Creating and sticking to an investment strategy that considers our personal values and the welfare of the planet and its people might seem like a relatively new concept, but it has been around for quite some time. In fact, centuries ago, the Quaker religion not only forbade its members from enslaving people but also from investing in companies that profited from slavery.

Undoubtedly, it’s also a concept that has evolved over time — and it continues to do so. As a society, we seem to be growing more and more disparate where our values are concerned, and what might seem to be socially responsible behavior to one investor could be overly permissive — or restrictive — to another.

After all, the core idea of investing is to generate profits — a return on our cash outlay. So, is it really possible to get a competitive return for our portfolios while still holding the companies that it contains responsible for their impact on the global community?

In short, yes. Our guest on this episode of A Place of Possibility™ will explain how to achieve this balance as an investor. Richard and Angela will speak with Sam Adams, CEO and Co-Founder of Vert Asset Management. Sam not only has substantial experience in the world of sustainable investing, but he also has quite an aptitude for simplifying this often-misunderstood topic.

We’ll be talking about:

  • What sustainable investing really is
  • The nuances of each sustainable investing methodology — Environmental, Social, and Governance investing (ESG), Socially Responsible investing (SRI), and Impact investing
  • How the information that ESG fund managers must take into consideration differs from their more conventional counterparts
  • The most common mistakes that investors make when trying to build a sustainable portfolio and why some of this confusion centers not on hard data but rather their personal values

And more!

Many of us tend to think that “doing good” for our planet and its inhabitants while “doing well” in our investing pursuits is difficult, if not impossible. But, as Sam will show you, with honest consideration of your own principles and some diligent research, these two values can peacefully — and profitably — coexist.

P.S. Looking to meet with Richard or Angela at our office in Alamo, CA? Want to discuss more of what you heard in this episode? Wondering where the heck you need to get started or what all of this means for your retirement plans? Schedule a free 30-minute session and find the peace of mind you deserve for the rest of your life. You can also reach us by calling 925.736.6410 or sending an email to

“For a long time — probably as far back as we can remember — companies managed for profits, but they were also looking after their people and were good stewards of the planet. Then, around the ’70s or ’80s, we became narrowly focused on profits. We said, ‘We want to eke out as many earnings every quarter as we possibly can.”

We’re proud to present you with our “Know Your Possibilities Guide,” a tool and free resource for you to take notes, review, keep on hand, or even share with your friends and family. So grab your copy, click the play button and follow along. You’re just minutes away from discovering your next Place of Possibility.

A Glance at this Episode:

0:00 Introduction

1:26 Before we get started, we wanted to update you on the debt ceiling and our advice on how to weather the storm.

2:37 We’ve been around this corner before, but you might now realize how many times we’ve actually raised the debt ceiling.

3:51 Congress could easily do away with the debt ceiling altogether, but it won’t because they are using us for their own politics.

4:00 The national debt currently stands at $31 trillion. That seems like a lot until you look at it from a historical perspective.

8:06 The short-term volatility that economic issues like the debt ceiling conflict cause are inevitable. Here’s what we recommend.

8:34 Our guest for this episode, Sam Adams, has deep roots in sustainable investing. Here are some details on his background.

10:05 Many of us don’t have a clear understanding of what sustainable investing is, in short, it’s when someone says, “I want my money to do good.”

10:41 Socially Responsible investing, or SRI, is the original form of sustainable investing that takes your deeply religious or ethical values and puts them to work in your portfolio.

11:46 Impact investing can affect social change more rapidly than other forms of sustainable investing. Here’s why.

12:18 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing has a lot in common with its conventional counterpart, but they are weighing additional information on how companies are doing better for people and the planet.

14:00 A major cause of confusion that can lead well-intentioned investors to not know what their portfolio contains is simply not understanding each type of strategy.

15:04 Sustainable investing has become somewhat of a “political football,” with some who argue ESG could be woke or progressive.

15:56 The Triple Bottom Line is a core principle of sustainable investing – where we’re looking for profits but also after people and the planet.

17:42 Environmentalists over the years have led many people to believe it be a constraint. Listen in as Sam shares why.

18:04 Here’s a great example of how sustainability can lead to profitability.

20:14 Next, Sam talks about how ESG investing can produce returns comparable to a conventional approach.

21:47 Companies looking toward the future tend to be more sustainable, even if they’re in a traditionally non-sustainable sector.

23:41 More stringently minded investors focusing on sustainability might have to do a little more digging to build their portfolio.

25:30 Investing with a concern for climate change should be a priority for conventional and ESG investors alike because you want to ensure your portfolio is prepared.

26:58 If you’re on the fence about whether or not climate change will affect your life, consider these scenarios – like where you’re going to retire.

28:25 ESG investing is gaining momentum. Over 50% of the world’s central banks use ESG in the management of their portfolio, but that’s not all.

30:15 Sustainable investing won’t save the planet overnight, but it has a powerful effect because investors send a signal and support for change.

31:18 As an ESG investor, you’re joining a cohort of investors who are “changing the ask” of companies.

31:51 Thinking of getting started with sustainable investing? Here’s what Sam recommends.

33:38 Sam runs a global sustainable real estate fund. Here’s how his fund differs from its conventional counterparts – they invest in the most sustainable real estate companies.


Get in touch with Sam Adams:

Sam Adams
CEO & Co-Founder
Vert Asset Management


Rate, Review, and Follow Us!

“I LOVE Richard, Angela, and A Place of Possibility Podcast!” Sounds like you? Then we hope you will consider rating and reviewing the show. Your support will help us expand possibilities and opportunities to more individuals and families out there like you who want to keep, grow, and enjoy their wealth. So follow this link, scroll down, and then click to select five stars and write a review. This show is all about YOU so tell us what you love and want to hear more of!

Haven’t subscribed to the podcast yet? What are you waiting for? Your financial wellness depends on it! Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but we don’t want you to miss a minute of our insights or all of the freebies coming your way. Subscribe Now!


Links/Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

“One-size-fits-all” won’t fit you here! The Del Monte Group team understands that everyone’s financial goals are unique. That’s why we always provide customized advice. No matter where you are in life, you can depend on our proven expertise to provide financial planning support for long-term success. Ready to get started? Schedule a meeting with Richard or Angela in our Alamo, CA based office today or we can meet via Zoom! >> You can select a date and time that works for you via our calendar, call us at 925.736.6410, or send an email to We can’t wait to help you!

Related posts

050: Your Guide to an Out-of-State Retirement Relocation

The New York Times reported that people leaving California outnumbered newcomers by more than 700,000 people between April 2020 and July 2022. A further breakdown shows that over 407,000 people left between July 2021 and 2022, plus an additional...

Read More