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Responsible Investing

All people should match their personalities, values and temperaments with their investment selections. You should invest in what you believe in, and expect a market rate of return from your investments. The argument has always been that if you are a selective, socially responsible investor, and are limiting your investment choices, then you should expect a lower rate of return than the non-selective investor. This is just not the case. There are literally thousands of companies to invest in, and one needs only 5 to 10 securities to have a diversified stock portfolio. That said, the strategy is to avoid stocks that cause harm to society and invest in companies that improve (or are environmentally friendly to) society. “Green” stocks are environmentally friendly companies. The industries and investment types that are considered to have a negative impact on society are listed below:

·        The “sin” stocks: tobacco, alcohol and gambling companies

·        Military and weapons producers

·        Companies that have environmental issues

·        Companies with human resource and human rights issues

·        Companies involved with nuclear power

·        Companies involved in abortion or pornography

·        Companies with unethical and illegal business practices

Implementing a socially responsible investing strategy is more involved then it appears and requires research and discipline by the investor. For example:

·        Healthcare companies may manufacture birth control devices.

·        Food companies may sell baby formula that is ultimately deadly to babies in developing countries, but is excellent for developed nations.  

·        Manufacturing companies are moving production to China and service companies are moving customer service departments and computer personnel to India.

·        Drug companies are refusing to sell their products to Canadian pharmacies that sell to U.S. customers.

·        Some restaurants profit from the poor labor conditions of the workers who harvest tomatoes or other produce.

Socially responsible and green investing are good ways to influence companies with your investment dollars. The capital markets are so large and diverse, that with the assistance of a good investment advisor, this style should have no effect on your investment returns. 

 

 

 

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