- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Nation Books (October 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568589808
- ISBN-13: 978-1568589800
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change Hardcover – October 3, 2017
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Morgan Simon has made a significant contribution with the very big idea that we can change the world by changing how we all relate to money. And lucky for us, Simon is as entertaining in her writing as she is brilliant in her concepts."―Van Jones, CNN
"Impact investing is a subject that deserves in-depth, powerful scrutiny. Real Impact offers much of that, and will give readers an introduction into understanding where this kind of work can bring hopeful change and where it can't. Timely!"―Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy
"Where we invest speaks to our values as a country that prioritizes our collective social welfare. Morgan Simon's innovative investment approach ensures money can serve as a force for good, for everyone."―Congressman Keith Ellison, member of the House Financial Services Committee and co-Chair, Congressional Progressive Caucus
"Real Impact is a unique and valuable teaching tool. Morgan Simon's expertise in the field is unparalleled, and brilliantly shared through this book."―Vikram Gandhi, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School; former Vice-Chairman of Investment Banking, Credit Suisse
"Real Impact is a gift to the academic community. I know of no other resource available with such a balance of thought-provoking investment philosophy and practical advice--reflecting the depth of Morgan Simon's expertise and experience in impact investment."―Heidi Krauel Patel, Lecturer in Management, Graduate School of Business at Stanford University
"A critical cautionary tale--how do we scale social impact investment without leaving anyone behind? Morgan Simon is a master practitioner at inclusive investment; read Real Impact to learn from her compelling example."―Ben Jealous, Partner, Kapor Capital and former President, NAACP
"To drive significant social and environmental progress around the world, investors need to understand how to structure and deliver capital in a way that works for high-impact enterprises. Real Impact highlights the complicated trade-offs they will face along the risk-return spectrum and offers a blueprint for market growth. It helps fill the knowledge gap between optimism and execution."―Debra D. Schwartz, Managing Director of Impact Investments, MacArthur Foundation
"Over 1,700 asset owners around the world, from pension funds to insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds, have become signatories to the UNPRI, as its becomes increasingly clear that social and environmental trends can create financial opportunities. Investors now have the capacity to help solve the world's problems and deliver strong returns for their beneficiaries and clients. Morgan Simon is a global leader in impact investing, and this book offers critical lessons for those interested in being on the cutting edge of this exciting new field."―Dr. James Gifford, Founder and former Executive Director, United Nations Principles on Responsible Investment; Senior Impact Investment Strategist, UBS
"Clear-eyed, explicit, and tinged with just the right amount of outrage, this is a clarion call that the world...needs to hear."- Publishers Weekly
"A clear-eyed case for socially conscious investment, of much interest to those who want their dollars to do good." - Kirkus Reviews
"Readers interested in social and economic justice, climate change, housing, gender equality, and other pertinent topics will be compelled by Simon's exploration of impact investment as a creative way to challenge social problems in global and local contexts." - Booklist
About the Author
Morgan Simon has close to two decades of experience making finance a tool for social justice. In that time she has influenced over $150B and is a regularly sought out expert on impact investing. Her book, Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change has been featured everywhere from Harvard Business School to the United Nations. She is a regular voice in media and active investor as Founding Partner of Candide Group, a Registered Investment Advisor.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Showing 1-4 of 36 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Here is where “impact investment” comes in. This is the practice of investing not just for profit, but also for social benefit. It is a trillion-dollar trend most people have never heard of. Impact investing is the opportunity to make sustainable social improvements, explains the author, Morgan Simon, herself heavily involved in this combination of investment and doing good.
With trillions of dollars migrating toward positive social and environmental purposes, we have the possibility of mitigating the debilitating, inter-generational effect of poverty, inequality and powerlessness. And all through changing only the role of capital in society.
“Real Impact” is inspirational and a guide to fostering world-changing impact for the many still not benefiting from a free market. It is a way to use money to build a new economy, leveraging the traditional practices of commerce, trade, and investment to replace the poverty, inequality and powerlessness of communities across the globe.
Many would assume that impact investment, is very much like a ‘houseboat’. Not a great house and not a great boat. This book argues cogently that it doesn’t have to be that way.
‘Real Impact’ focuses on investment with integrity and accountability, in a way that genuinely solves problems for the long term. There are, after all, no end of accounts of failed investment in social upliftment that amounted to nothing at best, and greater harm at worst.
