This is something that more people are finding to be quite important but also find very hard to do. The concept to others seems to be very foreign.
Investing in Big Business Can be Done Ethically
When people invest in companies it is all to easy to step back and look at nothing but the numbers. After all, the investor is in it for the money and is not really a part of the company. All the investor wants is to put their money in to the system and let the system spit out profits. Beyond this, the best investments are made by analyzing hard data, which involves numbers, and not the day to day business practices. It isn’t necessarily that the investor does not care about what the company does, it is just surprisingly easy to overlook that information in the grand scheme of things.
The result is that a lot of people invest their money in to businesses that the majority would find unethical. That is to say that they are business that make their money by doing things that boil down to being wrong.
The prime example of this would be a company that manufactures cigarettes. Today’s society sees this as an evil since the product is known to be dangerous for everyone’s health. An average investor may see steadily growing profits and therefore buy a share, an ethical investor would look past those profits and not want to have their money aid a business that virtually promotes bad health.
So what is an ethical investment? There are investment groups known as ethical funds that make that decision for you and invest you money in a mass of companies that are deemed to be good both financially and morally. On a whole these kinds of investment groups are good, but the problem is they may not have the same definition of ethical as you do.
It is important to know then what the general masses deem as being ethical. Simply put, it tends to be a company that doesn’t cause sickness or death, doesn’t harm the environment and doesn’t treat people without deserved respect.
What happens with a lot of people who try to invest their money in ethical companies is that they are blind sighted by a companies side practices. For instance, a business that operates by taking advantage of child labor in foreign countries will likely not meet the average ethical standards, but the investor might get distracted by the fact that the company donates a great deal of money to charities. They might also have won charitable awards and support a lot of good causes. When wanting to invest ethically one must look beyond that because your investment is not supporting the charity, it is supporting the child labor.
Once you have decided that you’d be more comfortable with yourself by investing based on ethics rather than just finances then you can do a few things. Once you have found companies that meet your standards financially then request information from them about their actual practices. Also make note of companies that you know practice a business that goes against your ethics. If you deal through a investment advisor then make sure they are aware of that list of companies you want your money to avoid.