Is it possible to achieve financial independence (FI) while pursuing a triple bottom line, which values people, planet, and profit? I sure think so, but it’s not as straight forward as setting up monthly automatic deposits into low-cost broad based stock market index funds or investing in rental properties and later living off the 4% withdrawl rule, which seems to be the mainstream approach to FI currently. I certainly understand the appeal of these simpler approaches and am delighted that these options have made financial independence accessible to so many people.
But what if you aren’t comfortable with the idea of earning money from the stocks of companies which follow business practices or sell products that aren’t in line with your values and you don’t want to be a landlord? For me it is important to support a regenerative vs. an extractive economy. That means I want my money to “serve humanity while simultaneously stewarding the integrity of earth’s ecosystems” in the words of the Capital Institute.
So, if I don’t invest in index funds or rental properties, what can I do in pursuit of regenerative capitalism to build wealth? I’ve scoured the internet for FI websites tackling this issue only finding a smattering of random articles or podcast episodes addressing a few alternative investment options and some environmentally-firendly ideas. So I overcame my Luddite tendencies and desire to spend as much time as possible outdoors to create this blog in hopes of crowdsourcing answers to this very question and house the information in one central location.
I also hope to spark deeper conversations about how to best pursue what I am calling the 3P (people, planet, profit) lifestyle. Some of the topics that will be covered in this vein include:
*the ROI of green living
*regenerative (vs. extractive) investing and income generation
*recognizing the abundance around us (hint: much of what is in the waste stream really isn’t trash, but capitalism makes it more economically viable for businesses and people to throw things away than to re-direct them to people and business that could use them)
*self-directed IRAs and alternative investment options
*the importance of supporting your local economy
*social capital – building community
Applying this 3P lifestyle lens to one’s financial activities and decisions can require significant thought and effort. It’s a less common and less well-documented and potentially slower (and more fulfilling) path to FI. Some readers may be eager to jump in and pursue many of the ideas and suggestions shared in blog posts to come. Others may want to pick and choose what makes sense for them given their current life circumstances. No matter at what level you engage in the 3P lifestyle I’m delighted you’ve stopped by and hope you’ll join the conversation.
For now, please tell me:
Are you interested in pursuing 3P FI? How big of a priority is it for you to invest and earn money in ways that equally value people, planet, and profit? How are you already investing or earning money in ways that emphasize the triple bottom line? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.