Socially conscious investing is nothing new. For years, there have been investment funds that will not hold tobacco or alcohol stocks in their portfolios. And many people like that decision. There are also funds that I call eco-friendly. For example, some funds carry companies whose objective is to improve the quality and delivery of water across the globe.
In other words, investors have the ability to put their money to work in a manner that’s aligned with their values. Of course, this applies to buyers of individual stocks as well.
And there’s an additional caveat for individual stock buyers: Be very careful of stocks whose brand or products are closely associated with an individual. What comes to mind is Wynn Resorts. When the founder was accused of sexual misconduct, the stock suffered significantly.
Whether its funds or individual stocks, investment research today goes well beyond the numbers. The people behind the company, their beliefs and their behavior are scrutinized like never before. The captain of the ship, so to speak, is just as important as the seaworthiness of the ship.
Nothing gets overlooked in this day and age. There ‘s more to the investment equation than ever before. One of the more public controversies involves NIKE and their use of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a number of their commercials. Do you think it increased or decreased NIKE’s sales?
The great thing about our nation is that we have the freedom to agree or disagree on issues, and we can choose our own method to express our thoughts. If you support NIKE’s position, you can buy their shoes or invest in their stock. If you don’t like their position, don’t buy their merchandise or their stock.
I don’t understand people who have little or no tolerance for those who view the world differently than their own perception. Simply stated, if you like something, support it, if you don’t like it, don’t touch it. But, no matter where you stand on issues, our society could be a little more tolerant of those with different points of view.
There’s quite a difference between not shopping at a store as opposed to trying to force it out of business. If a majority of consumers dislike the products or policies of XYZ Corporation and choose not to shop there, the free markets will ultimately put XYZ out of business.
Where you spend or don’t spend your money is much preferable to the in your face, zero tolerance attitude that’s so prevalent in society today.
One big reason I enjoy being a financial advisor is the opportunity to work with people who have very diverse backgrounds and beliefs. I can’t have tunnel vision and impose my beliefs upon others. I’m responsible for listening, understanding their circumstances, and assisting them in setting and achieve their goals. All in a manner that inspires comfort and confidence.
You can actually learn a lot about someone’s perceptions of the world if you take the time to really listen. People may be diverse, but the common thread I see is that most worked hard to accumulate a few dollars. They were disciplined enough to save and prepare for their financial future. My role has simply been to help them on that journey.