Michael Stern

Investing by checking boxes never takes you anywhere interesting.”

I climb mountains.
Big ones sometimes — Denali took 22 days to summit, then only 21 hours to get back to the base.

Success requires more than technical skills.
Putting in the hours to figure out the optimal way to reach your goal can make the difference between success and failure. Teamwork is vital.

I’ve founded successful companies and an unsuccessful one, and I learned the most from the unsuccessful one.
You don’t need to win every time if you can stay in the game and learn from your mistakes.

Investing by checking boxes never takes you anywhere interesting.
If people know what box you want to check, some of them will fake it. It takes work and consideration to understand a company’s true merit. This is doubly true with environmentally and socially responsible companies.

I support science and international education. One of my favorite quotes is from the architect Daniel Burnham;

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.”

We invest in a manner we can be ethically proud of, and our experience gives lie to the defeatist claim that ESG investing depresses returns.