TEAM MODERNIST on Using Your Tax Cut Windfall to Support Your Values

Hi friends,

This month we are sharing ideas for putting your tax cut windfall to good use, thoughts on the behavioral skills that help you keep more of what you make, and insights on last quarter’s market returns. We hope you enjoy!

Georgia and Team Modernist

Portfolio Perspectives

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Imagine that you inherit $1,000,000 and you need to figure out how to invest it. What would you consider first?

First off, investments don’t live in a vacuum; they exist within complex legal structures and delivery systems that can’t be ignored. Then there is the emotional fortitude required for successful investing, which many people don’t have given the persistent gap between returns posted by indices and returns realized by actual investors. Good news: there are ways to mitigate, and even take advantage of these truths!

This month we shared the second installment in our 3-part series “It’s Not About What You Make; It’s About What You Keep. Part 2: Behavioral Support" focused on all the ways your financial advisor can help coach you towards your goals.

If you missed the essay, you can read it here. And look out for our upcoming essay on the last lever that can increase take-home returns: portfolio upkeep!

Investment Insights

Strong corporate profits, a healthy global economy, and the absence of major geopolitical issues in the third quarter resulted in stock market gains in developed economies.

U.S. stocks advanced 7.7%, and non-U.S. developed market stocks advanced 1.3%. Emerging market stocks declined -1.1% as stocks in China and Turkey struggled during the quarter.

Click the video above for more detail from our Investment Committee!

Modernist philanthropy

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With the end of the year just around the corner, it’s time to make sure you’ve completed your philanthropic giving for 2018.

Many of our clients and peers will be receiving a windfall this year - a reduced tax liability courtesy of the 2017 tax bill. We invite you to think about ways to use this “extra” money to invest in the things you believe in, especially ones that are threatened by the current administration.

An admirable example of this is our fellow B Corp, Patagonia. They decided to give their $10,000,000 tax cut windfall to grassroots environmental activist groups. What program or service could use extra funding in this moment?

P.S. The Oregon Cultural Trust is a great way to double the impact of your cultural giving “for free.”

Modernist learning to B the Change

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If you would like to think more deeply about giving and philanthropy, you may want to check out the recent work of writer Anand Giridharadas. His recent book, Winners Take All, explores the contradictions inherent in philanthropy when it’s practiced by people who have benefited greatly from existing social hierarchies and structures. For our learning lunch last month, we discussed Chris Hayes’ interview with Giridharadas on the

Why Is This Happening podcast. It provides an overview of the main themes of the book, including making the switch from generosity to justice, unpacking the idea of “doing well by doing good,” our obsession with market-based solutions, and more.

It is certain to be food for thought for those of us engaged in charitable giving. Give it a listen and let us know what you think!

Songs that are really about financial justice

Mavis Staples - History, Now

The famous Mavis Staples grapples with some similar issues in her beautiful song History Now:

What do we do / With this history now / Do we go in like a surgeon / Do we go in like a bomb?

Give it a listen by clicking above!