Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law

Socially-Responsible Investing, Making a Post-Divorce Impact, Family Mission Statements and Climbing Your Second Mountain with Coley Cassidy, CFA | Episode 67

November 11, 2021 Ryan Kalamaya & Amy Goscha Season 1 Episode 67
Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law
Socially-Responsible Investing, Making a Post-Divorce Impact, Family Mission Statements and Climbing Your Second Mountain with Coley Cassidy, CFA | Episode 67
Show Notes Transcript

Ryan Kalamaya  and Coley Cassidy discuss socially responsible investing and how formulating a mission statement can help you invest in areas that make a difference for issues you care about.

What is Divorce at Altitude? 

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado. 

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at [email protected].

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DISCLAIMER: THE COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THIS PODCAST IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE OR AREA TO OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES. 

Ryan Kalamaya (4s):
I'm Ryan Kalamaya

Amy Goscha (6s):
And I'm Amy, Goscha

Ryan Kalamaya (8s):
Welcome to divorce at altitude, A podcast on Colorado family law.

Amy Goscha (13s):
Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me. I know, besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I'm also a divorce client.

Ryan Kalamaya (21s):
Whether you are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney listening for weekly tips and insight into topics related to divorce, parenting and separation in Colorado. Welcome back to another episode at Divorce at Altitude. This is Ryan Kalamaya. We are continuing our series a it's a mini series on financial advice and wealth management. In today's episode, we're going to talk about socially responsible investing and what that all means in this week. We're joined with a guest and Aspen, Colorado native. We'll get into that as well as financial advisor to talk about socially responsible investing Coley Cassidy.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 6s):
Before we really kind of get in to it Coley, what's going on?

Coley Cassidy (1m 10s):
Happy to see the snow flying here on October 26th and Aspen. And you know, it's a great time to be enjoying the beauty of our region here. And with the season shift always allows me to be grateful for the ability to live and work.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 25s):
Before we begin, let's talk about your kind of story you grew up in, in Aspen, right?

Coley Cassidy (1m 32s):
Yes. So I was 51 years old. I was born here in 1970 and my wife incidentally is also an Aspen native. I left home at about 15 to play competitive ice hockey in high school in college. And then I played professionally in Europe before moving to New York city for about 15 years. And my, what I get in New York was essentially institutional investment. So essentially working with sophisticated investment managers in 2008, when my wife and I had four daughters decided it was time to move back here to raise our kids in this beautiful place. But professionally, it allowed me to get transitioned from the institutional investment world to the family investment advisory world, which was a really, really interesting shift for me and something I wanted to do, because it really allowed me Ryan to not only work on the investment side with people, but really work more towards what was important to families, what was important to people and help them lead them down a path of discovery, then not only financial fulfillment through investments, but also truly understanding their values and aligning their lives along with their values.

Ryan Kalamaya (2m 32s):
Yeah. You and I have talked about kind of our travels respectively in Europe and playing collegiate sports. I think it really is something that is at least a foundation for my work in my wife and I are both Colorado natives. You guys are full Aspen natives, and we're kind of a rare breed around these parts, but great to get to know you. So let's dive in and talk about socially responsible investing before we really talk about substantively. I think it would be for our audience to kind of define what exactly is socially responsible investing. So can you talk to me about that word and what it composes so that people understand what we're talking about?

Coley Cassidy (3m 14s):
Sure. Yeah, no, it's a great question. Really important. Cause I really don't think it's well understood in today's world, even though that, you know, the socially responsible investing in an ESG, environmental, social, and governance, those acronyms are being thrown around a lot today, but essentially what it is Ryan is if I use ESG as examined environmental, social and governance, it's a framework for investing that essentially came about in the 1980s and 1990s and using the example of apartheid in South Africa, it was essentially a way for essentially institutions to use their capital for a common good. And that example of most of your viewers here, I think are going to be familiar with apartheid and it was essentially stakeholders in South Africa.

