Impact Investing SHOULDN’T EVERY INVESTMENT BE PHILANTHROPIC?
by Steve Streetman
lose your eyes and imagine a typical real estate investor. Did you imagine some greasy-haired slum -
And isn’t our mission in life to improve what is around us? Why wouldn’t we always look for an opportunity to improve someone’s life whenever we invest? As Gene Guarino, the residential assisted living maven, says, “Do Good and Do Well.” It is actually harder to find a good investment that doesn’t positively impact society. Do you invest in sin - gle-family homes or multifamily? You have the opportu - nity to provide safe and comfortable living quarters for many people. Self-storage? You can provide an affordable place to store people’s treasures when their home is too small or they are between homes. You help businesses save money over storing items at their more expensive offices. If you have retail property, you are providing plac - es for people to obtain needed services and locations for
lord, a hard-nosed businessman, a soulless corporate number cruncher? I didn’t. Those might be caricatures that some—usually unfamiliar with investing—conjure up. But I know lots of real estate investors, and all the successful ones I know are kind, generous (almost to a fault), curious about the world, and committed to helping wherever they can. These investors I refer to think about their impact on the world whenever they take on a project. But what does it really mean to do philanthropic investing? It’s not just providing charity. I would define philanthropic invest - ing (also called impact investing) as investing that has a positive impact on people, a community, or the world.
58 | think realty magazine :: january 2021
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