Jina Penn-Tracy, Financial Advisor and co-owner of Centered Wealth, has been investing in a better future her entire life, whether she realized it or not. She survived cancer in her late teens and, in response, became a consumer advocate for reducing cancer-causing toxins in our environment and food supply.
She also survived childhood sexual abuse, in what became a high-profile case against the Children’s Theatre Company. To help create a better life for fellow survivors, she cofounded the nonprofit CTA Wellness, dedicated to providing resources to others impacted by the decades of abuse at CTC.
And in 2003, she became the type of Financial Advisor she was looking for: one who didn’t think money was devoid of values or ethics. “My business is financial activism,” Penn-Tracy asserts. “You can use investments as a tool for making change happen inside companies. Shareholders have a bigger voice than any other entity.” One prominent example she points to is Nike being publicly ridiculed for using child labor in the nineties. Now, she says, the company has come so far as to embrace the activism of Colin Kaepernick as an aspect of its corporate social responsibility.
The great news about ethical investing is that both businesses and investors end up coming out on top. “We’re seeing companies that are committed to doing the right thing environmentally and socially outperforming their peers,” Penn-Tracy notes. “And there’s research* that shows that people who invest according to their values are less likely to jump in and out of the market, so they do better over time, even just for that reason.”
That’s where the name Centered Wealth comes from. It’s about knowing your reasons and sticking with them through the world’s ups and downs, netting a better future, and living your ethics. It’s also what propels Penn-Tracy to continue her advocacy, whether that’s pushing for protections for assault survivors or advocating with MN350 for Minnesota state pensions to divest from the top 200 carbon-holding companies.
“I’ve come to realize that everybody is obligated to do what they can in the moment in whatever way they can,” she explains. “Going through life as a little kid and seeing people turn away — people who I know saw something and instead of turning into it turned away — made me realize that’s not the way to live life. I’m committed to staying actively engaged in making a difference every day.”
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