Ep. 02: Joel Solomon's Clean Money Revolution

Joel Solomon worries about where his money spends the night. And he thinks we should, too. He’s on a mission to heighten the awareness of our money’s impact on the world as we anticipate $50 trillion + will change hands through inheritance over the next 30 years.

Joel just released his first book, The Clean Money Revolution, and I had the pleasure of spending a few hours talking with this wonderfully engaging, self-proclaimed “money rabbi” at Renewal Funds headquarters in Vancouver, BC.

Joel believes financial abundance comes with built-in responsibilities to steward money mindfully, but don’t get me wrong – Joel is fan of capitalism, specifically mission venture capital, investments focused on business impacts as well as returns. He cares deeply about the planet. He believes that if we detox now--paying attention to the looming social, environmental and human consequences facing generations to come, we can harness the power of money to regenerate and sustain our existence.

Here are a few key takeaways from my financial detox session with Joel:

We need to change our mindset from “How much can I get?” to “How much is enough?” The dominant world religion is capitalism and the accumulation of a big pile of money defines success. Joel is asking, essentially, how about becoming a millionaire or billionaire of good deeds instead?

How we use and invest our money reflects who we are. Our investments can impact the world in both beneficial and damaging ways. They tell a story about our values and beliefs. We can begin to think of our investments as a journey of conscious choice, with the end-goal of having “cleaner money”.

An examined life should be compulsory for those with meaningful wealth. We aren’t taught much about self-exploration and listening for our “calling,” that greater purpose that defines our lives, and this can get wealth creators and beneficiaries stuck. With great wealth comes the responsibility to engage in a type of soul searching, to find purpose and meaning, and determine how we can make our best contribution. Otherwise our money serves an unknown and undefined master.

Wall Street and financial advisors have an important role to play. No longer are maximum returns the only criteria for a successful outcome when it comes to guiding investments. As a fiduciary, an advisor is in a sense an accomplice to what investors are doing with their money and can play a critical role in raising awareness and providing values-aligned solutions.

Clean money is about love. Investing thoughtfully reflects a deep connection and care for one’s self, one’s community, and the world. 
The golden rule applies: do unto others what you want done unto you. Know where your money spends the night and you’ll sleep like a baby knowing your investments are working toward making the world a better place.

To hear Joel’s perspective on how we can begin to transform capitalism, how impact investing is the tremendous opportunity young investors are seeking now, and how much money is enough, listen to our full conversation.

Joel’s book is The Clean Money Revolution.