This week’s stories look at Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Charlie Munger’s assessment of Elon Musk, and the greenwashing behind ethical investing. (3:12 min read)

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if the relevant investment is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.


1. Facebook the fintech

Several reports have emerged suggesting Facebook is working on launching its own cryptocurrency.

One of the reported outcomes of the project is to facilitate cross-border payments for WhatsApp users – the messaging app owned by Facebook.

The company has remained tight-lipped about their crypto mission, but continues to allocate resources to the Bitcoin-inspired project.

What does it mean if you’re invested in Facebook?

If any cryptocurrency has a reasonable chance of gaining widespread use, it’s probably a Facebook cryptocurrency; 2.7 billion people use atleast one of their key apps (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) each month.

However, Facebook faces the same issues other cryptocurrecies faced such as wildly fluctuating values, and a central authority (government) to prevent its use for illegal purposes.

If Facebook can solve these issues, it could revolutionise global transactions.

What does it mean if you’re invested with AtlasTrend?

One of our funds invests in Facebook.

We believe it is important for Facebook to spend some resources to develop blockchain-related solutions, but we are currently still wary of cryptocurrency as a commercial concept given the issues identified earlier.


2. Charlie Munger wouldn’t hire Elon Musk

Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman at Berkshire Hathaway, recently said Elon Musk wouldn’t be his ideal hire.

Munger, a billionaire himself, suggested Elon’s I.Q. might be too high and he would rather someone who understands their own limitations.

What does this mean if you’re invested in stock markets?

The difference between Charlie Munger and Elon Musk typifies the extreme difference between value and growth investing.

In the value corner is Charlie Munger and his business partner Warren Buffett. They tend to invest in less risky, profitable businesses like Coca-Cola.

Elon Musk sits comfortably in the growth corner, investing his time and money into high-risk, innovative businesses that may not be profitable for some years but are inherently disruptive, with the potential to transform an industry or even the world.

What does this mean if you’re invested with AtlasTrend?

So who has the superior investment philosophy: Charlie or Elon?

We believe both investment styles have the potential to produce long-term financial returns.

Although AtlasTrend’s managed funds are typically more growth focused, there are some Charlie-type companies within our portfolios, too.

After all, both are billionaires so they must equally be doing something right.


3. The dark side of ethical investing  

Investing to both earn more money and create a better world is a great idea.

As more people seek out ethical investments to align with their values, it is important to understand whether so-called ethical investments are truly ethical.

Given there is no formal investment definition of “ethical”, you might be surprised to learn what some claim is an ethical investment may be far from what you perceive it would be.

What does this mean if you’re invested in the stock market?

The Guardian recently profiled some major passive investment indexes all claiming to take into account environmental, social and corporate governance factors.

However, a number of these “ethical” and “sustainability” indices invest in companies producing coal, oil and gas, despite some saying they exclude the fossil fuel companies.

So if you’re interested in ethical investing, dig deeper than the name of the investment fund and consider asking what the fund actually invests in?

If they’re reluctant to provide this information, they’re likely using the ethical label to ‘greenwash’ rather than invest in a more sustainable world.

What does this mean if you’re invested with AtlasTrend?

We are strong believers of investing for financial returns while building a better world. As a step forward towards this, we have launched the Clean Disruption Fund which invests in companies contributing to a cleaner, greener world.

We also provide full transparency on what all our managed funds invest in. That way, investors can see exactly what their money is exposed to – empowering them to make any judgements for themselves.

We’re currently undertaking futher product development research specifically on purpose led investing. You can participate and have your say via this one-question survey.

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About Kent Kwan

Kent Kwan is a Co-Founder of AtlasTrend, an investment platform that makes it easy for anyone to learn and invest in trends impacting our world. Kent has over 17 years experience in financial markets including as Chief Investment Officer at Arowana International Limited, and roles at JP Morgan and Macquarie.