By Peter Krull

Does it seem to that you’re always looking for “the answer?” We have a tendency to focus on finding the answer without spending enough time on making sure we’re asking the right question.

Ten years ago I was lucky enough to ask the right questions: Is there a way that I can help my clients invest differently? Can I help them invest with their social and environmental values?

Of course, conventional investment minds said no – the answer is that you invest traditionally and donate your excess profits to the cause of your choice. That answer wasn’t good enough, so I kept asking questions.

Is it possible to generate competitive returns with responsible investments? Can we empower clients to be changemakers through shareholder advocacy?

With a little research and some friendly guidance, the answers to those questions presented themselves quite clearly as YES. I’m proud of the fact that we’ve continued to ask relevant and insightful questions for the past ten years.

We ask clients about their values, their philanthropic interests, their families, hobbies and even their pets. We ask how we can provide even better service.

A couple of years ago, a client asked if we could create a basket of sustainable stocks for him to invest in because it wasn’t available. That’s how the Green Sage Sustainability Portfolio began.

What questions can you ask, both of yourself and of us? Is there a product or service that you are interested in? Are you happy with your level of service? Your performance?

I encourage you to be “askers,” both in your personal life and professional life. You never know what you might get.

For more information on asking, I’d recommend reading A More Beautiful Question by Warren Burger. Here’s the link on Amazon.

Peter Krull is President & Founder of Krull & Company, a leading socially and environmentally responsible investment management firm based in Asheville, NC.

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