Monday, July 15

The World of Investing Will Never Be the Same

Investing for the Next 100 Years - 

COVID-19 has been a trying yet revealing time for many people around the world. It has shown the fragility in our current system, and how we have become comfortable with some not-so-sustainable consumer practices that have put a heavy strain on small businesses. With this strain has come an awakening of sorts that our global community hasn’t seen in over a hundred years. This awakening has caused a surge of attention and support for small businesses, with more attention going towards the idea of an impact economy and investing our money where there is the most value - rather than where there is the most convenience and profitability.  Environmentally conscious investing, sustainable capital markets practices, and impact theory are gaining steam and are slowly becoming the new status quo for customers, corporations, and investors.  

Why It Matters Where You Spend Your Money - 

When you buy groceries, technology, services, or products of any kind, this money should be thought of as an investment in the overall impact of the good or service. While this may seem a little overboard, it actually goes a long way to determine how sustainable and disaster-proof an economy can be.  Some of the most potent examples of these types of businesses include those who are concerned with sustainable development goals and the real, tangible value and impact they will have on their customers as well as the planet. Many of these companies can be found right in your backyard, with these types of goals being very present in many local small businesses. These businesses, dealing on a smaller scale, must put their resources where the intent is in order to maintain the small-yet-loyal support system they have all worked so tirelessly to create. 

Back to the Basics of Community - 

Smaller businesses have had to dial services back and ensure safety and value over cost-effectiveness in many cases. This complete shift has cost many businesses their livelihood and forced innovation. Consumers have begun noticing this, though, and the new trends are showing that support for businesses who have survived this shift is increasing. These businesses are providing valuable services in a safe and sustainable manner, even if it costs them more in the long run. This has shown consumers that extra effort towards sustainability and value does not come easy and merits reward and support.  COVID has created an urgency in local communities that hinges on a give and take support system that thrives on trust and transparency. Even larger companies such as Amazon are showing their support for this initiative by demonstrating to the world that they have these UN-guided steps in mind in the way that they operate as well as how they provide their services to the world. Desperate times have shown us that creating a better, safer world can go a long way in determining value. 

The Power of Conscious Consumer Spending - 

Since the COVID crisis has taught the world how much power they have with where they spend their money, there has been a renewed focus on supporting small businesses and considering the mission and impact of the companies where consumers regularly spend and invest their money. According to Harvard Business Journal, the trends are showing us that people are much more concerned about the impact of companies on society over the immediate convenience many big corporations are striving to provide.  The cracks in the armor stem from the fact that many big corporations are not putting their resources where their intent is. This trend is fading away, and COVID-19 has caused consumers to proclaim that they are no longer swayed by low low prices and convenience anymore.  Consumers are realizing the power in their hard-earned money, and that they can actually show their support for a wide array of companies. Investors and consumers alike are participating in this trend, with ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) practices becoming the new status quo.  To build an impact economy, we need to ensure that everyone understands that every action has consequences and produces impact - good or bad. The decision is up to us. In the absence of impact theory, we are creating the illusion that most commercial activities might have no impact and that impact is irrelevant when it comes to an individual’s choice of where to work, what to consume, and how to invest. COVID-19 has taught us that every dollar counts and that during hard and uncertain times it won’t be corporations there to bail you out, it will be your fellow citizens. 

The Future Revolves Around Transparency - 

With this increased demand for companies to disclose their mission and overall impact on society, there will need to be trusted sources of information that justify investments and consumer spending on new products entering the market. This shows high potential for blockchain technology to help provide protected proofs of a companies information, as well as a trusted source of information that investors should have access to. 
Businesses moving forward will be more successful with increased transparency. 
Will we see blockchain-powered investment applications that weigh the impact on society using artificial intelligence or machine learning? Are sustainable companies the future of our economy? The only way we will know for sure is if we loosen the grip that only a handful of major companies have on the world and narrow the wealth gap they have created. Impact theory is gaining steam due to the profound effect that COVID has had on small businesses and the everyday lives of people across the world, and it will only continue to grow if we keep in mind the importance of conscious consumer spending. 

FINTECHTV Editorial Team

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