Socially Responsible Investing

by | Jul 12, 2001 | Archives

Socially responsible investing became important to me when I started seeing ahead by looking back!  Socially responsible investing is vital in this day and age of so much social tension and stress. We need a better world and we can help acheive this through socially responsible investing.I know because I made a horrible mistake. Almost! The supposed error? Letting my mind wander four decades back to an hour I spent with a girl. You can learn from this near disaster as I did, the most powerful sources of wealth, health and asset protection, security and fulfillment of this era via socially responsible investing.

The girl was pretty and blond. Terry was her name. My imagination spanned 40 years and saw her like she were then. We were 11 or 12 and had known each other since we started Rockwood grade school. Just buddies, our non-romantic friendship lasted 12 years, from first grade till high school’s end. Then she went off to Pepperdine College in California. I started travelling the world. Never saw her again. I hope her life has gone well. But until that reflection I’d never thought much of Terry in 40 years.

What could have been the tragic error was letting that memory touch my heart. Two kids, walking on a crisp, autumnal afternoon. We walked down a sun filled, pine needle covered, dirt path. Huge, fat, green Douglas firs lined the road. Traffic was no problem, not many cars. Young kids could walk safely miles from home. Crossing Stark Street we turned left, hiking three blocks to 182nd. There we passed an old clapboard candy store. I heard the wooden sidewalk of that store slap beneath my feet, felt the soggy planks sag and smelled astringent pitch from the fir trees. Then we turned right, up 182nd for about a mile.

There was Terry’s house. I carried on, walking through a big field, waist high grass turned straw brown by an early frost. There were dozens of paths made by who knows what. Animals perhaps or countless generations of other kids walking home from school. I chose one following it to another wood of tall, rough-barked fir. Crossing one more field, I climbed a rock wall, struggled through a barbed wire fence (my Mom hated that fence ripping my jeans). I was home! Sweet simplicity, that dream. Two kids holding hands, walking on a dirt trail under a crisp, but blue, sunny sky. Pure innocence.

My tragic error was coming back. I returned to Rockwood, Oregon with my kids to show them this part of their roots. Following the route, Terry and I had walked, the old school and those huge gentle trees were gone. So too the candy store, grange hall, old wooden buildings and their home spun honesty and charm. Instead we found six lanes of fast, frantic traffic and road rage. McDonalds, KFC, strip shopping centers. The car radio blared warnings of local gangs and drive-by-shootings. Beauty, innocence, sweet simplicity, replaced by drive ins and drive bys. I started to cry. Gangs and drive-by shootings replacing a tender walk in the sun. Good bye memories, good bye. How can our kids walk in places like this?

How can any of us possibly keep pace in this world that’s moving so fast? Something inside snapped. “There has to be an answer for honest, hard working folks to enjoy the wonderful opportunities of today and regain what we’ve lost over the past forty years”, I swore to myself.

That thought helped start a quest that can now help bring you greater prosperity, security and happiness. That thought eventually led Merri and me to Merrily Farms on Little Horse Creek.

Socially responsible investing can help us  keep pace, get ahead, enjoy our modern society but, stop the world from moving too fast.

How can we keep up, without having such a fast paced life we turn into machines? Where do we find time for God, family, charity, and our friends? How can we rediscover those sun filled, pine needle covered, dirt paths we want to walk?

This question led me to begin reviewing the thousands of economic experiences I have shared with readers over the past thirty years. Looking for answers I started digging, asking and observing as I travelled and talked to investors and investment managers all over the world.

I found many answers. All suggested that this puzzle was not one of knowledge or information. The difference between success and failure was a matter of spirit. The keys to great sustained wealth cannot be picked up from our outside world of economics, business and finance. The ultimate answers of everlasting abundance lay within.

This surprised me at first. Investing is not normally considered a spiritual event. Yet everything I learned from continued questioning suggested that success and failure are not determined by external events. This fact was summed up when I read a quote from Sir Arthur Keith, “The course of human history is not determined by what happens in the skies, but by what takes place in our hearts”. The keys to success are something each of us holds inside.

But I was not satisfied with this fact and started asking economic questions of spiritual leaders, Christian ministers, British missionaries from Africa, Shamans from Ecuador, Hindu Pundits from India, a Sufi master from Bhagdad, a Buddhist lama from Brazil. I wanted to develop an understanding about the kinds of spirit which might control investing success.

But religious leaders did not have the answers either. Where I found the clues was between the lines. After so many different types of investment strategies, philosophies and religions; I began to see a connection between all of them. These connections were areas of agreement that seemed to operate below the obvious. It occurred to me that these areas were the truths which affect all things, including our spirits.

