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Vote with your wallet, not just your ballot

Impact climate change with your dollars

There are many ways to vote. By Michael Silicz

mind will be climate change. But rather than sending a message to our federal politicians by voting and hoping for the best, another way for those serious about impact- ing climate change should also consider investing their money in companies that act in a socially responsible manner. As the dog days of summer continue, Manitobans are


continually reminded of how climate change is impacting us in our own backyard. From funnel clouds around the province to tornadoes just outside of Winnipeg, we don’t have to look too far away to see how the world is changing before our eyes. Just over 75 per cent of all Canadians believe that cli-

mate change is happening right now, and over two thirds of Canadians believe that the federal government has done a poor job of combatting climate change. Public and professional consensus is that, whether the result of human activity or not, climate change is happening and is putting the planet and future generations at risk. So, how can the average person wishing to make a dif- ference actually do so? And for the Millennials out there:

or the next few months, we will be hearing a lot about the upcoming Canadian federal election. Many is- sues will be raised, but an issue on many people’s

how can you impact the world in a way to make a positive difference advocating for a more sustainable tomorrow? Is politics the answer? Traditional wisdom suggests

“vote for the change” you wish to see. But can change re- ally be effected at this level? Many young people would argue no, as voter turnout remains low. All national Cana- dian federal parties will articulate a vision of the future, but climate change is only one issue out of many. So, what can the average person do? Tere is another answer, and it’s one that’s easier to

implement than most people think. Tere is a new, small and bold movement occurring in

the world of finance. It’s called Responsible Investing, and it is quickly becoming the most accessible way for average people (Winnipeggers included) to make an impact, both socially and financially. Responsible Investing is the integration of environmen-

tal, social and governance factors (ESG) into the selection and management of investments. Tere is growing evi- dence that this form of investing reduces risk and leads to superior long-term financial returns. Whereas traditional investing in stocks, bonds and funds focuses solely on financial returns, Responsible Investing is actively looking for both strong financial and social returns. Responsible Investing has been around for a few years under a variety of names (socially responsible investing,

impact investing ethical investing). Te movement is so- lidifying as people, institutions and pension funds search for socially responsible investment options. It is becoming the market’s response to political inaction on ESG issues, including climate change. Ultimately, Responsible Invest- ing lets conscious investors align their investments with their values. When it comes to climate change and making the world

a better place, consider also voting with your wallet, and not just your ballot, by investing in socially responsible options. Michael Silicz, B.A.(Hons.), M.A., LL.B., M.P.Adm., is

an Investment Advisor with National Bank Financial, and specializes in providing Millennials, families and entrepre- neurs financial peace of mind. Prior to joining National Bank Financial, Michael was a Lawyer and Policy Analyst with the Government of Manitoba.

This information transmitted is intended to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader who accepts full responsibility for its use, and is not to be considered a definitive analysis of the law and factual situation of any particular individual or entity. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a professional accounting, tax, legal or other professional advisor. This commentary reflects my opinions alone, and may not reflect the views of National Bank Financial Group.

Make your dreams come true- invest in your own growth


ook around you and take stock- where are you now and where do you want to go? Albert Ein-

stein’s most pointed quote: “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew” rings true in every aspect of our lives. Answer this question for yourself- where were you 5 or 10 years ago with regard to education, relationships, meeting your goals? If the answer is that you are still in the same place then doesn’t something need to change to move you forward? Tis is the conversation I

if saving more to get out of debt is needed it would be easy for me to advise to spend less. For anyone’s current situ- ation finding some savings is always possible. However if saving more to reach a long held dream or goal is desired then more than penny pinch- ing might be needed. This would be the time to make more money. Not an easy feat but doable for those you put in the time and energy. So if changing your con-

Financial Literacy

have with my students and clients when we talk about their goals and dreams and how it relates to their financial situation. For example

September 2015 Janice Desautels

sciousness is the way to see things differently, how do you do that? It’s a simple answer but not an easy task- take action, learn to grow. If it’s a better job you desire, look be- yond your co-workers to those

in the position or field you desire. Do the research to find out what is required then

take the necessary steps to get there. If the position you desire is with your current employer make yourself stand out. Take steps to be the person they’re looking for before the position becomes available. Become the successful candidate well in advance of pursuing the position. If you’re search needs to go beyond your

current employment research someone whom you admire and even reach out to them. Social media is a great way to make those initial contacts. Successful people are attracted to others who want to be successful and are truly very willing to share their experiences and mentor oth- ers. Learn from them about how they see the world, how do they communicate and who did they learn from? Te key is not to duplicate them but to take away some golden nugget that you can then inter- nalize. Move on to the next person, and so on and so on. We don’t move through our lives like an island unto itself. We are

a culmination of our experiences and the people we allow into our lives. Information abounds about reinvent-

ing yourself or becoming the person you want to be. It’s all saying the same thing. Te next time you find yourself in a situ- ation where, with your current perspec- tive, you can’t achieve your dreams, then you know you have to change your ways. Take action right away to move yourself forward and you’ll be surprised at not only the different people and experiences you’ll attract but also the confidence you’ll build in yourself for even greater achievements. Janice Desautels has been working with

families and individuals for the last seven years helping educate in the field of finan- cial literacy. She is a Certified Financial Educator with over 15 years’ experience in teaching and training adults. For questions or advice, please contact jdesautels11lm- lc@

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