Money, meet social justice investing. This woman’s
pioneering work blew my mind.

written by Bari Tessler August 5, 2019
Money, meet social justice. This woman’s pioneering work blew my mind.

My jaw dropped when I heard this term:

Social justice investing.

I was already intimately familiar with SRI – socially responsible investing. But social justice investing?! This is a whole new level of leveraging money for social change. I knew I had to talk to the woman who coined the phrase: Rachel Robasciotti.

Rachel is a pioneer in the money field in many different ways. She’s a young, queer woman of color in a field that’s 68% male and 77% white. She became a financial planner at a very young age — so she’s simultaneously young and got 20+ years’ experience.

Perhaps most importantly, Rachel’s woman-owned, independent investment firm, Robasciotti & Philipson, is doing things SO differently: lower minimums to invest; integrating emotional intelligence into financial decision making; strategic investing to make major social impact. I am incredibly inspired!

Plus, their clients are 80% women, 70% LGBTQ, and 100% progressive.

Hear this money pioneer’s “origin story” and how she’s using money for good.

Also available on iTunes!

You’ll learn:

  • The “money messages” she got growing up female, black, and poor.
  • Her take on the gargantuan racial wealth divide in our country.
  • The role money and “enoughness” played in her journey back to her heart.
  • Why she fired 25% of her clients (and never regretted it).
  • What RISE is: her impact investing platform and how they make financial decisions (SO COOL).
  • How she’s giving voice to people who don’t have enough money to invest financially.

Rachel’s done a ton of personal work around her money story (and it shows!). She’s also a savvy businesswoman. And her firm has evolved from financial planning … to creating portfolios that reflect social justice values … to now doing this revolutionary work of explicitly leveraging their power within the investing world to make change.

Our own Sonya Brewer (one of the wonderful TA’s for my year-long Art of Money program) facilitates Rachel’s RISE community forums (where they decide what type of social justice to work on, as a firm). I’m so glad she connected us!

I am so grateful for this interview, and can’t wait to share her important and pioneering work with you.

P.S. Make sure to listen all the way to the end, where she explains the revolutionary social impact investing her firm is doing. Whether you have money to invest or not, I know you’ll be inspired by her passion and smarts.

Rachel J. Robasciotti founded Robasciotti & Philipson in 2004 (an all women diverse team) and continues to head the firm as one of its two partners, directing overall policy, strategy, and communications.

In addition, Rachel still serves as a Wealth Manager and specializes in advising clients on philanthropy, legacy giving, employment negotiations, business transitions, and complex equity compensation.

As a young, queer, woman of color, in an industry that is dominated by older white men, the odds were against Rachel when she started her own firm. Nonetheless, she was already well-versed in the finance industry and had proven her skills by being awarded the top financial planner at MetLife Securities in 2003.

In addition, Rachel built up resilience when she was diagnosed with and beat cancer at the age of 22. Her strong sense of self, fierce determination, and desire to give back to the community encouraged her to forge a new path.

When she started Robasciotti & Philipson, rather than following the industry standard practice of excluding emotions from finance, Rachel chose to integrate emotional intelligence into financial decision making. The firm continues to use the model she developed. This progressive approach of inviting a client’s emotions into conversations has strategically informed key financial decisions for countless happy clients.

She is a founding member of the Women’s Wealth Initiative, a nationwide group of female wealth managers, Rachel is especially proud of serving as a role model and creating pathways for more women and people of color in personal finance.

She currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for LPAC (the Lesbian Political Action Committee). In addition, Rachel is a member of the Funding Queerly Giving Circle, one of the largest, community-based LGBTQ+ funders in the United States.

Rachel is a math nerd, natural medicine enthusiast, and passionate community activist. When she’s not cuddling her cat, promoting social justice, or creating spreadsheets, Rachel can be found cooking nutrient-dense food or meditating in her sunny apartment in San Francisco.

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