Coley Cassidy (3m 57s):
So there would be institutional investment managers, corporations that operated in South Africa, as an example, we're pushing for change because the apartheid regime was clearly not appropriate, not humane, not right in any sense of the imagination for today's world. And so what they did was they came together to create a much more robust process by which they could apply pressure to make change. And what happened there was, there was a massive divestiture campaign in South Africa essentially helped topple the apartheid government make the changes that were made at that time. But that's a great example of really when we look at environmental social governance, that would be a social approach to a social issue in South Africa.

Coley Cassidy (4m 39s):
And it'd be a governance issue because it's essentially applying pressure to force governance to make changes and using that governance position with their capital to make a change. So that hopefully sets the framework for them. What has been an evolution since that time across so many different things now globally. And if we look at it closer to home, I didn't talk about the environmental piece earlier, but the environmental piece is critical here because of climate change. And plus, you know, we're a beautiful, incredible, pristine natural environment here, but it's that environmental piece where not only preserving the beauty and pristine nature of native lands as an example, but obviously climate change, I'm interested within the increase in temperatures around the globe and the impact that's having.

Coley Cassidy (5m 19s):
So ESG now is really being applied in so many different areas around the world to really Oregon designated changes and the real key piece of it. It's using capital to make that change. It's using the voice of capital to force change because they are the capital is a stakeholder most in most organizations around the world.

Ryan Kalamaya (5m 39s):
And I think when we talk about these concepts in my mind for our audience, it relates to two different main areas in the first is that oftentimes we will have a client who does not understand what her husband and her own or what the parties own. And because there's traditionally one person is in charge of the money. And then when someone goes through a divorce, they have to then educate themselves on what all is out there. So if someone owns Sri or has this strategy, then at least they can understand it more based on this episode and your guidance.

Ryan Kalamaya (6m 27s):
But more importantly, it's after the divorce is finalized. When someone might have that change of, or really kind of prioritize their values and implement the money that they may receive in a divorce towards something that is different than what was the case in the marriage and that they can independently, you've heard our podcast. I mean, we have this hypothetical of Eric and Melanie Wolfe that if Eric decides that he's had this watershed moment in his life, a divorce that he might want to change his investment strategy. So with that mind how you mentioned impact, how does one determine their impact values or what the values that they're going to implement when devising some sort of strategy.

Coley Cassidy (7m 15s):
Yeah. Great questions. And thanks for setting that up. It's fascinating. I would say that the one key piece of the scenario laid out of Eric and Melanie Wolfe is critical and it happens every day in this industry all the time. So I'll take two parts to that. The first one would be a spouse who does not know what investments they have. That is just very common. I've been in this industry for 15 years on the private family side. And it's very, very common, the overwhelming majority of cases in which I work that one of the spouses doesn't necessarily need to be the husband or the wife, but one of the spouses is not familiar with what those investments are and, and what investments tend to be, which leads to my second point is they tend to be just traditional portfolios that are generally put together by a friend or a financial advisor or a firm in today's world.

Coley Cassidy (8m 1s):
Most of those investments do not have an ESG or Sri, socially responsible investing, you know, tilt, if they do, they've tended to be done by the advisor where they may put the client in a fund that is an ESG fund, but in no way in that entire process, I just laid out, does the individual's own values? Are they reflected in their portfolio? And this is really the holy grail Ryan. And the reason is because the evolution of the industry now is such that you can actually, you can customize along the values of your core values. So the way that we do it at my firm, which is TDM and advisors, is essentially we take our clients, whether we tend to prefer having both spouses, but an individual, it doesn't really matter w whomever we're working.

Coley Cassidy (8m 42s):
I made for my current clients, it's grandparents, parents, grandchildren, herring, asset, or named in trusts or whatever that may be. Essentially, we take them through an impact discovery process that is essentially a, you know, a detailed questionnaire about their thoughts, about, you know, you, what do they care most about? Do they care about the environment? Do they care about social causes? Do they care about gender issues? Do they care about women's issues? Do they care about animals? And do they care about the creative industry? You know, the artistic, the artistic world, et cetera. And through that process, that really has nothing to do with investments. It just more has to do with personal values, that people that have both here and here. So once we get that, we'll take the output from that discovery process. And we'll create a customized portfolio that is properly allocated across all asset classes to reflect exactly what those, what those values are.

