Personal Finance column: Money talks — what is yours saying?
RMR Industrials, the company that owns Mid Continent Limestone Quarry — the bane of Glenwood Springs — changed its name to Rocky Mountain Industrials Inc. in January 2020. As of the recorded date, there were 35,785,858 shares of class A common stock outstanding, with Chad Brownstein holding 10,791,701 shares (30.16%) and Gregory Dangle, the CEO, owning 9,499,657 shares (26.55%). Who owns the remaining 15,949,500 shares? Do you?
Rocky Mountain Industrials Inc. is a publicly owned company with the ticker symbol RMRI and is tasked with making money for their stockholders. These stockholders can be insiders, individuals or institutional investors. Institutional investors are organizations such as mutual funds, exchange traded funds, insurance or pension companies.
Because RMRI is a small emerging-market company with poor financials, the chances of you owning their stock are remote, but please take the point to heart. You may have ownership in other companies that don’t align with your values.
Your money has a voice. Here are three ways it speaks on your behalf (or not).
Many of us are small business owners. We all want to thrive and grow — nothing wrong with earning a profit. We do, however, need to check our motives. If making money is the sole driver, we are headed in the wrong direction and missing the view.
You have the opportunity and responsibility to be discerning with your investments. If the exclusive reason to own a company’s stock is to beat the benchmarks or create alpha, you may want to do some soul searching. Are you unwittingly invested in companies that rub your values the wrong way? If you wouldn’t own part of RMRI as a matter of principal, are there others? Or are there companies that you want to invest in that align with what you value?
Corporate governance of our privately held companies as well as why and how we purchase stocks and bonds in our portfolios is changing rapidly. Socially Responsible or Faith Based Investing, Impact Investing and Conscious Capitalism are becoming the recognized way to advocate and participate in solving the world’s challenges as well as unfolding new opportunities. These companies have different leadership, a purpose beyond profit and are oriented to create value for employees, suppliers, customers and shareholders. According to Policygenius the 10-year returns of five popular “SRI” funds are very comparable to that of the S&P 500.
A company exists because there is a demand for the product or service they offer. Mid Continent is currently mining “common variety” limestone (check out the recently filed lawsuit between The Citizens’ Alliance and the federal government). This type of limestone is an essential component of concrete, an aggregate for road base, and many more uses. We are all consumers, and demand is high.
This is the tightwire we walk. The balance between supply and demand, soul needs and ego desires. We don’t want a 320 acre quarry enveloping our town. Are we mindfully considering our purchases of goods and services? Roads need to be constructed; cement is literally the foundation for the roofs over our heads. Whether it is limestone, or any other product or service we consume, there are unintended consequences, or opportunity costs associated. We need to have conversations about how much is enough and make intentional financial decisions.
Federal government, state and local government are all involved with the RMR permits and ensuing legal battles. Along with the other voices our money has noted above, it needs to speak in the courts. This is a choir I want to join, personally and as a business endorser. This is a legal battle that will be expensive. Where is it going to come from? It will take some financial sacrifice at a community and personal level. If this is a battle you want to fight, do so with your pocketbook and your voices. Check out loveglenwood.org.
Do your financial decisions around how you bring it in, how you give and share it, how you invest, nurture and grow it and how you spend it reflect your integrity and authenticity? Small, incremental changes will impact our families, communities and the world around us when we use our money as a voice to speak up for our core values.
Danielle Howard is a CFP® and CKA®. Wealth By Design is located at 23300 Two Rivers Rd in Basalt where they help you “Optimize Financial Possibilities and Unfold Life Potential”. Your complimentary copy of “Understanding Social Security Benefits” can be found at http://www.wealthbydesign4u.com Call us at 970-927-3909. Advisory Services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research Inc., a broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Cambridge and WBD are not affiliated.
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