Why I’m not investing in tobacco and weapons

Why I’m not investing in tobacco and weapons.

Last week I had a discussion with someone about my ethics in investing. As you can read in my Pollie-code, I don’t buy everything that hits my screening criteria regardless of industry. I have some personal ethics about investing in the tobacco and weapons industry.




I have a dream

We all know the harmful effects of the tobacco industry, if not, just Google it. I have read that The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco is killing 7 million people each year! The factsheet of the WHO makes you think.

I have a dream that my kids will grow up in a smoke and gun free world. Alone can’t make my dream come true. I know that, but I’m hoping more and more people will have this dream and together we can achieve more. And I don’t want to be standing on the sideline, so I looked what small steps I can make (every journey starts with the first small step).

And if you think that tobacco kills a lot of people, than you will be shocked how many people in this world are killed by guns every year L. Also on this point I’m hoping for a better world for my kids.

The first and easiest step that I can take is that I educate my kids about the dangers of tobacco/smoking and the use of guns. This is the duty of every parent in my opinion.


Responsibility as an investor

Besides educating my kids I also take the responsibility on the tobacco-issue and gun-issue as an investor seriously. If we look at the tobacco industry, more and more (international) concerns about the risks posed by tobacco can be read, not only stated by individuals but also by well-known leading organizations (WHO, UN).

And I don’t even want to talk about the dangers, risks and grieves that is posed by the weapon industry. This only makes me sad and angry. And that’s why I don’t feel comfortable owning weapons producers or tobacco companies.

Therefore a small and logical step I can make for a better world is to exclude all tobacco and weapons companies in my Vrijheid Fonds. And that’s why I don’t invest in the Dividend Aristocrats Altria Group or General Dynamics for instance, this despite their great metrics.


How about you?

In this post I have tried to write down why I have some restrictions in the choices I make when looking for some new investments. So I don’t buy everything that hits my screening criteria. And don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to make any (ethical) choices for other people. Everyone has the right to make his or her own decisions.

Do you exclude companies or industries from your investments? And what are your reasons for this. I like to hear from you.




Disclaimer: I’m not a registered investment adviser, investment professional, brokerage firm or investment company. Readers are advised that information on the website is issued solely for information purposes and not to be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy, hold, or sell any securities. All information, opinions, and analyses included are based on sources believed to be reliable, but no representation or warranty is made concerning accuracy, correctness, timeliness, or appropriateness. Please consult with an investment professional before investing any of your money.

12 thoughts on “Why I’m not investing in tobacco and weapons

  1. Mr. Robot

    Hi Pollie, I couldn’t have said it better. I have the same rules as you with the addition that I also don’t Invest in oil (Exxon, etc) unless I can find a clear path towards a fossil fuel free world (no one at the moment).

    Even though my small portfolio doesn’t change the world I truelly believe that if aneough people make small steps we really CAN change the world.

  2. boekel

    Hi Pollie,

    I have exactly the same reasoning with the same consequence as you and I couldn’t have said it better. Only together as a large crowd we can change this world.

  3. Team CF

    I believe more in the personal “purchasing” power than avoiding companies for what they do. Their model revolves around making money, all of them. My strongest vote is not buying their products. That is why I buy as little fuel as I can, don’t smoke or own a gun/tank/rocket launcher/atomic bomb. I do buy green energy, organic produce and generally try to go for products that are durable.

    That being said, we do own oil & gas shares, but no weapons or tobacco stocks. We do have bonds in solar and wind projects.

  4. BescheidenBeurs

    I will invest in anything that is legal if and when I think it is a good deal. I do not, however, invest in the tobacco industry because I don’t see a long and prosperous future for that industry.

  5. Mr. ATM

    I’m with you on tobacco. Have owned it before but never felt good about it. There is no such thing as responsible smoking, besides second hand smoke is harmful to even non-smokers.

    Now regarding weapons, there is a responsible way to own and operate them. Products of GD or LMT help keep us safe in a dangerous world by maintaining a certain level of deterrence. Sure they can be misused but that’s really up to the owner or the operator and who gets to own or use them. Wish we didn’t need them, but it would be naive to think the world could be free of them.

  6. B at Fire The Boss

    I don’t look at the companies I invest in at all, because I buy world-wide index funds. I own over six thousand companies (when I last counted), so it’s impossible there to remove some of the “bad guys” without incurring massive costs.
    Besides that, I don’t believe not investing in bad companies makes them go away. Not buying their product makes them go away.
    But I can see that for an investor buying individual shares, this strategy works. For index investors, not so much.

    1. Polliesdividend

      I agree that without my money these companies will not go away. But they can’t use my money. And that alone let me sleep well at night.

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