Coley Cassidy (9m 30s):
And then at the end of every year, we will show them an impact measurement report, which will essentially say if the goal is essentially a low carbon portfolio B how much carbon has been sequestered or removed or relative to a relevant benchmark. And if we use gender issues as an example, it'll be like, how much of the investments in their portfolio have helped to add women to publicly traded company boards or helped to advance women only businesses or minority owned businesses as an example. So the key pieces that allows we're so used to in the industry is saying, okay, let's say the investments are up 10% great. That's the financial return, but what's not done in the mainstream today is okay. There's a 10% financial return, but what's the impact return? How much of an impact has that capital made? And obviously it depends on the family.

Coley Cassidy (10m 10s):
If it's a smaller family, great, they've made that impact. But the clients we're working with, which tend to be ultra high net worth families and their foundations, these are large pools of money. They can really move the needle to a large degree. And so, you know, hopefully that process it's very straight forward, but it really then aligns people to say at the end of every year, are my values being answered by my capital. And does this feel good? Or do I want to tweak or change? Or what have you? And I would say nine times out of 10 M Ryan that basically family members want to get more engaged. They want to lean in further, they want more involved in their family foundation or a donor advised fund or volunteering. And this is another key piece that I'm going to finish on it. I do a lot of this in my work is that people want to feel fulfilled, you know, personal happiness, family, happiness.

Coley Cassidy (10m 52s):
And if people are coming off of divorce, you know, that's a rebound time in their lives. So searching within this allows people to be their best selves in a really unique way that most people have never even thought of let alone hoard off. And it gives them a whole new avenue with which to sort of approach their lives and it's holistic. So it really encompasses all aspects, as we say, quantifiable, which is investment, but also qualifiable things in their lives, which are the softer issues and friendships and organizations, and just allow them to lead the life that they want to lead

Ryan Kalamaya (11m 20s):
To. That that really resonate with me more that when you're talking, I thought of one is that, that process of sitting down with a family and really asking them what they want in developing their strategy in terms of the impact is pretty similar to how we work as divorce lawyers. When we sit down, I mean, earlier today, I had a conversation with a client where we discussed, you know, do you want to be aggressive? Do you want, or are the kids a priority? Not that they're mutually exclusive, but how much do you want to push? And do you want to know every stone has been unturned or are you more cost-conscious and really laying out what a person once and examine, because oftentimes people, they haven't thought about that and directly confronted, which is a similar process for you in terms of how do we make an impact and it's going to be customized.

Ryan Kalamaya (12m 18s):
And so some person is going to really, the children are going to be the most important thing. And so they're going to want the divorce process to be really, that is the number one priority. And then, you know, on the other hand, someone might be very financially driven. And for you, you guys can like really look at the returns and we can, you know, as a divorce lawyer, I can really look at the monetary value, but it's harder to quantify what impact that has on the family dynamics that are really important to those people. It's just a matter of how important are they?

Coley Cassidy (12m 52s):
Yeah, that's so interesting. And we're in very similar roles. I mean, I liken it to skiing and back country or skiing, big mountains where, you know, being a, you know, a guide as a ski guide, it's just this guidance that you're providing. A lot of people haven't necessarily had that guidance in your world or in my world as well. And the guidance is so critical because really the idea is you can sort of help create outcomes, but it really depends on what they want. So the push is really to help them, like I said, leading them down that path of discovery, help them come to some of these conclusions based on again, their heart and their mind and thinking about their families. And that's what struck me about, you know, the world we're in today is there's not a lot of really good ways in which people receive guidance.

Coley Cassidy (13m 32s):
And that's what She has been. That's what we do. And I find it really compelling because I tend to have an idea of where I think they need to be based on what they've said, but they'll tend to say one key thing. That's a response to questions that, you know, what that's the most important thing. And based on that, here's where we're going to align on that. And so, and I think that process, you know, the same with you is it allows them to learn more about themselves and learn more about what's really important to them as well as what's important to.

Ryan Kalamaya (13m 56s):
Right. And I think the second point that when you were talking in this kind of leads into the segue of why it's so powerful to align values with investment capital, but the, for us, we use a lot of technology and within our firm, and we'll get a report. For example, there's a text expander program that we use where we send an email to the client that lays out we're set for trial. You're the deadlines it's really long. And we don't type that out. Every single time we have kind of a coding that says fill in the blank and we have different protocols for witness like witness tips or other things that commonly come up. But at the end of the month, we get a report back from the software company where we saved five hours of time.