Bridging social justice and impact investment, always begins with the best of intentions, but these intentions need to be channelled so that both social justice and investors’ interests are served.
In South Africa we have mature activists who share a deep understanding of the costs of having no interventions to solve our social problems, coupled with a vision of what social and environmental harmony might look like. We also have an experienced and sophisticated investment community, who know how to bring together large amounts of capital and effectively leverage it towards a goal. This is an incredibly powerful and underutilized combination for creating a more generative and just world.
It provides an opportunity for the private sector to convert the economy into a tool that works for all of us, and is an effective mechanism of change for the people and communities left behind for far too long.
Simon offers the example of the world’s most generous nation, the US, where foundations give away approximately $46 billion each year! But when one considers that $196 trillion circulates in the global economy every single day, “it’s as if there were an oil spill covering 4,268 square miles of ocean, and you have been provided 1 square mile’s worth of paper towels to try and mop it up. Good luck with that,” she notes.
Impact investment is an attempt to align money with values. It is the practice of selecting for-profit investments, with a keen awareness of the social and environmental outcomes of such investments. This way, using the US example, rather than hoping the $46 billion spending of philanthropy will permanently solve social injustice, we can leverage the $196 trillion that circulates in the global economy every day for social justice causes.
The origins of impact investment can be traced back to the investment policies of the Quaker community, who refused to invest in the slave trade in 1758.
“From a micro perspective, even if you excluded externalities, and just focused on financial track records, study after study has shown that impact investments have been able to outperform the market with lower levels of volatility,” claims the author. In 2010 J. P Morgan published a report titled ‘Impact Investments: An Emerging Asset Class’, projecting that the impact investment industry was primed to produce up to $667 billion in profits over the next decade.
This, in effect, means that one can do well by doing good.
Thinking that the free market can solve social problems is an anathema to many on the left. However, to consider impact investing fairly, we need to accept the fact that commerce generally, is a neutral tool, designed to take resources and turn them into more resources.
Consider two simple cases that serve as examples. In one a local non-profit organization gives free tractors to an agricultural community in rural Ghana. To receive money to maintain the tractors and purchase seeds, the organization must petition someone in the donor’s office in New York. Not an atypical situation.
In the second, an investor and the community in Ghana work together to figure out the appropriate business model for farmers. How much will tractors increase their productivity, and thus how profitable can they be? They conclude that the purchase of tractors makes economic sense, and then purchased them through a loan.
The repayment of the loan requires having an accounting system, which also helps the farmers to better manage their cash flow. In five years, the loan is paid off, and the farmers are earning enough to buy their own inputs. The investor goes off to fund another community.
In case one, there is no positive impact at all in the short term. In case two there is a long-term, systemic outcome: the transition of decision-making, skills, and assets from the hands of a few to the many, and a new dynamic is set up for the community, producing a much more balanced society.
Will impact investment produce a return at market rate, or only below? Perhaps the question should be: what would actually be a reasonable return that would create long-term benefit for all?
It is the largest pools of capital - endowments, long-term investment funds and the like, that are best able to think in this manner. Through their heft they can have the biggest positive impact. Little wonder that they are becoming the focus of impact investors.
Impact investing begins by defining the impact for the beneficiaries of the investments, equally with the investors and entrepreneurs. To avoid ‘impact investment’ replicating the errors of top-down charity, the author has formulated three principles for an investment to have real impact.
These are: Engage communities in design, governance, and ownership. Add more value than you extract. Fairly balance risk and return between investors, entrepreneurs, and communities.
This book is a great start to a powerful way to address seemingly intractable problems that affect all in a society, not only the poor.
Readability Light ---+- Serious
Insights High -+--- Low
Practical High -+--- Low
*Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy, and is the author of the recently released ‘Executive Update.
I have been familiar with Morgan's subject matter and Morgan's work for quite some time and the general premise of her argument challenges some conventional wisdom. Impact investing--the topic of the book--is too simply explained in the mainstream as "investing to do good (for society) and do well (financially)." Morgan's book is an entertaining and breezy read of the history of impact investing, but rather than be a blanket celebration of good businesses and good intentions, she points out what's missing--moral leadership and evaluation of the market.
The line that sums up the book to me is when another investor tells Morgan not to "let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Morgan responds, "I AM the enemy of the good!" Morgan points out gaps and structural problems in finance that we've let pass far too long, because change is hard, and outlines a way to have a better and more inclusive economy