A lot of legendary names in the value investing community have contributed meaningfully to many philanthropic causes. Warren Buffett's active participation in a number of trusts and his handsome donations are well known. There are several other investors that have invested themselves in charitable causes, Mohnish Pabrai, of Pabrai Investment Funds (PIF) has established a foundation that looks after the underprivileged children of India and makes sure that they get the chance to achieve the best education.
Stacey Asher, has worked in the hedge fund industry for over seven years as an investor relations and marketing professional. Her cause, Portfolios with Purpose, has chosen to raise money for charities through a fun and exciting game. The whole process is based on a contest where some of the most famous and sought-after names of the hedge fund world will be playing. David Einhorn from Greenlight Capital, Dan Loeb from Third Point, Leon Cooperman from Omega Advisors, James Dinan from York Capital, and Karen Finerman from Metropolitan Capital Advisors, have already signed up to take part in the contest. If you win, you can get a lunch meeting with any of these famous investors.
The participation starts with choosing one of the three levels of classes, novice, professional, and master. After that the competitor has to choose five global equities (Market cap >$500 million) and then choose their charity. The players will compete to maximize total return (share price plus dividends) of their portfolio over the course of the competition. Both long and short bets can be laid on the chosen stocks. The stocks are purchased with pretend money. At the end, whoever gains maximum profits, they will be awarded the top positions. Money that is pooled from the class registration fee and will be distributed to the winners, which then goes to the charity they had been rooting for.
On PwP's website, the charities that are the most supported are Light in Africa, World Vision, and St Jude's Chidren's Research Hospital.
Registration for 2013 is open ONLY till Dec 31st of this year, so you all should get enrolled soon. Portfolios with Purpose is a great opportunity for everyone to test their investing skills and mix it with a good cause at the same time.