By Megan Molteni on February 13, 2017

Read original article in Wired

ON SATURDAY MORNING, the white stone buildings on UC Berkeley’s campus radiated with unfiltered sunshine. The sky was blue, the campanile was chiming. But instead of enjoying the beautiful day, 200 adults had willingly sardined themselves into a fluorescent-lit room in the bowels of Doe Library to rescue federal climate data.

Like similar groups across the country—in more than 20 cities—they believe that the Trump administration might want to disappear this data down a memory hole. So these hackers, scientists, and students are collecting it to save outside government servers.

But now they’re going even further. Groups like DataRefuge and the E...

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By David Z. Morris on April 16, 2016

Read the original article in Fortune

Ray Kurzweil has made a bold prediction about the future of solar energy, saying in remarks at a recent medical technology conference that it could become the dominant force in energy production in a little over a decade. That may be tough to swallow, given that solar currently only supplies around 2% of global energy — but Kurzweil’s predictions have been overwhelmingly correct over the last two decades, so he’s worth listening to.

Kurzweil’s basic point, as reported by Solar Power World, was that while solar is still tiny, it has begun to reliably double its market share every two years — today’s 2% share is up from just 0.5%...

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By Barrack Obama on January 9, 2017

Read the original article in Science Magazine

The release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) due to human activity is increasing global average surface air temperatures, disrupting weather patterns, and acidifying the ocean (1). Left unchecked, the continued growth of GHG emissions could cause global average temperatures to increase by another 4°C or more by 2100 and by 1.5 to 2 times as much in many midcontinent and far northern locations (1). Although our understanding of the impacts of climate change is increasingly and disturbingly clear, there is still debate about the proper course for U.S. policy—a debate that is very much on display during the current presiden...

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January 7, 2017

Read the original article in The Economist

More and more investors are looking beyond just financial returns

WHEN investors gathered in Amsterdam in late 2016 for perhaps the largest annual conference on “impact investing”, the mood was upbeat. The concept of investing in assets that offer measurable social or environmental benefits as well as financial returns has come a long way from its modest roots in the early 2000s. Panellists at the conference included, among others, representatives of two of the world’s largest pension funds, TIAA of America and PGGM of the Netherlands, and of the asset-management arm of AXA, a French insurance behemoth. A niche product is inching into the mainstream.

In the pas...

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Originally aired on Fox Business Network, Mornings with Maria on October 25, 2016

Brava Investments CEO Nathalie Molina Nino on investing in businesses that are benefiting women financially in a measurable way.

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By Danielle Paquette on October 17

Read the original article in the Washington Post

The last time Nathalie Molina Niño set up a retirement savings account, she wanted to stash her money in an ethical portfolio, one that could improve the planet — and her net worth. She clicked a button that would attach her 401(k) to companies that rejected, say, pollution and sweatshop labor. A message appeared: Expect lower than market returns.

Molina Niño, a serial entrepreneur, recalls frowning. So, doing good amounted to charity?

She had noticed a similar quandary with investing efforts meant to boost women-owned enterprises. The reason why, she said, boils down to math: An investor who exclusively backs female-run start-ups, a ...

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By Stephen Foley and Adam Samson on June 16, 2016

Read the original article in the Financial Times

Returns Pope Francis has little good to say about capitalism but has championed impact investments

The finance industry presents a bewildering array of options for anyone looking to increase their savings, from “60-40” portfolios to newfangled concepts like “smart beta”, but rare is the investment strategy that has been blessed by the Pope.

When the Vatican assembles investors, entrepreneurs and academics for its second Impact Investing Conference later this month, it will do so as the mainstream wealth management industry has started to catch on to the term. Impact investments are made with the aim of generatin...

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By Trevor Neilson Apr. 18, 2016

Read the original article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

Recently I had a conversation with a financial advisor who represents several billionaire clients—all well-known tech leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area. After giving him an overview of our new impact investment company and its business model, and background on everyone involved, he said, “It’s sounds very impressive, but we just don’t do impact investing.”

In another meeting with a wealth advisory firm in Los Angeles, one of the advisors said their advice to a client who had created their wealth through cause-related companies was to “diversify”—in other words, invest in companies that do...

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Read the original article in Impact Alpha by David Bank on March 23, 2016

Impact investing may have gotten off on the wrong foot, with venture-capital style private equity funds that generally have to be liquidated after 10 years.

This season’s new style: Permanently capitalized holding companies with long-term ownership stakes in operating companies that deliver real benefits such as food security, clean water and climate mitigation.

A recent example is i(x) Investments, the investment company backed in part by Howard Buffett, the grandson of Warren, whose Berkshire Hathaway is structured, no surprise, as a holding company.

“We want to create companies, not just have a fund,” i(x) co-founder Todd Morley told ImpactAlph...

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Read the original article in the NYT, by David Gelles on November 19, 2015

At 32, Howard Warren Buffett, the grandson of the Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren E. Buffett, has already enjoyed a diverse career.

He teaches at Columbia University, runs a farm in Nebraska, previously oversaw his family’s foundation and worked on economic redevelopment efforts in Afghanistan for the Defense Department.

So far, however, he has steered clear of the private sector investing that made his family’s famous name and enormous fortune.

Now, that is changing. Mr. Buffett has co-founded a permanently capitalized operating company with big ambitions — essentially mimicking the structure of Berkshire Hathaway, the $328 billion conglomerat...

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