Clean Living & Investing
It is wise to live an ethical life, for yourself if not for others. As human beings, we have this obligation. Fundamentally, we are good people if we follow basic ethical tenants, wherever and whenever we live. This applies to the workspace as well as family life. We owe it to everyone, close friend or acquaintance, to offer our best.
While we know this in principle, if not practice, there is an area often overlooked. We can also invest with a conscience. Yes, ethics strongly apply when it comes to the investment world. It is all about clean living day to day and a clean approach to one’s financial future. The Clean Home leads to Clean Investments and The Clean Lifestyle.They go hand in hand.
How can you invest with ethics at the core of your decisions? If you have an advisor, they can help position your money with this in mind. You can also do research on the Internet to find vehicles known for their ethical position. For example, there are mutual funds that purposely exclude companies that pollute or that violate human rights by using sweatshop or child labor. They are labeled accordingly so you can recognize them. Look for words like sustainable or green in their description. Opt for those that invest in fossil or alternative fuels. Seek those that are socially responsible as part of their mission statement and purpose.
It has been noted that ethical mutual funds are smaller than the big guns we all know such as Fidelity, Vanguard, or Prudential. This doesn’t mean they are less lucrative. You can study their charts for past history and determine their ability to grow. You want a good balance between risk and reward all things considered.
Ariel Fund is one of the biggest socially responsible funds with holds over eight hundred million. Based in Chicago, the fund is known for distinct criteria that includes positive environmental impact. As such it excludes tobacco, weapons, nuclear energy, and more. Pimco Total Return is even larger at over two billion in managed funds. It is used for pension funds primarily but it also excludes gambling casinos, tobacco products, military equipment, and some pharmaceuticals. It is perfect for companies with a conscience.
Also well known is Pax World Balanced Fund which focuses on companies that “provide goods and services, such as health care, technology, pollution control, housing, utilities, and education that improve the quality of life.”
There are obviously some good choices out there depending upon your personal and political philosophy. You can also add alcohol to the mix of companies to avoid as well as chemical producers and pornography studios. You can practically customize your investments based on your views of controversial categories. You can also buy individual stocks in companies you admire as long as you diversify somewhat. It is great to kill two birds with one stone: appropriate investing practices and ultimate profits. You don’t want to sacrifice one for the other. The same sound principles apply as to quality of the company, price earnings ratios, and future prospects.