Ryan Kalamaya (14m 42s):
And it really quantifies those savings, which is unique. And it re similar to what you have is that the end of the year, you can really measure how much of an impact people are making with their money, which I think is very unique given my, what I've observed with an investment advisors, with what you guys do in really quantifying that impact. Yes,

Coley Cassidy (15m 3s):
That's a great point. That's really interesting that you guys use that because technology can certainly play a role. I think that the key, the really interesting thing about the ESG world today, as you know, we spend a lot of time in the financial press and there's trillions of dollars invested along impact strategies today, but you really don't see very much of at all is how much of a positive impact is that capital have. It's really the most important thing, right? It may be invested. And the reason is there's not a lot of ways to quantify it. So when you talk about technology, you're affirmed, the technology that we're implementing is very, we do a tremendous amount of work to actually measure impact. It's not easy. It takes capital, it takes time. And if we created a proprietary process that does that, but I can also say that at the end of the year, when someone sees it for the example of someone who is environmentally driven, reducing the carbon than in a portfolio, relative to what the same benchmark would provide.

Coley Cassidy (15m 55s):
And in most of those instances, it's 75% reduction. People feel really good about that, if that's what their value is. And so you bring up a great point in terms of the need for innovation, the need to, to help our clients with what they want to achieve. That's a really critical piece. Thanks for bringing that up.

Ryan Kalamaya (16m 13s):
This episode is brought to you by our law firm. Kalamaya Gosha Amy and I describe our law firm as an innovative and ambitious trial team that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado. We currently have offices in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Edwards, Denver, and Boulder. If you want to find out more, visit our website, Kalamaya dot law. Now back to the show. Well, and you and I talked previously about the impact and the role of culture and communities and local communities. So for someone that is coming out of divorce, and they're really wanting that meaningfulness, and I agree with you.

Ryan Kalamaya (16m 55s):
I think that that is something that a lot of people are searching for in, in particular, in when they're going through a divorce, they really want to have some meaningfulness. And what could an example be of how they could invest their money to make an impact in local community, you know, with the arts or culture or something in that range, which could be seen as a socially responsible investment strategy.

Coley Cassidy (17m 21s):
Yeah, that's a great question. You know, I would start by saying that if we look at someone's balance sheet and let's just use their investible assets, right, you have stocks and bonds are publicly traded, you know, investments, and then you have, you know, private investments that can also have an impact strategy. And then you also have philanthropy, wealthy families tend to be philanthropic sometimes for tax reasons or generally tax reasons, but generally also values reasons. And then we have a fourth component of a balance sheet, and that would be it's called catalytic investments. And those bottom two pieces, catalytic investments and philanthropy play a really, really key role to answer your question, because when we do the discovery process and we create a custom, you know, allocation framework for a family, you know, the investment piece we've taken care of, all of that's pretty straightforward and we'll allocate them, but the philanthropy piece of one, you know, based on what their values are, they may already give the let's just use the Aspen art museum as an example.

Coley Cassidy (18m 10s):
They may be all the benefactor at the, at the Aspen art museum, or they may volunteer time at Anderson ranches and example in this piece of the, of the puzzle. So they clearly have that value in their heart that they believe in the organization. They believe in the missions, and there's a reason they want to spend that time. And by the way, that was the reason they want to spend the time, because it makes them feel good. You know, making themselves feel good is a really critical piece of the equation. But when we go to this catalytic piece, this is a really a brand new component of impact investing with catalytic refers to it. Is it a step above philanthropy where philanthropy is, you're just giving you're giving money, right? It's a gift, right? Catalytic is the ability to allocate capital towards let's just use the creative economy as an example.

Coley Cassidy (18m 50s):
So giving towards the creative economy of which the art museum and Anderson ranch are both part of the creative economy, but it allows them to allocate capital towards the creative economy. And then that capital that has a partially philanthropic component to it, but it also has a return component, so it can generate a positive return as well. And what that tends to be just using the creative economy example. Again, it was, it would be like a community development, finance institution, a CDFI, essentially what raises capital and then loans out that capital to different projects in the creative economy. So really popular examples of that would be, tend to be well, let's use this valley as well. Their CDFIs have allocated capital towards arts and cultural institutions up and down the roaring fork valley, right?