In this way I was able to start threading pieces from many sources into a logic which modern man can use in his day-to-day business and investment activity.

Finally all this research came together as I was hiking with one of South America’s best known indigenous healers. We were high in the Andes, had hiked to nearly 14,000 feet and then dropped down to the headwaters of the Amazon. As he was talking about a seemingly totally unrelated subject, the years of study, questioning and thinking suddenly came together.

I realized there are seven specific steps we as investors and businessmen can take to raise our spirits for better investing. These steps can bring us everlasting wealth.

In my upcoming courses I humbly try to blend the hard facts of business and investing with some of the world’s greatest wisdom so we can learn how to avoid the fate of most investors who are doomed by never-ending fluctuations of fear and greed, two false masters rising from the same source. These illusions are the result of low spirits and always bring failure.

This course explains the internal dilemma most investors face and the kind of spirit we need to overwhelm the negative aspects which bombard us everyday and can rob us of our wealth.

The courses shows us how to invest wisely but also examines why materialistic goals are doomed to fail as the engine that drives us to success. All material things, like alcohol, drugs and tobacco lose their potency with use. The laws of diminishing returns work against us when we go just for the money. As the rewards diminish, so too does our spirits. The seven specific steps in this course can help us raise our investing spirits and can lead us to everlasting wealth.

Whatever you do, whether you are a small investor or have huge institutional investments to manage, whether an employee, business leader or professional looking to direct your clientele more accurately, the ideas in this course can help you.

Good spirits are one of the most important ingredients for financial success. These spirits reside within you and are connected to every market in the world. Yet have you ever had a financial advisor ask about your spirit? This is because western society has focused so tightly on material wealth we have lost our view of the spirit which is behind every action and thing. This is a huge loss since these spirits really are what drive the world. They drive the world, the world’s economy and the world’s money. Thus I am especially delighted to share my experience of these spirits at the course. They can help you can get in touch with your spirits and help you became a truly inspired investor. All wealth is within.

In case you cannot join us I share the notes I’ll use to cover this part of each of my two upcoming courses. Of course Teddy Christiansen of Jyske Bank Denmark and Steve Rosberg of Highoak Finance (both international bankers will help us with how to use the nuts and bolts of the Borrow Low Deposit High tactic.

Enjoy the notes and until next message, good global investing!


7 Steps to Everlasting Wealth

Inspired investors break free of the illusions about money, profit and wealth that our material society has caused to blind most of the world.

There is a natural, easy, stressless way to make and easily use money. Inspired investors learn to use their total mind-body to gain greater understanding of the forces which drive the world. With this knowledge, investors can easily and naturally build wealth in rational, profitable ways that eliminate the fear, greed and stress from investing.

Most western investors use only their minds. They try to collect as much economic data as they can and make investments based on the information. There is too much information! There is too much information now that comes too fast. Few minds are quick enough to succeed. None can know it all. Like riding a bicycle, the process has to come naturally and automatically. Everything becomes jerky and filled with stress if each action has to be thought about.

Let’s look at seven fundamental laws of investing and the steps to take.

The Seven Fundamental Laws

Knowing these laws gives us the seven steps we can take to unlock our mind-body connection. Doing so calls on a vast pool of inner intelligence that leads easily and stresslessly to better investments and more comfort with our wealth.

#1: All Investments are Controlled by just a Few Natural Laws.

Step to take: Look for fundamental economic laws which serve society rather than just for hot investments.

	"The ideals which have lighted my way to face life cheerfully have been 	Kindness, Beauty and Truth. The trite subjects of human effort-outward 	possessions, outward success, luxury have always seem to me contemptible."  

	Albert Einstein

Learning about a hot investment is like buying fish. Learning a law which affects society for the better is like learning how to fish. Most investors always look for tips or hot stocks they can buy. Few ever look beneath what they are told. Sometimes investing this way succeeds. More often it fails. Such success is always filled with stress. This is just another form of gambling.

Investors should look for universal laws and fundamentals that are important to the well being of all people. Such laws once understood lead to endless good investments.

We learn to discriminate. We learn to identify the natural laws which get to the root of all human and economic behavior and recognize their difference from statistics. We review the dangers of economic myths which were based on such strong past fundamentals they are considered truth by the public, but are no longer supported by real fundamentals. We consider chance versus change, supply versus demand, action versus reaction, debt versus savings and production versus consumption.

#2: All Natural Laws of Economics are Dynamic.

Step to take: Look beneath the balance sheet.

