Teaser

What is an economy for?

To create inequality and make exploitation, greed, and lies more profitable than creativity, cooperation, and compassion?

Or to create dignified, meaningful work for many and give us all a chance to be the heroes of our own life stories, working together to remake our world into a place worthy of our best and noblest aspirations?

New Capitalism is based on the belief that true profit lies in the pursuit of happiness and that money is simply a side effect of being creative, helpful, and relentlessly delightful.

Across our planet, people are working together to remake capitalism and the world. They are building schools, providing clean water, extending microcredit, finding sustainable sources of energy, teaching peacemaking, and creating profitable and innovative new business models that embody true free capitalism.

Many of them are making a lot of money, but they realize one of the great secrets: money is not real. It is a token of trust, which is the real currency. As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his IPO letter, “Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.” Facebook is a New Capitalist company.

In remaking moneymaking, NewCaps are profitably fighting against the forces most likely to destroy human civilization: climate change, wars over oil and water, economic inequality, political corruption, and the oppression of women and girls. The greatest economic opportunities in human history lie in overcoming these forces.

People are taking up this revolution because it gives them what every hero in every story needs: a good fight. New Capitalists find profit in fighting the good fight with nonviolence and creativity. This is how to be happy and rich.

The mission of The New Capitalist is to tell the story of this soulful, unstoppable, and beautiful revolution.

And to be part of that story, we offer our own New Capitalist experiment: The Girl Fund Project, the world’s first nonprofit hedge fund.

I’m Vikram, the editor. During the worst of the credit crisis, my own little account had a 250% annual return. I realized that after over a decade of study and practice, I had become one of the better futures and options traders. I wanted to do more with that skill.

I learned from Nike’s “Girl Effect” video and Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn about the power of investing in the world’s most undervalued resource: girls living in extreme poverty and violence.

Soon I had this idea: what if you traded aggressively and skillfully like one of the good hedge funds, but instead of shareholders, took small donations from many people? A crowd-funded hedge fund.

Then instead of returning profits to a few big shareholders, what if the fund invested them in girls, by building schools, providing microloans, digging wells? And what if, unlike any other fund, it was totally transparent, showing every trade, teaching our trading method, revealing every donation and every expenditure?

And why hasn’t anyone thought of this already? That’s what I wondered when I tried to explain the “nonprofit hedge fund” model to the IRS and PayPal’s lawyers. It took months. Maybe because the concept is so simple.

Nonprofits need money. Why not go where the money is? A place like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, across the street from the office where I’m COO of a financial advisory firm. Billions of dollars change hands there every day. Nonprofits need money, but can’t handle the risk of trusting their money to unskilled traders. And skillful traders prefer to make their money first and then give some to nonprofits. Why not take out the extra steps and just have the hedge fund be the nonprofit?

Over 100 million girls will spend tomorrow hauling water like beasts of burden, doing domestic and farm and construction work, or worse, being enslaved in brothels and raped, in some cases by dozens of men.

They should be in school, with clean water to drink, basic health care, a small loan to buy a few goats and have milk for their families and to sell. Give a girl this much and she will return the investment a hundred times over, transforming her life, her family, and her community.

An investment like that is just smart economics. It is also inspiring and fun. That is New Capitalism.

Our website will launch soon with news, commentary, and lessons on trading and investing. We will begin crowd-funding for The Girl Fund Project as well.

If you’d like an occasional update on our progress, please give us your email. We’ll keep it safe and we won’t share or sell it. That would be old capitalism. Thanks for your time and support. I hope you’ll join the New Capitalist revolution with us.