Al Gore is a founding partner, with David Blood, in an investment firm that focuses on environmentally progressive enterprises. They toyed with the name of the firm, ala Blood & Gore but demurred. Anyhoo, officially and preferably known as Generation Investment Management, the two founders explain their approach here.
What really struck me about their management style:
- they must have used the words long term about 50 times in the article–I love that. Most companies are only looking at the quarter, under pressure from the market, and I truly think this is doing us all a great disservice. Just look what short term quarterly report shenanigans have gotten us into–Enron, Worldcom, etc.
- short term investing gives up the value of building a strong biz foundation.
- they research specifically how a company is responding to our current and growing limited ecological systems; they’re focused on long term issues like building an infrastructure that will significantly reduce carbon budget and reduce waste (less waste=more $).
- Did I mention long term?
They also smartly distinguish between “socially conscious investment” which can and does often include companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart because these, and other companies, have learned how to beat the “check-list” approach to hiring, benefit packages, etc. I find I have to look very closely at the portfolios of lots of “socially conscious” investment funds to make sure I’m not investing in a company I literally want nothing to do with.
Al Gore has also released his new book, Assault on Reason (see my “pile ‘o’ books by the bed, right nav); his timing is impeccable–he can leave the door open for a fervent recruitment to run for prez again and he doesn’t sound like sour grapes. If he’d written a book like this two years after the election he won/lost, he would have had no credibility. A real testament–whether you like the guy or not–to waiting for the right moment to act.
Daily Stats: Sunday
Car: 6.5 miles (2 people, 3 tasks)
Foot: here and there