|What are SRI & ESG?|
About Us / What We Do
Since its founding in 1994 Newground Social Investment has been a leader in
the social investment movement.
Since 1986, Newground's Founder and Chief Executive has focused exclusively on SRI and ESG investing.
Newground manages money for organizations and individuals of means who seek positive change without sacrifice to financial performance. We link values with dollars in ways that create beneficial social, financial, and environmental outcomes.
Newground serves as a legal fiduciary — with a duty to always put a client's needs first and foremost. This stands in direct contrast to most brokers, banks, insurance companies and others who do not have this legal responsibility.
Newground clients do not worry whether their best interests are being served, both because we are fiduciaries and because we are fee-only. This eliminates commission-based conflicts-of-interest.
All client assets are held by independent, 3rd-party, trustees or custodians, in the client's name and never under Newground's direct control. This solves the 'Bernie Madoff problem' — because clients gave their money directly to Mr. Madoff, he was able to steal it. Independent custodians would have made his crimes impossible.
Newground offers 'Conservative Portfolios for Liberal People.'
This is critical because the unfortunate reality is that performance is not under anyone's control. This is worth emphasizing — no one has a crystal ball or is able to predict or control performance.
As evidence of this, the high-fliers that appear on the cover of Smart Money magazine (for instance) never show up there multiple years in a row. In fact, it might even be said that the highest performers become so because they have placed bets with their clients’ money — bets that circumstances conspired to pay off in that particular year.
So if performance is not predictable, what is? While no one can control performance, we do have the ability to influence the volatility, or risk, of a portfolio.
The reason this is important is because mathematically it's easier to go down than it is to go up.
For example: if you buy something at 100 and (god forbid!) it falls to 50, then it has declined 50 points, or 50%. However, if you now hold that same investment at 50, hoping-against-hope that it will trace its way back up to 100, it must go up by 50 points — the same 50 points as it went down — but in percentage terms it must recover by 100%. So what went down by 50% must recover by 100%.This is simple mathematics, and it means that the deck is stacked against us.
Knowing this, what can be done to advantage ourselves?
Since (a) no one can control performance, (b) the deck is mathematically stacked against us, and (c) the only thing we have a hope of controlling is volatility or risk, the most logical and prudent approach to achieving financial goals is to get there while taking as little risk as possible.
Market fluctuations inevitably come-and-go; but if — when downturns do come — your portfolio does not sink as deeply into those economic troughs, then your value is set to recover far more rapidly. This, while the more aggressive investor is still scrambling for a foothold down at the bottom of the trough.
In short, by being appropriately conservative, the tortoise can win the race!
A Foundational Layer of Diversification
Newground's unique brand of conservative portfolio construction results in a more thoroughly diversified portfolio than other approaches. As a result, the path to achieving financial goals is not only more consistent, stable, and predictable — it is not left to the mercy of less sophisticated or more haphazard 'stock-picking' methodologies.
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We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about portfolio management.
* ESG = Environmental, Social, and Governance factors
111 Queen Anne Ave N, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98109