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  • Writer's pictureJulie Skye

This 1st Week of December 2021 Thoughts

While technology…or should I say, traditional tech stocks like Zoom, DocuSign, and Tesla…dragged markets lower this week, there is a tech revolution that is full steam ahead. One that will be a cornerstone of your portfolio over the coming years.

I’ve been writing about the many ways that sustainability and impact investing looks forward towards the mega-trends that will take us into the next phase of clean, renewable energy and these sorts of quiet headlines don’t always get the attention they deserve. Today, let’s look at some of the mind-boggling solutions that 10 or 20 years from now, we’ll all be taking for granted, as new solutions for fighting climate change emerge.

· Wind energy provided more than 10% of total in-state electricity generation in 16 states. Most notably, wind power provided 57% of Iowa’s electricity needs and more than 30% of electricity in Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

· Inherit Carbon Solutions, a Norwegian-based company that focuses on developing bio-energy CCS value chains is working on organic waste facilities that can be turned into carbon removal factories.

· Kabanga, the largest development-ready nickel sulfide deposit in the world, is unmatched in scale and grade, with at least 30 years life of the mine…and further production increasing.

· Carbon Kapture, a grows seaweed with the aim of removing CO2 from our oceans and atmosphere.

· Climate Transformed is exploring how Auspice Capital Advisors is investing in commodities in such a way that they fit with sustainable-impact investors, like SAA clients!

· Are commodities an ideal hedge against inflation? Nth Cycle believes all the critical minerals needed for the energy transition are already in circulation today…it’s just a matter of recovering them from waste.

I start my day scanning and sorting the 125 emails that hit my inbox and I laughed out loud at this one. It explained why I never felt “at home” at my last firm: my job description had been changed (with no input from me) from portfolio manager to smooth-talking-salesperson! I am using this space to demonstrate what many investment firms have turned into: asset gathering machines. Can you imagine me doing this?

“December 2021 is looking better than December 2020: here’s a 3-step process for meeting new people. Before getting to Step 1, research them beforehand. Dress well. You see someone across the room you want to meet. What now? Step 1 has three choices of approach.

Step One: How To Meet Strangers -

1. Find a friend. You know someone who knows the person you want to meet. Walk up to them. Ask them to introduce you. They should agree.

2. The friend in common. That friend you need isn’t here, but no problem. Walk up to the stranger and say: “You don’t know me. I’m (your name). I think we have a friend in common…so you volunteer their name.

3. The compliment. I like starting with “you don’t know me…” and then congratulate them on posting record earnings for their company or thank them for sponsoring the concert. Admire their watch. (Don’t do all three!)

Step Two: Identify Common Interests - Your research might have uncovered shared interests. If they are on LinkedIn, their profile should tell a lot about them. If not, you probe a bit. You can tell when you’ve come across their passion. You want to volunteer information or “give to get” yet want them to lead the conversation.

As an FYI: “What do you do” and it’s good to be fascinated by what they do versus talking about yourself a lot. Then, disengage. You’ve heard the Hollywood expression: “Always leave them wanting more.”

Step Three: Reconnect - You’ve worked the room, meeting several people. Reconnect before the event is over. Walk up to the person. Thank them for taking time to chat. You enjoyed meeting them. You share several interests. List a few. This is important because it shows you were listening. Say: “I would like to keep in touch. How do I do that?” Stop talking. The ball is in their court. If they respond with contact information, offer yours in return. I like to use my business card, writing “fellow wine fans” or something relating to our shared interest on the back as a reminder. It serves two purposes: One side shows what you do, the other why you hit it off. Connecting with new people isn’t difficult if you know how to do it. 😲 Why does this matter to you? It is not often I have no response! The only thing missing is telling you to ask how much they have to invest!

As shown below, this “Buffet Indicator (corporate stocks as a % of GDP) goes back to 1952: never have stocks been as “richly valued” (aka over-valued) relative to the size of the overall economy.

😲Why does this matter to you? A serious correction in stocks would have a larger than normal impact on investor’s confidence and the health of the economy: spending slows when your portfolio suffers a steep decline! Euphoria is not an investing strategy…just as panic is not an investing strategy…nor is FOMO (fear of missing out) and rushing into a narrow sector of the market. There comes a time when you rely on reason and logic

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