Coley Cassidy (19m 32s):
And so the client can earn it and return on that. It's not going to be a market based return in general, but it's going to be a return that also is tied in with, with the mission that that person has found to be important to them. And what we find is sort of finish the point. And your question is that process of both volunteering and philanthropy, and then this catalytic piece, as long as the global portfolio, that's allocated towards sort of a socially responsible investing piece that allows them to really get involved in more things that they probably did not have access to. And when they're involved in those organizations, they tend to meet people who are aligned. They tend to find people who help challenge them in terms of their values, their thoughts, and it tends to perpetuate into long-term visions of support.

Coley Cassidy (20m 12s):
And you see this in a community like this. A lot of people have gotten involved in these things for these exact reasons, but they may have just found different ways to achieve them, but hopefully it creates just what the entire picture of assets to be. But a large part of what I said it has nothing to do with the money. It really has to do with the time the devotion and essentially the purpose and values are that fit. You asked about the purpose that really helps people find a purpose and people in your world who are getting a divorce. I think the key there is it's just this rebound, you know, this is your world more so than mine, but I've worked with a lot of divorced, divorced people as well. And that piece and help him find that new world is really critical. So to marry both the capital and the values is a pretty special thing.

Ryan Kalamaya (20m 51s):
Yeah, no, a hundred percent. And it reminds me of David Brooks, you know, the New York times and Atlantic calmness, he's got a book that I really enjoyed the second mountain. And he kind of really gets into climbing that first mountain, whether it be professional or whatever it is. And then you kind of get to the top and you're like, is this, is this it? I don't really feel that fulfilled. And then it's climbing that second mountain. So it's the bill gates going out with the bill and Melinda gates foundation and these other examples. And so you can do it on a smaller scale, but your firm and you will help people. They're really looking to climb that second mountain to help them make a difference. And it could be through investing their time and also, but investing their money.

Coley Cassidy (21m 35s):
Yeah, absolutely. And David Brooks is great. He's great American philosopher, but I would say another is piece pieces that we look at tax law right now there's a lot of ongoing potential legislative changes to the current tax code, which I know you're well familiar. But as an example to that, we've helped clients create family foundations, which is an example of really a powerful way to embody all the things that you and I just discussed within their own foundation, which can involve the entire family in that process. Donor advise funds are another great way to do it, but you also end up coming back to, you mentioned it with kids and divorced couples, obviously Jean or generally have children as well. That alignment with their kids is really powerful. In my professional experience, I have experienced, you know, this is a new topic, but I think a very, very important one for families, a wealth that may want to transmit, you know, transfer wealth to younger generations.

Coley Cassidy (22m 24s):
That's again, that's a technical tax purpose, but the important, the important piece there is making sure that kids are responsibly educated to inherit wealth. And that has been used to look read through the textbook of just failures and with money and families. Most of those have to do with unprepared heirs in terms of receiving wealth, but another huge component of that unpreparedness has to do with it. Those kids have not gone through that same discovery process. Oh, and by the way, their impact values in today's world may be very different than mom or dad or grandma and grandpa, because these kids are really bright. They're very well plugged into obviously the world with, with social media and the internet, et cetera, but they also have really different value.

Coley Cassidy (23m 6s):
This sort of value systems. You know, it's a generational thing, millennials, gen Z, they're different, but it's really, really critical here to engage them as well. And I think the alignment of your world and my worldwide and two is I can promise you that one of your outcomes you'd like to have for your clients is happiness, right. Is fulfillment. And so back to the second mountain, it's not only money. I mean, you're tend to be focused on money, but I think it's really life fulfillment and having kids, grandkids, your family that is fulfilled. So these exercises, I mean, this is sort of the real key piece for my profession and what I do and how we do it is if you can wrap them all into the same piece, the process or the outcome is a financial outcome, but it's a family values outcome and help families understand that process of creating Family Mission Statements.

