Investments mirror Manchester couple’s values
A lot of people want to maximize their financial returns from their retirement investments. Abigail Easterly and Scott Silberfeld want to maximize their happiness.
A few years ago the Manchester couple felt a huge disconnect between their deeply held values and the behavior of the corporations where their money was invested. It wasn’t a comfortable feeling.
Scott and Abby say they’re energized by knowing how their investments in the Community Loan Fund help others succeed.
“The idea of not carrying (your values) through to your investments, to me, isn’t principled,” said Abby.
They started selling their stock holdings and exploring other options.
Investing in one or more local businesses was one possibility, but didn’t feel secure enough. “We’re making decent money and we’re happy, but we’re not in a position where we can afford to lose our principal,” said Scott.
Socially responsible mutual funds were another option, but the couple wanted to know more about where their money was and how it was being used. They also wanted to put at least some of it to work in New Hampshire.
Just when Abby was beginning to feel disheartened, she found the Invest section of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s web site.
“The Community Loan Fund offers an unusual balance,” she said. “It pays decent interest and is relatively safe.”
Community Loan Fund investors choose a fixed interest rate. Although investments are unsecured and uninsured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Community Loan Fund has maintained a perfect repayment record for 30 years.
Abby and Scott made a joint investment four years ago. Then Abby pursued the opportunity to invest some of her IRA/SEP funds and Scott followed six months later. Being able to invest these retirement savings was a major goal for them.
“We feel confident investing in the Community Loan Fund,” said Scott.
Both are enthusiastic ambassadors. What keeps them energized, they say, is knowing how their money helps others succeed.
“It makes us feel good,” said Scott. “It’s a mistake for anyone to think we’re doing this because we’re humanitarians—we’re getting way more out of this than you guys are! To be able to find a good investment vehicle and help people at the same time is a win-win for us.”
This story was published in the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s 2013 annual report.