Can You Invest in Democracy?

Jason Howell |

"Take the time to consult with your adviser, and make sure you understand what your dollars are doing. Are you invested in a way that aligns with your values and are you exposed to geopolitical risk because you're [accidentally investing in authoritarianism] because of the methodology of the passive international index strategies. It's easy to say "I'll do it later" but you need to dig deep and ask your adviser to get your head around your portfolio because we're in unsettling times. It's hard to know where the next conflict is going to be."

- Julie Cane, CEO of Democracy Investments


We had the pleasure of interviewing Julie, former US Naval Aviator, Co-Founder and CEO of Democracy Investments ( to discuss how you can help defend democracy globally and how that could be good for your finances. Julie has family history defending freedom and liberty that goes at least as far back as her grandparents. She continued the tradition of military service early in her career. Now she continues that family mission by specializing in managing investments that incentivize democratic principals. 

In our wide ranging interview we discussed:

  • Her family’s historical connection to defending liberty
  • How democracy is fairing with 2024's record number of elections
  • Why “ESG” needs a “D” and leverage finance for impact
  • The troubling rise of investments in authoritarian states
  • The difference between divesting vs. “tilting” as a strategy
  • How changing the way we invest will change the world



Jason Howell Company is a family wealth management firm that strengthens the finances of families making the transition from first generation success to family wealth. We envision a world where wealthy families give, grow and govern themselves in ways that enrich their local communities. We do this by reducing the fear, isolation and guilt associated with financial success.

Jason J. Howell, CFP®CPWA®CSRIC® and Douglas W. Tees, MBACFP® CAP®CBDA  have spent a lot of time in the Washington, DC area, and are aware that many people who are first generation wealth suffer from a kind of "financial imposter syndrome."  Successful entrepreneurs and family businesses are always looking over their shoulder; government contractors worry about the next contract; former Capitol Hill staffers privately wonder if they should "feel bad" for the money they now make. Imposter syndrome is common among people who work for the many corporate headquarters based in this area as well. These feelings get in the way of properly managing family wealth. We empower them to get organized, build a team of advisors and make decisions.

Our typical "first generation wealth" families include dual income parents who work, save and have just the right amount of fun. For long-time, family owned businesses we focus on much family preservation as we do wealth preservation. 

First generation wealth success stories and family business owners realize that they:

  • Need to “do something” with the cash in their checking/savings
  • Need to eventually diversify their portfolio away from the family business
  • Need an investment strategy for “up” and “down” markets
  • Need a plan to mitigate market, credit, inflation, and political risks
  • Need to start tax planning instead of just tax paying
  • Need to be sure they are choosing the right work benefits
  • Need to reduce financial miscommunications between family members
  • Need to separate business finances from personal finances
  • Need to separate family wealth from individual wealth
  • Need a plan to provide space for both family and individual philanthropy 
  • Need to plan for money while alive and for what happens after death
To learn more about our unique offering, contact us for a free initial strategy session: click here


Jason Howell Company (“Jason Howell Company”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of Virginia and in other jurisdictions where exempted.  Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The presence of this website on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by Jason Howell Company in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or pursuant an applicable state exemption.

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