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Aligning Your Money With Your Values

Wealth Management in real Life

Wealth management is about real life, helping you address head-on the issues that can have major implications for your future. In this feature, we answer questions from our readers about their most pressing wealth management decisions.

I ALREADY DONATE TO CERTAIN CAUSES THAT ARE MEANINGFUL TO ME, BUT I'D LIKE TO DO MORE. HOW CAN I PUT MY MONEY TO WORK TO REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

When we talk about wealth management, we're essentially talking about alignment – making sure the financial decisions you make every day, in all areas of your life, are bringing you closer to the future you want to see for yourself and those closest to you. By incorporating your values into these broader wealth management plans, you can align your wealth with your priorities and uncover opportunities to support the causes you're passionate about.

These opportunities can be categorized into four distinct strategies:

FINANCIAL PLANNING is at the heart of aligning your values with your wealth management plans and activities. By carefully thinking through what's personally important to you, you can establish concrete, achievable goals that reflect your and your family's principles as well as your financial circumstances.

CHARITABLE GIVING STRATEGIES let you give to the causes you care about thoughtfully while minimizing their financial impact on your tax returns. Donor-advised funds, private foundations and charitable trusts let you effectively transfer wealth to your preferred charities, but even without those tools, you can take advantage of such strategies as bunching deductions to give as tax-efficiently as possible.

LIFESTYLE ACTIVITIES such as fundraising, volunteering or part-time work let you offer direct, hands-on support for a cause you believe in. Be sure to include them in conversations about your lifestyle in retirement, as they can have significant social and even potential financial benefits as well.

INVESTING lets you put your wealth to work in a socially responsible way without going outside your comfort zone. Whether you're looking simply to exclude companies and industries whose products you object to or you want to actively focus your investments around certain social themes, investments are a great way to put your money where your values are. Better still, studies have shown that this kind of investing strategy has the potential to boost returns over the long term.

You have myriad options to incorporate your values into your financial goals – the question is which of them work best for your circumstances. A conversation with your Baird Financial Advisor is a great place to start.


Do you have a question for our wealth management experts? Ask us at digest@rwbaird.com, and your question might appear in out next issue.

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