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You Are More Than Your Financial Capital | Laura Oldanie | Ep 248

Laura Oldanie

What You’ll Get Out Of Today’s Show

  • What does it look like when you are invested in building wealth, environmentalism, sustainability, and racism? How do you combine raising your net worth while optimizing these other areas of your life? You build a holistic approach to the different types of capital.
  • Laura learned about the different forms of capital through her experiences with permaculture, which is a design science that looks to nature as an example of a closed-loop, no waste system.
  • Her introduction to permaculture through her gardening interest in sustainability. The permaculture flower has seven petals, with each petal representing concepts like Land in Nature, Stewardship, and The Built Environment. In addition, 12 guiding principles can be applied to each petal, such as Catch and Store Energy. She became intrigued after learning permaculture could be applied to more than just the landscape.
  • Not pleased with the investing options available through her employer’s retirement account investment options, Laura turned to the permaculture space around money, investing, and finances.
  • Financial permaculture got off the ground around 2010-2013 where permaculture principles were applied to finances.
  • While much of the thinking done early on has been at the macro level, Laura has been working to bring it down the personal finance level.
  • Socially responsible investing is something that Laura does at the local level. She looks for investment opportunities in her local community, like purchasing a share in a local permaculture farm. But she recognizes local investments are few and far between, so she casts a wider net for meaningful investments outside of the stock market, like with the American Homeowner Preservation Fund which buys distressed mortgages and works to keep people in their homes.
  • While it may sound like a charitable contribution, Laura is investing in these opportunities through her retirement account. Though she recognizes these investments may be riskier, she believes there are far greater risks to the environment with many other investments.
  • Anyone considering investing in this way should do their due diligence and understand the risk before investing in a non-diversified portfolio.
  • Laura tries to mitigate this risk using multiple forms of capital as a safety net.
  • In addition to financial capital, there are material capital, intellectual capital, experiential capital, social capital, living capital, cultural capital, and spiritual capital. Other forms of capital sometimes discussed are time, health, and attention.
  • Within social capital, Laura discussed communities helping each other through mutual aid societies and time banks and how they have been springing up since the pandemic began.
  • Understanding these various forms of capital has shaped how Laura thinks about retirement planning. Financial capital is how we access the other forms of capital and they are where our quality of life comes from. Laura has been thinking about how to build and develop her other forms of capital so that she will require less financial capital.
  • Long-term care is extremely expensive as is the insurance to cover it. Building social capital is one way to defer those long-term care costs but may not be a substitute for everyone.
  • Thinking about some of these issues as a system versus a singular item brings more joy and focuses on quality of life instead of a number on a spreadsheet.
  • Jonathan acknowledged that when describing his investor policy statement, he was looking at his options through the various forms of capital he has not solely his net worth and that changes his investing approach.
  • Laura believes it’s not necessary to have balance across all forms of capital. It may be more effective to specialize in several and looks to our networks, friends, family, and community to find who is rich in the areas where we are deficient.
  • Though asset mapping, some communities may be poor in financial capital, yet wealthy in other forms which, when tapped, can be converted into financial capital.
  • These forms of capital are not limited to homeowners. They are still accessible to those living a nomadic life, who are renting or not thinking about retirement yet. Community gardens, volunteering, and online communities are several ways to build capital.

Resources Mentioned In Today’s Conversation

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