Coley Cassidy (23m 48s):
The process of having annual family meetings, the process of inviting all the family members to have a voice that everybody needs to listen to and respect a lot of families have. Don't have that. They're used to one person sort of addicting. So this really gets into almost the sociological or psychological components, but you don't need a PhD to be doing this because these are really team building exercises that are geared towards alignment and movement down a path. And I have found that the engagement of the younger generations is absolutely phenomenal and really, really interesting to gauge their, their values and their questions.

Ryan Kalamaya (24m 20s):
Yeah. I think you'd make a great point and really paint an optimistic picture. Some people, they come up to me and they're like, Ryan, I'll listen to your podcast, but man, it was so depressing. But for you Cola, you can paint a picture of if Eric and Melanie are going through divorce, Melanie decides this is really important to her. She wants to implement some sort of social responsible investment strategy. What I'm hearing you say is that you will see Melanie engaged for children and you've got high school and college age girls, I've got a five and a seven year old and I'm kind of going through teaching my kids what money is and what investments like here in Aspen, the protect our winners, the Powell stickers are on back of the bus and they ask like, what is that dad?

Ryan Kalamaya (25m 4s):
And so for you, it's a matter of sitting down with Melanie and her kids, no matter if they're my kids' age, which might be a little bit early, but really talking to them and creating a new plan and developing that mission statement. And whether it be that we're talking about family foundations or there's definitely levels. And Amy, my partner had a recent podcast where David Kopp, they talk how much is enough. And that is the big question divorced, but the next step is after you decide how much is enough, then it's, what do you do with that? And for you, it's really engaging that family, the entire family. And it could be up and down generations to develop that plan, to figure out if it's environmental causes or something that, that is something that you guys can help them realize their goals.

Coley Cassidy (25m 54s):
Absolutely. Those are all great points. And yeah, the answer is absolutely. And in my experience, the money gets in the way because people are afraid to share too much with their kids. I mean, every single person, almost a hundred percent, but I've dealt with and you can, and you hear of anecdotally too, does not want to, you know, they don't want to, you know, they don't want to, you know, sort of breed entitlement amongst the kids. And so I have a slightly different view on that because that my experience has been that that is not the case. And including them on financial matters is really actually very critical. The kids are smart, they get it. They know it's not their money in general, but forget about money for a second. And I've learned a tremendous amount from the great Jay Hughes. It was really the, the high Dean of family wealth advisory.

Coley Cassidy (26m 33s):
Who's terrific actually resides here in Aspen, but also a woman named Christine Carter, who is HD sociologist, who I've studied with for the past decade and then a woman named Jill Shipley. Who's on our team. It does family governance and education work is phenomenal. These folks tend to all draw from the same body of research and that the research is such that process of connecting with your family and the things I, and I indicators sort of four pieces that tend to not really be well known, but they include the ability to have individuated kids that are allowed to sort of be themselves, right? Number one, number two, they're allowed to have a voice and be listened to and respected for what their voices, if third thing that is really critical is the idea that they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, which tends to be the family.

Coley Cassidy (27m 18s):
So then what the net result is, is you're really trying to, just to improve and just sort of optimize the family process. And if you agree to create a family mission statement, which is an awesome exercise for everybody to go through, everybody gets a voice and it has the ability to have input there and then do it an annual family meeting, just doing those things right there. Ryan is incredible in terms of what that does, that then leads to this impact portfolio that is aligned with the values because people are talking about what their values are. And then it also leads to, by the way, like where are we going to give this year for our philanthropy? You know, I've tend to encourage families to all have a desire, charity and respect the charity for each one of those family members for what the reasons are.

Coley Cassidy (28m 1s):
So the fact that the kids have agency is really, really critical. And so these things tend to come together quite elite, easily, a process where which you're following is done in a way that helps them arrive at that end goal. And so I, again, I think for clients of yours, that process that you take them down as critical and being a part of that, and this would just be an extension to really helps them sort of just rebound and create. And it tends to really maintain a really positive focus too, which I find is just a really important component, really focusing on something that you care about and keep the perspective in a really positive fashion impact is a positive thing, right? It's trying to create a positive impact in the world.

