We live in a culture that frequently draws a divide between the quantitative — our investments, for example — and the more contemplative, like our beliefs. Social forecaster Patricia Aburdene believes this disconnect leads to a fractured economic belief system in which the pursuit of prosperity is often cast as the enemy of the morally good. Aburdene, author of the bestselling Megtratends books, offers as an alternative what she labels the new megatrend of Conscious Capitalism, “a humanistic, values-driven approach to free enterprise that honors employees, customers, suppliers, the community and the environment, not just investors.” It’s the practice of this approach that she describes in her latest book, Conscious Money: Living, Creating, and Investing with Your Values for a Sustainable New Prosperity.
For Aburdene, being more “conscious” means paying attention to our finances on multiple levels, not just the numbers-oriented one we’re used to. “Your values can be a great asset,” she writes. “When you make financial choices that honor your values, you can gracefully navigate the new economy in good times and bad.”
What I loved: The truly practical nature of Aburdene’s advice. She blends her discussion of more conscious and mindful practices with traditional financial advice in a natural way, creating a balanced approach to money that should appeal to anyone with an open mind and a willingness to try new things in pursuit of increased prosperity. If you like books that make you work while you read, you’ll definitely love all the quizzes, exercises and action steps included in each chapter.
What makes Conscious Money worth your money: The recognition that there’s no one blueprint for creating a Conscious Money approach. The best strategy will be unique to each one of us, depending on what we value most. “Conscious investors translate their passions into investment strategies,” Aburdene reminds us. A passion for sustainability, for example, might lead us to research Whole Foods as a potential investment.
Read this if: You’re interested in becoming more aware of your own (often unconscious) personal priorities and then using that insight to more deliberately guide your financial decisions.
Angele McQuade is the author of two books, including Investment Clubs for Dummies. She writes from either north Florida or Berlin, depending on the most recent stamp in her passport.