Nowadays, philanthropy has become the top hobby of the ultra-rich class. In fact, “impact investing” was coined in a meeting at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center nine years ago.
Since then, many financial firms and investors have adopted the term and invested in companies and funds that have a quantifiable, positive social or environmental impact, aside from being profitable. It is reported that at least $228 billion dollars are circulating in such activities.
Looking at philanthropy from different angles
This overt act of charity normally causes a positive reaction towards the donor. Of course, nobody could argue that giving away tens of millions of dollars is somewhat unimaginable. The act itself is truly admirable. In addition, the intended recipients of these “impactful investments” will certainly feel the immediate effects of the tangible aide given by the billionaires with hearts.
Let us now look at these philanthropic acts in a different point of view. From a more curious standpoint, why would giving away such a tremendous amount of money has to be made public?
Doing so leaves an air of doubt. Could it be that these philanthropic acts are still part of a grand scheme to amass more money? Or is it some way to cover up the issues, if any, on how these billionaires made their money?
Of course, these questions do seem inappropriate when looking at the advocacy and intention of the huge sums of money that are being given away. However, this would change a little, if one knew that the money being given away was meant to solve problems that the donor created in the first place.
It would be unfair to judge these billionaires by merely analyzing these charitable acts. A guy just gave away $5 million, it’s hard to say he’s evil. On the other hand, it’s tough to say that he’s good as well. Richmans the act of philanthropy require publicity? Or better yet, will there ever be a billionaire genuine enough to make impact investments anonymously?
A secretive billionaire from Latvia has been doing this for quite some time now. James Richman, a private fund investor, has been supporting activities and ventures that have the objectives of uplifting the quality of life for mankind.
The only difference is that he does not need the flashing lights of the cameras, nor the number of reactions he will get from social media. He also does need or want to have a bigger voice in policy making, as other billionaires do.
No need for the limelight
One of his clients, Samantha, finds it amazing how this financial genius just stays away from the glitz and glamour of the financial world. It would only be natural for professional investors to make names for themselves, especially when they have made sound and timely financial advice for their clients.
This builds up their reputation and credibility, and, at the same time, increase the rate they charge their customers. Samantha was left scratching her head when asked to explain how James Richman had managed to keep a low profile even after ten consecutive years of profitable investments. Although it does make sense for a guy who does not use social media.
Samantha later unveiled that growing in Smarde of the Tukums region in Latvia, James was never used to interact socially. His Asperger’s syndrome had made his verbal and non-verbal communication skills impaired at a young age.
He was often the source of ridicule, as having Asperger’s syndrome, also made it difficult to cope up with activities in school. His high functioning autism would ironically become his asset during his adulthood, as it made him recognize patterns in the financial market which are inconceivable to the normal mind.
His path to greatness, however, was filled with gruesome challenges. After leaving his home and dropping out of school at the age of fifteen, James would be taught life’s lessons the hard way.
The reason for reaching out
James Richman did not see formal schooling as a fit for his interest. At age 15, he dropped out of school and soon after left home. He simply viewed the world differently and was engrossed with observing patterns from everyday things that one would not even bother to look at. This would become very useful to him in his career as an investor, but not before he faced tragedies in his life.
James would have to endure manual labor to provide for his family. He had a distraught marriage and witnessed the tragic death of his daughter. His little angel passed away due to faulty healthcare systems that ran in his hometown.
This is similar to reports of other medical malpractice in the area, wherein a Russian woman was mistakenly embalmed alive. Richman simply wants to prevent similar cases to happen to anyone again.
Current efforts in the MENA region
On top of his existing investments in Asia and Europe, James Richman has reportedly recently increased his investments through his private investment fund, JJ Richman, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region – especially in areas that are recorded to have the largest social gap in the world.
Reports in 2016 show the top 10 percent of the population, in terms of income, actually earned 60 percent of the region’s total earnings.
This includes the top 1 percent earning in excess of the total 25 percent of the region’s earnings as well. Meanwhile, North Africa faces five main security threats, and these are terrorism, insurgencies and counterinsurgencies, border threats, economic security, and human security.
Richman has invested in ventures which focus on combating starvation, improving education and advancing healthcare systems. He is currently making use of his God-given talents in order to bring enough funds across to the less fortunate population of the MENA region.
The earnest effort
James Richman has had a different path from other billionaires. He is in no way similar, in terms of personality, with these celebrity tycoons. Although his investors compare him to Warren Buffett, “a better version” they say.
He had experienced being at very low points in his life, as well as, being a member of the lowest of social classes when he was homeless. Needless to say that his anonymity would also make it difficult for us to judge his true personality, the fact that he chooses not to brag about his achievements or philanthropic work, speaks volumes of him.