A dynamic movement is under way that is fundamentally changing the way we invest and conduct our financial advisory businesses. We are amid a transformational time that includes regulatory pressures, technological advances, aging distribution and clients, commoditization, big data, new forms of currency, and educated consumers who are becoming more conscious of their investing options. This adds up to a market that is demanding that financial advisors bring more value to their clients.

Advisors who are more conscious about the impact of their work and consider how their decisions affect themselves, their clients, and the world around them will thrive throughout this tran­sition and achieve conscious alpha.

If financial advisors integrate this concept of “conscious alpha” into their advisory practices, they will be better positioned to potentially increase investment returns, improve client retention, and bring more passion and purpose to their practices and personal lives.

CONSCIOUS ALPHA

Conscious alpha refers to the increase or alpha that is gained from operating in a conscious way, beyond the benchmark of how a similar group of people are operat­ing. Financial advisors can achieve positive conscious alpha by operating their practices with a more conscious method compared to other financial advi­sors. The two areas of focus within your practice where you can achieve con­scious positive alpha are:

1. How you interact with your clients and the experience you provide for them
2. How you invest your client’s money

CONSCIOUS INVESTING

In this article, I focus on how to increase positive conscious alpha in your advi­ sory practice by concentrating on the way you invest your client’s money— what I call “conscious investing.”

Since you are still reading this article, chances are that you are one of the many who are waking up and begin­ ning to consider how your decisions a ect not just you and your clients, but also the world around you. You may be buying more organic food, shopping at green businesses, and supporting a range of worthy causes. You may be paying more attention to the money you spend, but do you know what the rest of it is up to?

The idea of conscious investing might make you think of oddball mutual funds, troubled solar companies, or sac­rificing returns. If so, it’s time to catch up on the recent research. Times are changing and so are your clients.

Only when you’re truly and fully conscious of your money—how you earn, spend, and invest it, and how it’s con­nected to the rest of the world—can you align it with the beliefs and priorities that guide the rest of your and your clients’ lives.

Conscious investing includes both inclusionary and exclusionary forms of investing. In other words, conscious investing considers factors other than traditional quantitative measurements designed for the singular purpose of increasing investment returns. Conscious investing is investing with a higher purpose beyond pro t and uses the identifiable qualities of conscious corporations during the stock and bond analysis to enhance returns.

BECOMING CONSCIOUS

Before we delve any further into con­scious investing, let’s step back for a minute and dig into the depth and pur­pose of this subject. Could some of the teachings from ancient wisdom and the shamans unravel some of the mystery of conscious alpha?

What does it mean to be “conscious”?…

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