Ryan Kalamaya (28m 36s):
Yeah. I think that that really resonates with me because often, and I think we'll with members of our audience, whether they're going through a divorce or their divorce professionals, but to really challenge and encourage people to think about what they're doing with their time, with their money, with their relationships. And that is just what you kind of covered in a mission statement. It can be different things. I mean our firm last year and we're going to continue it this year is we asked our kind of our clients and valued partners, you know, people that are kind of friends of the firm that, you know, our referral sources and friends of our firm, what is it that they value because we want to contribute on their behalf.

Ryan Kalamaya (29m 23s):
We can get them gift baskets of fruit and pears. And not that there's anything wrong with that. But last year, what we asked is what's the charity that is that you're passionate about. Cause we're going to make a donation on your behalf and we're going to do that this year. And it's in part because I think you have identified. I mean, there are from it's made of mostly millennials and that is something that is really important from a generational standpoint that they really, I mean, our employees want to feel that they're engaged, but also our clients. And I think that that trickles down to someone when they're going through a divorce can really examine their values and they don't even have to be going through a divorce.

Ryan Kalamaya (30m 3s):
They can really, you've kind of motivated me to think about seeing down with my family and kind of developing a mission statement and really figuring out what we're going to do. And it sounds like you guys have a structured process for new clients that you really help them determine what their values are.

Coley Cassidy (30m 20s):
Yeah, we do. And I'm glad let's remain in touch on that. I think that's great. And I'd love to take you through that. And I want to give you kudos for your firm because what you said, one really critical piece or that what you laid out there is your firm's values. I mean, that's really important along this whole conversation you clients want to, when they're in this exploratory discovery process, they examine all facets of their relationships. I mean, they're just probably coming out of a divorce where they've examined their spouse and the things that haven't gone. Right. But they want to surround themselves with alignment of values and having a firm. And you guys have a local firm. You're doing what you just said, which is phenomenal. And you know, in our world, I mean, we're a partnership, we're a boutique. We're now global though, too. So we have offices around the world, but our biggest competitors tend to be huge firms, publicly traded companies.

Coley Cassidy (31m 6s):
And I think nothing against the publicly traded companies, but it's the local relationship. And also that alignment of values. I know it's really critical for the families that become clients of ours, about knowing who we are. And we have for our mission statement, diversity equity inclusion is one of our firm's five values. And it's up to us to live the values. And it's my responsibility to live these values here in my community, just like my partners are in London or Geneva. And so you bring a key piece because it boils down to that, the values and those relationships. So it's amazing how much of what we're talking about is really a key piece to people to be their best selves as they move forward. And one thing I've really is so interesting about Aspen as an example, too, is pandemic has certainly accelerated the move of people to be spending more time here and wanting to spend the time here and Colorado for that matter too.

Coley Cassidy (31m 51s):
I mean the state, right? There's a lot of tailwinds in the state if you're obviously a native here too. Right. But a big part of those is because of people are wanting to live their values, be in a place that I think being a purple state here is really interesting, right? Because there's less political rancor, low net tax regime, but people allow them to be living their values in a way that there's mind, body and spirit. Right. The Aspen idea. And I think that that piece is, that's a big part of it is because they're trying to find that that's that second mountain piece a David Brooks is probably talking about part of it's in here as well. So good points. Yeah.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 21s):
I think that some people could say, oh, that's really woo. And you're not the right fit for me. Whether it be from an investment strategy for you guys or divorced standpoint. I mean, our firm is not the best fit for someone that wants the traditional, like we're the strong arm and we've got a thousand years of experience. We're just going to fight, fight, fight. I mean, we see that on TVs. I mean, how w you can pick them out and that's not who our firm is. And it's, you guys have been doing the socially responsible investing the Sri for much longer than anyone else, comparatively speaking. So can you talk a little bit about that history and your guys' approach and why that was something that was developed by Tiedemann from the kind of get, go.

Coley Cassidy (33m 6s):
Thanks for that. So the Russell family is a family based in gig Harbor, Washington, most famously known for the Russell investments, and there's Russell indices in the world of Russell Small cap growth index. And so that's where the name comes from, but the family basically sold their investment firm roughly 15 years ago. And they decided to create a fully impact activated family balance sheet because in that part of the world, which probably is no surprise, I mean, there's a really a massive environmental impact awareness in the Pacific Northwest than it has been for a long period of time. And so they said we are going to leave our core business and focus our entire time and energy on environmental impact.

