5 min read

A Gift of Impact

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The email header with the "For What It's Worth" logo, graphic that includes a hand holding a representation of a blooming flower that has money blooming at the top, and the tagline "Insights to invest in the world you want" underneath it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s been a weird year, that’s for sure. But when you step back, there is much to be thankful for, and in this Thanksgiving issue, we have a gratitude attitude. So here is our very FWIW list of things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  • Good on you, GenZ and Millennials: you are earning more, saving more, and investing more than any young generation before, and we are grateful that you want to use your investment capital to make a better world. Yay!
  • Data is our friend here at FWIW, and we celebrate that there is more data than ever before demonstrating that an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) focus is not only good for the world but also good for business and good for investor returns. Thank you, data!
  • We celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs helping to shape a brighter future with an innovative focus on climate, sustainability, and inclusion. They are building the next great companies of tomorrow. From fintech to edtech to green tech and more, we salute you!
  • Who says investing can’t be fun AND rewarding? We love the number of easy on-ramps and platforms now available to help new investors get started on an investing journey.
  • We give a nod to all those big companies and their leaders who made progress in their ESG journey this year. Yes, we all want perfection— but we are still celebrating your progress.
  • We raise a glass to everyone fighting every day to overcome the barriers thrown in their way. We know that this can be frustrating, and we are thankful for your persistence and for everything you bring to the table in the startups you found, the companies you work at, the communities you anchor, and in the way you invest and use your capital.
  • Purpose-driven companies were among some of the most celebrated IPOs this year, including Warby Parker, Sweetgreen, Rivian to name just a few. Grateful that the times, they are a-changin'.
  • How great is it that there are more investment opportunities than ever before for those who care about using their capital to make a better world? Here at FWIW, we’re thankful, and we’ll keep you up to date as even more opportunities emerge.

With our attitude of gratitude, we’re giving thanks to YOU, our loyal readers! Happy Thanksgiving! (and, if you are looking for something to help with your holiday hot chocolate regime, check out the referral offer at the bottom of this newsletter!)

Graphic of laptop with financial news website on screen.
  • Apple reportedly plans to sell an electric car with full self-driving capability by 2025. Can the company do for the auto industry what it did for smartphones in 2007? Wall Street thinks so. Meanwhile, all new homes in Britain will have EV chargers starting next year.
  • The last two years have seen company ESG-related commitments on issues from equity to the environment. Most CEOs know investors and consumers are questioning the impact that companies have on society, and, as JUST Capital’s recent poll showed, the verdict is out for now as only 49% of Americans believe companies have a positive impact on society. We will be watching to see if some of the actions behind ESG commitments begin to restore faith.
  • The ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal are in short supply this year — not just because of trade disruptions, but also climate change and extreme weather.
  • Bridgespan Social Impact has published a list of 160 racial-equity funds.

Shopping for good this holiday season

Graphic of shopping cart with boxes in it.

It’s that time of the year again. We love the food, the family (well, most of them), and of course, the shopping. The retail industry expects a record-breaking holiday season with 2 million more shoppers this year from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday than last year.

What they’ll likely find as they go dashing through the stores are bigger price tags and smaller discounts than they’re used to – supply chains are still snarled, and inventory levels are low. Since there are fewer deals, consumers are going to make more of their decisions based on other factors. Analysts at Mastercard predict they’ll be looking for three things: product innovation, availability, and sustainability.

This prediction was most recently reflected in a new survey by GlobalData (paid for by online resale platform thredUP). Half of all shoppers are reportedly considering “thrifting” or buying secondhand because of the bigger deals, benefits for the planet, and unique finds. According to another study, 68% of US shoppers said that buying from sustainable brands is more important this holiday season than it was last holiday season.

And the evidence of this shift is widespread. Just look at the Google searches for “sustainable brands” over time or the kind of startups going public in the 2021 IPO market. Deloitte began asking about sustainability in its much-read annual holiday survey in 2020; in both years, more than 60% of US shoppers revealed they are willing to pay a premium for goods certified sustainable or “socially compliant.” With shoppers focused on buying with good and green in mind, it’s a great time to be an investor who believes that profit and positive impact go together.

Where do stocks travel for Thanksgiving?

Graphic of Thanksgiving food.

Thanksgiving is one of 10 holidays that the US stock market closes for every year — but historically, shares tend to do well during Thanksgiving week. You can call it holiday spirit or credit the shopping bonanza expected on Black Friday. However, keep in mind that there’s never a guarantee of it playing out this way every time.

“The last five trading days of November are traditionally positive, since 1950,” investment research firm CFRA recently told CNBC. “There’s a two-thirds likelihood the market is up on the day before Thanksgiving and a 57% likelihood the day after Thanksgiving, and a 71% likelihood that it’s up on Monday.” This chart from the Stock Trader’s Almanac shows how over the last 21 years, November, on average, starts strong for major stock indexes, goes sideways and lower in the middle, and surges higher during the last seven days.

Interestingly, from November 1 through last Friday, retail stocks in the S&P 500 were up 8.25% and consumer discretionary (translation: nonessential goods) stocks were up 10.9%, compared to 3.64% for the whole index.

However, this is far from an average year and, from remaining supply chain stress and inflation concerns, and the possibility of an uptick in COVID-19 cases, there is a lot that is making investors antsy as they eye the last 5 weeks of the year.

The average cost of a classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 with a 16-pound turkey is 14% higher this year. Alternatively, a serving of soybean tofurkey, with the same amount of calories and twice as much protein, is less than half the cost.