It’s been a tough year so far — a global pandemic, the shutdown of the U.S. economy, the closing of international borders — and it’s sometimes easy to forget that a world still exists outside the confines of our living rooms and laptop screens. It’s easier still to lose sight of the fact that there are many, in fact more, people and groups in our communities that still need help.
Bright stars can shine through the darkness. Five financial professionals kept that broader perspective and found the time and energy to overcome these obstacles, and myriad distractions, to devote themselves to the causes that are dearest to their hearts.
The Sept. 28 issue of InvestmentNews featured the 15 finalists and winners of the 14th Annual Invest in Others Awards, recounting the many ways that these individuals have made a difference outside the office in 2020.
Of the five categories, the honoree singled out for contributions to Global Impact stands out in a year when many people haven’t been out of the house, let alone out of the country. Michael J. Martin, managing director of ELM Wealth Management Group at Raymond James, has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 10 years to aid orphans in Haiti. Martin says that his goal is for these children to “thrive on Haitian soil” and to become “the next generation of leaders in Haiti.”
Winston Churchill once said that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
It represents persistence and a commitment to investing in one’s own beliefs. Martin and the other honorees don’t just throw money at a problem; they roll up their sleeves and get involved. Another thing they share is that most started their philanthropic activities long before the recognition; it’s been an integral part of their lives for years.
Philanthropy delivers multiple benefits. Of course, there’s the personal satisfaction of a passion project, but it also allows you to connect with people uniquely. Advisers who get clients interested and aware of the charities that they are passionate about have a special way to develop a deeper relationship with clients, and it creates opportunities to explore clients’ own philanthropic goals and help those clients serve groups in need.
HEIGHTENED AWARENESS OF GLOBAL ISSUES
And with the growing interest in environmental, social and governance investing, heightened awareness of global issues and causes has found its way into the everyday practice of financial planning services. InvestmentNews has heeded the call and expanded its scope as well, with an eye toward ESG and the world beyond our shores, launching sister site ESG Clarity in both the U.S. and Europe.
The takeaway is that investing in the futures not just of our family, friends, clients and countrymen helps to ensure a more prosperous and stable future for us all. Winston Churchill once said that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. We encourage all financial professionals to take those words to heart.
As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.