Conservation has been part of my life since childhood.
I grew up in a town in Holland, where the garbage is collected infrequently, and all compostable material ends up in the yard. Caring for the environment was not a political act; it’s just the way things were. The reality of living in a resource constrained world is built into the way of life in towns and countries that are space constrained.
Years later, when I started in the investment field, I didn’t realize that investing could reflect one’s values. And as a 20-something I wasn’t yet trying to connect the dots between my career and my values. However, after about a decade in the traditional investment industry, I was ready for a change. I knew I wanted more from my career, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that “more” was. Contrary to sound financial advice, I spent a good chunk of my savings and left a well-paid job to travel the world for a year, visiting over 30 countries on 5 continents. This trip was perhaps the best thing I ever did, rekindling my love for this planet, its pristine landscapes, and its delicate ecosystems.
In 2007, upon my return from that trip, I founded JPS Global Investments with the goal of serving people who wanted something different from what the big financial institutions had to offer, people who wanted a greater connection with how their money was being invested and with the people managing it. That goal led me to impact investing, where clients can earn financial returns and have a more meaningful relationship with their money through the impact their investments are having in the world.
Initially, my impact investing focus was on opportunities that had a positive environmental impact, such as renewable energy, resource efficiency, and land, air & water pollution mitigation. This focus was self-driven, based on my childhood and travels, and it seemed like a natural fit. Over time my focus has expanded as my clients have expressed interest in other areas and they have opened my eyes to a wider variety of impact investments, such as financial inclusion, sustainable agriculture, education, and affordable housing.
I am passionate about listening to my clients, focusing in on the issues they care about, and tailoring portfolios to have the unique impact that each client desires.
It is when I help my clients achieve the impact that they seek and the investment goals they have set, that I feel the most meaning in what I do.
-Jan P. Schalkwijk