or mission just as important as profit and performance. There are so many opportunities to invest in a manner that is aligned with your personal values. I’d also point out that investors can still seek performance without sacrificing their beliefs.


Good point, I guess there is that belief that there’s a performance trade-off for choosing to invest in a socially conscious manner… and that just isn’t always the case. So how does one get started in making these values-aligned investment decisions, Jane Marie?

[Jane Marie]: 

You know the first step is really to take the time to gain clarity on what really moves you and what concerns you. For some, that is already well-defined. For others, articulating purpose or mission is much more challenging. These individuals and families may benefit from a facilitated values exercise with a Family Dynamics trained advisor that can help uncover and prioritize what matters most to them. Discovering these key anchor points often feels like an “aha” moment of clarity and makes it much easier to capture these key values and concerns in the investment decision making process.


So in your conversations with socially conscious investors, that focus seems to be more on the human aspects of investing rather than technical investment discussions?

[Jane Marie]: 

Yes, that’s right. We work to understand the investor’s risk and return objectives. Most investors however are more interested in learning why we invest in certain companies from an environmental, social, or governance lens than the mechanics of our investment process. Some individuals want to focus on concerns such as Animal Welfare. Others express their desire to be more socially conscious from a broader perspective and want to invest in companies that operate with sustainable business practices and contribute to solving the world’s most pressing global challenges.


Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Jane Marie. And while performance matters when it comes to investing, obviously so does meaning and purpose.

To learn more about how family dynamics and social impact investing can help align your investment portfolio with your values, please contact your Wells Fargo relationship manager.

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An investment’s social policy could cause it to forego opportunities to gain exposure to certain industries, companies, sectors or regions of the economy which could cause it to underperform similar investments that do not operate under a social policy. A socially responsible investing style may shift in and out of favor.

Wells Fargo Wealth Planning Center, part of Wells Fargo Private Bank, provides wealth and financial planning services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and its various affiliates and subsidiaries.

Wells Fargo & Company and its affiliates do not provide legal advice. Wells Fargo Advisors is not a legal or tax advisor. Please consult your tax and legal advisors to determine how this information may apply to your own situation. Whether any planned tax result is realized by you depends on the specific facts of your own situation at the time your taxes are prepared.


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