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RECENTLY I HAD the opportunity to participate in a discussion about the newly emerging specialty of investing – called Impact Investing.

The idea is basically that you, as an investor, can decide to put your money where it will advance the causes that you’re most passionate about. It’s obviously an outgrowth of specialized investment funds which focused on avoiding fossil fuels, or promoting societal contribution, or whatever. That’s been going on for decades.

But Impact Investing is newer and more sophisticated. It’s especially interesting for mission-driven companies, because it addresses questions like:

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RECENTLY, THE US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR issued guidance about investing retirement plans in socially responsible companies. In what appeared to be a reversal of the previous administration’s guidance, DOL stated that investments based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria aren’t always a “prudent choice” and that such factors shouldn’t “too readily” be considered as economically relevant.

There’s some truth to this, but it’s really no different from saying that non-financial criteria ANYWHERE might cloud your view in making purely financial decisions.

Here’s the problem: This is taking a very narrow and short-term view of investing.

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