Unethical investments. I have loads, like you. For years I’ve recommended British companies based on their performance not on their activities. Companies in tobacco (BAT), gambling (Ladbrokes), alcohol (Diageo), armaments (BAe Systems) and now the latest and clearly the most unethical of all – tax avoiders – like Apple, Google, Amazon – and they’re not even British. How unpatriotic and unethical am I? Sure, it’s no excuse to say, we I just want you to make profit.
So is it unethical to own Apple, Google, Amazon stock. I really like all three stocks by the way. Actually I really like armament companies for their profitability – especially smart bomb companies – they are doing rather well. So unethical I know. Profiting from death and destruction. I guess I’ve always been immoral – before being in finance I was a barrister (urghhh, lawyer) and then went into being a hedge fund manager (evil or what?) and of course, worst of all, practice journalism (they had to shut down News of the World because of some of the immoral journalists there).
So I ask again, is it wrong to own these stocks? All I can tell you is that I leave it to your conscience, but I prefer them all to Facebook. Even Google who said their guiding principle is ‘do no Evil’ apparently are doing some evil according to some people.
I won’t go into morality, but I will tell you great performers at the moment coming up on my screen and all of them I am sure have done much wrong – that is no excuse – but beware if you invest in shares then the you will want to heed the advice from the Gita to be detached.
Names which continue doing well and growing revenues and earnings and paying good dividends include Aberdeen Asset Management, Babcock, Bunzl, Easyjet and ITV. Certainly the last two you’ve been furious with at some point.
So do immoral companies make the most money? Do the best, because they break or bend the rules? Maybe we should have a portfolio of unethical immoral investments of tobacco and bomb companies because humans are so weak?
Looking at stocks in that area – I have to tell you it would do well. You might even add Vedanta in mining (environmentally damaging perhaps?) – it is up 18% in the past 6 months.
Maybe this correlates to our understanding of human nature –that bad people get ahead. What about Karma? Well, luckily stocks move in cycles – just ask Apple shareholders – so when they fall we can say it is Karma.
Maybe I should add banks and even oil companies like BP as bad. Poor Pearson which just wants to educate people is one of the poorer FTSE performers of recent months. So I have made up my mind, I need to find the stock of a tax-dodging, alcohol making, tobacco producing, bomb creating, casino owning conglomerate. Or I could just buy the FTSE 100 index – that’s pretty evil ….and near all time highs too. Evil clearly pays.