At Humane Investing, LLC, we believe you can make money while making a positive difference for people, animals, and the planet, and we work exclusively with this mission in mind.
While we have made great progress since 2009 when we first began this journey, we are more determined than ever to raise the bar for mutual funds that are purportedly "sustainable" and "ethical" and encourage the portfolio managers of these funds to consider animal rights and animal welfare in their investment process.
Financial organizations much larger than us are beginning to take notice of this growing movement. We do not pretend to have all the answers and if you come to us with purist notions of what it means to be a “humane investor” you may be disappointed. Alas, we are working to change this, so please bear with us as we change the world together and drive that bar higher each and every day.
Brenda has presented the concept of humane investing to animal activists around the county including to groups such as the Vegetarian Society of Richmond, the Sierra Club, the Femme Savantes, the alumni for the College of William and Mary, Caryn Hartglass's radio show, Responsible Eating and Living, graduates of Victoria Moran's Main Street Vegan Academy, Katrina Fox’s Vegan Business Media podcast, the DC Green Festival, the NH VegFest, PETA, Northrop Grumman's Green Volunteer Group, Portland's Veg Festival, the NYC Green Festival, the Veg Society of DC, and the Animal Rights Conference in LA.
If you choose not to eat animal products or are trying to limit your meat consumption for ethical reasons, you owe it to yourself and to the animals to take a look at the holdings in your investment portfolio.
Cargill, one of the largest meat processors in the world, recently announced that it would sell off its feedlots and use the proceeds to invest in plant-based protein. I have to believe that Green Century, one of the fund families that my firm uses in many of our clients’ portfolios, is at least partially responsible for this milestone.
I’ve spent the last several years speaking at vegetarian festivals across the country, encouraging animal advocates to put pressure on their financial advisers to examine their holdings from an ethical perspective. I had the honor of speaking at the first symposium on plant-based investing at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in New York.
Like generations of people before them, animal activists and advocates want to see their values reflected in their investments. Investors have avoided investments in alcohol, tobacco, and weapons makers for religious and ethical reasons for hundreds of years.
While Brenda has over 20 years in the financial industry, she did not initially intend on working in finance as her only passion after graduation was a vague notion of wanting to “help people”. She changed her major five times over the course of four years, ending up with a double major in English and Psychology from the College of William and Mary.
She found her passion working with clients at a bank where she was able to assist with investments, loans, and deposit accounts. After spending over a decade in the financial industry and repeatedly being told that she was too much of an idealist to ever fit properly in the corporate world, Brenda founded her own fee-only practice. Assisting those who are also inspired to change the world is incredibly fulfilling and Brenda never loses sight of the incredible responsibility and trust that her clients have given her.
Brenda, an ethical vegan since the early '90s, has been a coordinator with the Richmond VegFest since 2003 and credits this event for bringing her out of her shell(which some people undoubtedly wish she would climb back into!) She is an active member of the Vegetarian Society of Richmond for well over a decade and is a State Council member for the Humane Society of the United States. While she thrives on educating people on the virtues of investing for a more compassionate and humane world for all, she hopes this “specialization” isn’t needed much longer as more and more companies work towards making the world a better place for all beings.
The saying that perfect is the enemy of good holds especially true with humane investing. Do not shy away from investing with your values for fear of not having every issue addressed just exactly the way you would have hoped. This mindset causes many people to do nothing, resulting in their portfolio potentially suffering(“suffering” to the extent that their funds are either invested in completely offensive holdings or worse, not invested at all). Contact us today.
Glen Allen, Virginia, United States
Our clients live all over the country, so most of our connections are made over email, phone, or Skype.
Brenda A. Morris is an Investment Advisor Representative of First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC ., a wholly owned subsidiary of FOLIOfn, Inc.
First Affirmative is a Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587). Humane Investing, LLC. is not a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC.
First Affirmative is a Certified B Corp.