S4E1: Advancing Democracy Worldwide With Your Investment Dollars

In this first episode of Season 4, I interview the management team from Democracy Investments: CEO Julie Cane, Chief Investment Officer Chris Browne, and Chief Economist Rick Rikoski. These three individuals have decades of financial services experience and unique back-stories, all of which influenced them to collaborate in creating an investment management firm that’s committed to advancing democracy worldwide. And I really believe this conversation couldn’t have been more timely given Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine and the explicit dangers of authoritarian government.

This team’s mission is to incentivize democracy by directing capital towards the economies of democratic nations and away from authoritarianism. In fact, by holding an exclusive license agreement with the publishers of The Economist, they leverage The Economist’s Democracy Index to measure and rank countries globally based on their democratic values and practices. Democracy then uses this information to construct a diversified international index. This is the basis for their flagship ETF, the Democracy International Fund.

In this episode, we discuss the genesis of Democracy Investments, as well as their investment philosophy and approach. Additionally, we talk specifically about Russia’s war in Ukraine and more broadly about the global trend towards authoritarianism. Lastly, be sure to listen all the way through to the end, as we discuss why investors who want to make an impact with their investment dollars may want to consider the Democracy International Fund.

With that, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Democracy Investments as much as I did!

Episode Highlights

  • [05:47] The team shares their insights into the Russia-Ukraine crisis and events leading up to it.
  • [08:41] Democracy Investments explains their methodology and why they believe overweighting democracy is a good investment decision on multiple levels.
  • [19:11] Cathy asks the team to explain why parts of the world are trending towards authoritarianism.
  • [22:23] The team shares their thoughts on why ESG investors should consider the “D” first when making responsible investment decisions.
  • [30:25] Cathy asks where the U.S. would rank on the Democracy Index if Democracy Investments managed a global fund.
  • [35:10] The team offers final thoughts on how investors can access their fund and why now may be the right time to consider the Democracy International Fund.

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