What if there is more to investing than performance?

Apr 22, 2019Intentional Ownership

When I turn on the TV or open a magazine on investing, all they want to talk about is performance. I’m not downplaying the importance of performance, but is that all there is? Is investing just a game of manipulating people and profits to make money? Is it possible I’m missing greater personal fulfillment and profit by following that single-minded focus?

If it were possible to make money while creating a positive impact on the world, why wouldn’t I pursue that?

I believe there are typically three elements of corporate excellence that can help in the pursuit of fulfillment and profit.

The first element is looking at how a company treats its employees internally. Does the company have a focus on taking care of its people? Do they view their people as an asset?

When you do a deeper dive into companies, you can tell how they value their employees through the ways they provide education, growth, and internal benefits.

The second element is how innovative are a company’s products? Is the company creating products that can make a difference and make the world a better place? Or are they simply making products for the sake of making a profit?

There are drug companies working on cures for diseases that have haunted us for years. There are companies developing technologies that can improve the lives of people with disabilities. But not every product has to change the world. One could also ask the question, is their product good for people?

Does the company strive to deliver their product to its customers with excellence? Does the company put their customer first? If you look closely, there will be evidence in their corporate attitude, in the way that they deliver their product and the support that they provide customers on an ongoing basis.

The third element is looking at how involved the company is within its own community. Does the company look for opportunities to make a difference in the town or city where their offices are located? Does it have a broader view of improving the world globally and relieving poverty? Or, does the company only spend its time focused on its bottom line?

Companies that seek to embody excellence are often looking for ways to give back whether it be financially or through corporate volunteering.

When you can identify companies that are chasing after these three things, you have found corporations that, over time, have a higher likelihood of providing good performance. This is not a guarantee but is understandable at its core.  When a company is doing the right things, it will naturally be successful. Companies that choose to manipulate their employees, their products, or the community will have a harder time achieving the same long-term outcomes.

Over time, wouldn’t it feel better to lay your head down at night knowing when you invest, you’re not just making a difference for yourself; you are also having a positive impact on the world around you?

If you really could make a difference for both yourself and the world at the same time, wouldn’t that make investing more interesting and enjoyable? It has to be more meaningful than monitoring the performance they talk about on TV every day; or the noise of the media screaming to us about things happening in the government and economy that we have no control over.

At Paradiem, our goal is to use resources and research to seek out these companies that are trying to achieve excellence. We believe this is what really matters. If you’d like to have a conversation about how we do this, give us a call at (985) 727-0770 or email [email protected].