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.
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