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Client Spotlight: Marco Vangelisti

Marco Vangelisti is a founding member of Slow Money and the founder of Essential Knowledge for Transition, where he works to empower his clients to learn essential portfolio management skills and to align their financial resources with their values. He is dedicated to democratizing financial literacy and sustainable investing. Marco has been an RSF investor since 2004.

My 20-year career in finance helped me realize the importance for everyone to understand the role their investments play in shaping our world. As a 100% impact investor, I share my experience with direct Slow Money investing to help communities increase their capacity for local investing through talks, workshops, and webinars.

I left the finance industry in 2009 after realizing the extent to which most financial returns are extractive and diminish the health of ecosystems and communities around the world. I do not want to grow my resources at the expense of other people or the environment, or by damaging communities anywhere.

After liquidating my investments in the opaque global financial system, I embarked in the task of rebuilding my portfolio so that first and foremost, it would do no harm, and wherever possible, would help create the world I wanted to live in by having a positive impact. This involved knowing the entities that would make use of my savings and establishing a direct relationship with the projects, the fund managers, and the entrepreneurs in which I invest.

I encourage investors to appreciate the non-financial benefits of their investments and to move beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance, which is focused solely on risk, return, and liquidity.

One of the first investments I made after divesting from the extractive global economy was in RSF’s Social Investment Fund. I liked its commitment to using money as a tool for good I appreciate the transparency that allowed me to know all the projects and entrepreneurs the Social Investment Fund supported.

I encourage investors to appreciate the non-financial benefits of their investments and to move beyond the narrow lens of conventional finance, which is focused solely on risk, return, and liquidity. This can be challenging because, truthfully, it is the inconvenient thing to do. This is partially due to the opaque landscape of our financial system, but our role is to show up in the world through our words, deeds, livelihood, and investments, which requires personal responsibility.

A similar analogy is a difference between fast food and slow food: in the short-term, it’s easier to choose the hastily prepared meal, but when you consider the long-term, adverse health effects, you can recognize that it does have a high cost in many ways. Taking responsibility for our investments can be inconvenient, but it’s going to be good for our long -term survival and health as a species. The many challenges we face, both environmentally and socially, will not be solved if we do not engage our full portfolios in building a better world. RSF’s offering is an accessible way to embark on this necessary task.

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