Coley Cassidy (33m 49s):
And so they would be considered that one of the first families in the United States to create fully environmentally impact activated portfolio. And so the Russell family is, is a client of our firm is also a partner in the firm. And so we get the incredible benefit of having the firm and their members and their investment committee. The chief investment officer of their foundation board member is really close resources or the firm. And it's also just been, you know, fascinating to see roughly 20 years of this down to just the mistakes that have been made to investments that are not available for sort of general capital. And so they've helped us not only be a pioneer in doing that for themselves, but help really open up doors for other families and create there's a bit very, very powerful environmental family network amongst foundations around the U S that we're grateful to be a part of, but it boils down to that common connection with AMA and their network of people.

Coley Cassidy (34m 37s):
It's really been great for my education to be able to sort of start day one with 20 plus years of experience with them on that.

Ryan Kalamaya (34m 45s):
We're wrapping up. If people are interested in finding out more, are there any books you mentioned, research and studies and just kind of coming up to speed personally for you, and are there any kind of books or resources that you think people would benefit from?

Coley Cassidy (35m 0s):
So I would say the answer's, yes. I'll say two things. Number one, on the books, there's some terrific books, including there's. One that I think is a really a Seminole tome called the purpose of capital. And it's written by a Jed Emerson. Who's our director of impact investments. And it's fascinating Ryan, because it essentially goes back and looks at literally the purpose of capital capital meeting, you know, money capital over the past 5,000 years. And it essentially looks at how is money looked at in terms of what's the purpose of money over millennium? The only downside is it's a relatively thick book. It's pretty intense, but the purpose of capital is phenomenal. But today we forget that people have had money for since the beginning of time. And there are incredibly powerful about what families and people have done with that capital to make impact in their communities around the world.

Coley Cassidy (35m 43s):
That one is really critical. And then the other one I would mention is one called the generation impact. And it's by two authors, gold seeker and moody they're pioneers in the world of empowering next generation, or we call rising generations in the value of impact in what it does is essentially it talks about just the differences of these younger generations and how much more engaged they tend to be on impact, but it's a really, really cool read. So those would be two. And then please feel free to share my info. There's a lot of research I can share. There's, there's so much about it, but glad to tailor that to anybody's interest,

Ryan Kalamaya (36m 15s):
I have links to those books in the show notes, as well as your info, but for people that are listening or watching how, and they want to find out more about Tiedemann and coli you personally, how can they reach out to you? What's the best place

Coley Cassidy (36m 30s):
<inaudible> advisers.com. Just look at the website. Our contact info is on there. Our office write down five 20 east time and right across from Clark source. Durbar up on the second floor. We're a local business here as well. And my partner, Trisha Cunningham, and I, she has phenomenal experience working with non-financial spouses, and she has a terrific expertise in this area too. So we'd be glad these things are all about conversations, cause everybody's situation is different and we love having conversations and it may not be the right fit for us. And that doesn't matter because it can help point you in the right direction and empower you with some interesting things to think about. So I would absolutely invite anybody to reach out to us. We'd love to talk, and we're all about the community too. We love hearing what people have going on, and we're like you at Ryan, we're trying to support different areas and want to get behind anything that helps the community better place

Ryan Kalamaya (37m 14s):
Indeed. Well, wholly until next time. Thanks for educating me. And I'll be in touch on my family's mission statement, but thank you for joining us. I learned a lot, really enjoyed it and you know, know our audience will appreciate the info as well. So,

Coley Cassidy (37m 30s):
Absolutely Ryan, it's been my pleasure. Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it and great to see you again. Look forward to staying in touch. Thanks everybody,

Ryan Kalamaya (37m 37s):
Indeed. Hey everyone. This is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. If you found our tips, insight or discussion, helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast for show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode. Visit Divorce at Altitude dot com. Follow us on apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to in many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find me at Kalamaya dot law or 9 7 8 3 1 5 2 3 6 5 that's K a L a M a Y a.law.