“What have you in your houses, And what is it you guard behind fastened doors? Have you peace, the quiet urge that reveals your power? Have you remembrance, the glimmering arches that span the summits of your mind? Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned of wood and stone to the holy mountain?

“Tell me are these things in your houses? Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house as a guest, and then becomes the host and then a master?

	"Ay and it becomes a tamer and with hook and scourge makes puppets of	your larger desires. Though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron.	It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your bed and jeer at the dignity of	the flesh. Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul	and then walks grinning in the funeral."	Kahil Gibran

In Western society, we are fooled by triple illusions of material wealth. These illusions are net worth, balance sheets and money. These are measures that never show true wealth and can change quickly.

Such undependable measures of wealth lead to never-ending restlessness. They are like looking at a picture of a picture of a picture and treating this picture as if it were real.

We look at how all investments are ideas and how dynamic nature is so too must our portfolios be.

#3: All Wealth is Within.

Step to take: Listen to your inner intelligence.

Your inner intelligence unlocks the other half of true wealth. The great investors of all times have used intellect and intuition. Most investors just try to think their way to success.

	"The course of human history is determined not by what happens in the	skies but by what takes place in our hearts."	Sir Arthur Keith

In this chapter we examine the connection between our inner intelligence and the universal investment laws of nature. We look at how to connect the mind-body to these laws through the seven arts of life and investing.

#4: All Economic Laws are Ruled by Cause and Effect.

Step to take: Learn to give.

	"It is truly one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no	man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."  

	Ralph Waldo Emerson

Giving unlocks the dynamic forces which create a natural wealth consciousness and eliminates poverty thought. Giving opens the heart which is the first step to aligning the seven information processing centers of wealth contained within our bodies.

We examine the nature of circulation and how money fits into this role. We look at the six centers (seven including the mind) and how our body processes information. We then learn how giving taps these centers.

#5: The World’s Economy has Infinite Abundance.

Step to take: See the infinite possibilities.

	"Water is everywhere around you but you see only barriers that keep you	from the water."	Rumi, 14th century poet

One of the biggest mistakes investors make is rushing because they think they will miss a good deal. Another is when investors try to cash in on every opportunity. Both these errors come from a poverty consciousness.

We examine why there are always new opportunities every day and how and why an investor should be discriminating and patient. We review a multi-step investment elimination process which includes listening to intuition, recognizing our unique capabilities and needs, doing what feels right and then standing back from the decision and listening to our feelings of love.

#6: All Economic Laws are Simply Energy and Desire.

Step to take: Give attention to intention.

“Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” Swami Sivanada

Most investors never clarify why they want to be rich. They invest for money like Pavlovian dogs. Investors who have a clear intention dramatically improve their chances for profit.

We review the importance of intention and focus on the way to use intention correctly to produce results. We look at setting high short term goals but remain detached, putting attention on the here and now, creating a universal passion for goals to be accomplished in the most evolutionary way and why we should leave the final details to unseen forces. We learn the financial importance of having a purpose beyond our goals.

#7: The Only Certainty is Change.

Step to take: Embrace change.

	"Do everything with a mind that lets go."	Achaan Chah

Investors continually try to stop the change. We must easily embrace change instead. We lose our stress when we relax into the ever changing cycles of life.

All things in the universe are ruled by the same cycles-expansion, extension and contraction. Yet investors tend to invest in companies whose balance sheets look best when? At the end of a period of extension.

We look at how economics is the analysis of motion. Investing is the process of financing society’s motion. Fear causes most investors to try to stop motion instead of financing it. We examine how and why successful investors look for ideas caused by change to turn into money.

We need to change our perception about the inevitable rise and fall of nature. When change causes an increase in our balance sheets, our typical Western reaction is to view this increase as good. We also typically view a reduction in our balance sheet as bad. This continual shift in view is disturbing and unnecessary. The reality is that change does not cause us to lose anything except the figments of imagination our minds had accepted.

We view how the rise and fall of wealth in mathematical terms are just signals of change, nothing more and nothing less. Such cycles are signals of opportunity.


Inspired Investing is being bold. It’s breaking loose from the materialistic social view that has created so much crime, corruption, greed, fear and stress. We are more than our minds. We should use our full potential in the process of making and using wealth. Wealth, like electricity, is nothing unless it is used and in circulation. Once we realize and understand the natural laws of economics and take the steps to unleash the power of these laws, we easily make and achieve everlasting wealth.

	"A knowledge of the path cannot be substituted for putting one foot in	front of the other."  

	M. C. Richards
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