Protecting Your Portfolio from Future Pandemics in a Simple and Ethical Way

by Amber Miller, CFP®, CSRIC™

Zoom calls have taken over my professional and personal life.

One topic that keeps coming up with my clients, family and friends is the uncomfortable, yet probable, scenario that this isn’t the last pandemic we’ll experience in our lifetimes. And the question of how we can protect ourselves is on our minds and in our hearts. 

Thankfully, my focus is money and finance and answering that question comes down to one simple thing: consider changing your portfolio to have a sustainability focus.  

Sustainable investing has been a trendy topic in recent years (and decades) and can mean anything from spending your dollars at the local small business instead of big box stores to investing in companies that are working to lower carbon emissions. Sustainable investors typically choose to voice their values with the investments they hold. Companies focused on sustainable practices are focused on long-term gains for both their own bottom line and the planet. They are making choices intended to withstand the next pandemic.

At The Planning Center, we have options for sustainable investing strategies. The first one focuses almost exclusively on lowering greenhouse gas emissions, land use and biodiversity, toxic spills and water management. It also works to eliminate companies from portfolios that participate in factory farming, tobacco production and child labor. 

The second portfolio option is similar to the first, but more closely follows the investment guidelines from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. This excludes companies that generate revenue from abortion, adult entertainment, alcohol, tobacco, weapons, Sudan and for-profit Health Care to name a few.  

Like it or not, we are all connected in this world-wide crisis and our daily and future decisions can have a positive or negative ripple effect. The global pandemic also gives us an opportunity to rebuild our economies and our world as we’d like to see it and that can provide a possibility to protect us from future pandemics.

If sustainable investing strategies pique your interest, we can explore integrating them into your own portfolio. Please ask your TPC planner or call us to get started. 


Amber Miller, CFP®, CSRIC™, is a Sr. Financial Planner in the Twin Cities office of The Planning Center, a fee-only financial planning and wealth management firm. Email her at amber@theplanningcenter.com.

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