Howard Warren Buffett, grandson of Warren Buffet, has started a journey following in his grandfathers footsteps. H.W. Buffett, age 33, is a professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affair, runs a farm in Nebraska, and has his own investment agenda as well.
Howard W. Buffett co-founded an investment company called i(x) Investments, which is your usual conglomerate with a twist: it focuses on human needs and social change. The basis of the company is actually solid, as companies that are philanthropic tend to have a higher profit for shareholders than companies that are not.
“i(x) invests in the pillars of human needs (energy, water, food, technology, communications, health, housing, etc) in a multi-strategy investment approach throughout the entire capital structure,” the company boasts on its website, “We bring value to our investments with not only capital but also our expertise in creating and measuring social impact.”
This concept is referred to as impact investing, which is basically just investing with a conscience. The idea itself is nothing new, but i(x) does have a more in-depth approach to how they will measure social impact.
“Social value investing” is a concept that was introduced by the young Buffett himself. He explains it like this: rather than investing in independent and unrelated companies, why not take on entire social issues— like breast cancer?
H. W. Buffett thinks that there is not much of a reason to have multiple non-profit organizations focusing on the same problem. This created competition among non-profits, something that is unnecessary, as if they were working together they would accomplish more.
i(x), and social value investing in general, focuses on companies that can be lined up and worked on together: “We will give you money to execute your mission, if you work together and identify the most cost-effective and successful ways to achieve that,” he said.