Impact investing begins at home, according to Oakland, Calif.-based Kristin Hull, CEO and financial change agent at Nia Global Solutions.

As an activist and socially conscious investor, Hull helps wealth management professionals serve the demand for impact investing among their clients. She regards herself as a money doula, a woman who is there to support and educate clients through their investment journey.

As a socially conscious investor, Hull has been involved in grassroots efforts to help her community as director of Nia Community Investments and as the co-founder of co-working space Impact Hub Oakland. 

She was 14 years old when her dad launched a trading company in the family garage. In 2007, after her dad sold the family business, she forged her own career in finance and investments influencing her family foundation's portfolio. She was inspired to align the Hull Family Foundation investments with her sustainable community values. Tossing out the typical bank stocks, her goal for the portfolio became to be 100 percent impact invested

“When I began doing my own portfolio with community investments, it was a beautiful portfolio that was financial yet left public equity behind. I wanted to see the public impact, and people were intrigued. When I went back into the public market, I was impressed but cautious. I realized that my own work had to have more impact and I had to restructure. I spent two years working with an impact firm that I found and realized that advisors were not doing that. To be a pioneer in ESG, I began building from the bottom up and then worked backwards.”

The firm she founded in 2013, Nia Impact Capital is an RIA that offers unique public equities strategies to wealth advisors, financial planners, family offices, private and family foundations and endowments in the U.S.

The Nia Global Solutions Equity Portfolio, her flagship portfolio, delivers a competitive rate of return while creating positive impact for investors. The portfolio, focused on social justice and environmentally sustainable investments, holds 45 to 50 companies. In 2017, the portfolio “delivered a 37.59 percent return, outperforming the S&P 500 by 15.77 percent,” Hull said.

There is a gender focus weaved throughout the portfolio package as well, she said. She wants to empower women to be invested.

“Investment in every fund that aligns with your values can bring change,” she said. “We, as a society, can change the course of the public markets.”

Crowdfunding is creating opportunities for investments in things like gender-diverse start-up companies, she said.

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