By Steven Leuthold
For more than four decades, my business has been investing, first as a stock broker, then a researcher and for the last 30 years as a portfolio manager. There are traders and speculators, but the majority of individuals invest for the future, to provide a better life for their children and grandchildren and for themselves.
“A better life” may mean a comfortable retirement with no financial worries. To some, it means being able to financially afford to travel. It may mean the advantages of a higher education. Or a better life can mean the freedom to pursue an occupation or calling that is enjoyable and satisfying even though compensation is relatively modest.
But a better life for everyone means clean water and unpolluted air. To many, it means open spaces and the wonder of undeveloped forests. To me, it means the preservation of wild rivers, wildlife and wildflowers. By supporting The Nature Conservancy, American Rivers, Friends of the Sonoran Desert and Earth Justice, to name a few, I am investing for the future. It’s not just investing in stocks, bonds and real estate that can provide a better life for my children and grandchildren and a more satisfying retirement for myself.
Thirty years ago a gray-haired client hired us to manage his retirement funds with this advice, “The first thing is not to lose.” We have incorporated this in our firm’s operating principles and investment philosophy. The first priority is preservation, protecting what you have. Second is long-term growth. In thinking about this, it seems to me these same principles and priorities apply to The Nature Conservancy.
The first thing is not to lose, but instead to conserve and protect what we have, riparian areas in Arizona, the rain forest in Costa Rica, Casco Bay in Maine, the remaining coral reefs off Florida and the prairies and forests in Minnesota. The second priority is growth, acquiring and protecting additional environmentally sensitive and important areas.
The Nature Conservancy is, in its own way, an investment firm dedicated to providing a better life for all of us, our children and grandchildren. By gift or grant, consider an investment in nature and the environment, an investment for the future, an investment for a better life.