8 min read

The Lowdown On High Rates

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Hi there,

Congrats, you (almost) made it through March! Hopefully, we’ll leave bank failures and freezing temps behind when the month closes tomorrow. 🤞 As we enter the second quarter, new reports point to the impact of climate change on both allergy season and proxy season (two phrases we never thought we would say in the same sentence).

What’s proxy season, and what does it have to do with climate change? We’re so glad you asked…

  • The basics: Most public companies hold their annual general meetings in the spring, where shareholders have the chance to vote on issues like board members, executive compensation, and various proposals put forth by other shareholders. Anyone who can’t be there in person can vote through a proxy ballot (and that includes you if you own stock in a public company).
  • How to vote: If you own stocks, be sure to check that stack of mail sitting on your kitchen counter for your proxy ballots, as well as your inbox, as many notices also come via email. Then check out the FWIW primer explaining how you can exercise this investor superpower.
  • The issues dominating the agenda this year: Shareholders have filed 542 resolutions on a wide range of issues, according to a new report. Nearly 25% of this year’s shareholder proposals are related to climate change. Shareholders also put forth many proposals related to other environmental issues, political influence, and human rights concerns. If you don’t have time to read the full report, S&P has a quick snapshot of the findings.

Meanwhile, the high-interest rate economy and banking crisis are prompting investors to think carefully about where to put their money. We’ve compiled 5 recommendations from experts to help you and your friends manage your savings and investing in the current environment below.

Asking for a friend….

We know there is a lot to think about these days, and it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. To help with those nagging questions and so you have useful resources at your fingertips, here are few links to resources and past stories relevant in these turbulent times:

News you can use

Graphic of news publication with headline of "News"
  • The European Union just passed new rules to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and vans by 2035. Regulators were poised to completely ban the sale of internal combustion engines (ICEs), but at the last minute, they made an exception for cars that use e-fuels, a synthetic alternative to gasoline. The exception is a win for luxury car makers like Porsche and Ferrari, which have not been keen to phase out ICEs.
  • With Q1 wrapping up, it’s time to take stock of stock performance. This handy chart makes it easy to see the biggest swings in the S&P 500. Overall, the index is up around 4% for the year, with tech stocks ⬆️ and bank and pharma stocks ⬇️.
  • Do you want to consider investing in green buildings? Barron’s has identified the 10 most sustainable US REITs for those expecting the real estate sector to rebound. The top five are AvalonBay Communities, Kilroy Realty, Boston Properties, Host Hotels & Resorts, and Ventas. Avalon’s lead was attributed to its “terrific” environmental efforts, like increasing use of solar energy and improving water efficiency and waste management, as well as its “robust” cybersecurity program.

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