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Author Topic: Are ethical considerations important when you choose to buy?  (Read 11938 times)
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« on: May 01, 2009, 01:35:19 AM »

I am starting this topic, because I just replied to Tara:

But in the insecure economic times we are going though, guns producers and/or sellers make fantastic business, and their shares "sky rocket".
And the more guns are around, mixed with the anxiety, the bigger the chances of "familial dramas" turning into carnage, more suicidal thoughts become realities.

We could discuss here the ethics of the management of some companies, some who shamelessly make a lot a money in poor countries, leaving the environment and/or the health of the people who live around there exploitations in very poor conditions.

My opinion is that when one makes research on a stocks, those facts are often not easily found (except of course when they are self explaining, like gun producers).

I must confess that I came relatively late to this concern: I did see some terrible reporting in the news, and it took me a while to link this to my own trading.

This has nothing to do with trading, but I NEVER offer "beautiful roses" to anyone since I saw the health conditions of the people who grew and handled those roses.
I only give flowers that I pick in my own garden, where I know how they have been grown, and my "bouquets" are beautiful, even if rare during the winter  Wink

Does any one else consider these aspects before buying?
I know for sure that some of us do.


« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 01:50:50 AM by garilou » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 12:30:43 PM »

The difficult question is where to draw the line.  If someone came to me and asked me to invest in a company that was targeting a bio-virus at people a few shades darker than me I would most likely decline.

However, what if it was to research a disease that primarily affected the same group?

Keep in mind that the same research could be useful in both cases.

Or consider CWD (conductive weapon devices 'Tazer") - given a choice between being shot with a handgun or zapped which would you pick?  Now ask Robert's mom, whose son was zapped five times and went into heart failure.  (he was 'threatening' the police with a stapler!)

Another line drawn -- so you do not like exploitation of poor people and disregard for the enviroment, therefor, you do not invest in Shell.  But what about the companies that supply products and services to Shell?

If you do not like fighter aircraft and do not invest in the manufacturers do you invest in SKF that might possibly be supplying ball bearings?

It is all shades of grey and I would expect that the apparent shade varies with the rate of return for most people, for if you where absolute you would invest in nothing.

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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 02:02:29 AM »


I absolutely agree with you that it is not easy, and that it's (most of the time) in shades of grey.

Your first example touches me personally in a sense: I am narcoleptic, and there is a specific gene linked to it.  I have suffered 40 years until I was diagnosed. Lots of people carry that gene and are not and never will be narcoleptic, but 100% of people with narcolepsy (N) carry that gene.
A research recently showed that, in young men who had tried to commit suicide, 40% carried that gene, because when the N strikes, your life changes dramatically. This research confirmed what I had always though (I was myself so long suicidal because I did not know what was suddenly wrong with me and why I could not perform as I always had).
Back to the skin color:
N exists all over the world, strikes equally men and women, but the gene is slightly different in black people. So if there had been no research done, lots of black people might never be diagnosed properly.

Another example: research for cancer.
My husband was first diagnosed for a cancer that was not very dangerous. But he was treated with a chemo product that was highly carcinogen, and 2 years after, is "benign" cancer transformed in a 100% terminal cancer.  Did the doctors know? Did they take a chance? (only 10% of the cases transformed so badly, but 10% is not a small chance)
This product is not used anymore, but the company who produced it knew it was carcinogen. As you can guess, in that time I made night long Internet research, still it took me months to find out: it was too late, and I never told him, but when it did transform, you can imagine my anger:
without treatment, with the proper vaccines against the most dangerous infections he could catch, he had the probability to live 15 to 20 years. He died not quite 2 years after the fatal transformation  (in the US he would not have been treated anymore, and would have died in a matter of 3 to 6 months.)
Does this mean that I should not invest in companies that search cancer treatment? I guess not.

But there is research done that could in lots of cancer cases, eliminate all chemotherapy. This research is extremely poorly subsidized, no big pharmaceutical would invest in research that would mean the loss of the huge profits they make with cancer. This is even part of their publicity for investors: the baby boomers come in the age of cancer, that's great for us!

A Tazer chock would certainly be better then being killed by a gun shot, but maybe a gun shot in a leg would be as good deterrent for an apparently dangerous behaviour.

There is a difference between the product itself (or the research), and the use that will be made with it.
I guess police and soldiers need guns, but guns are essentially made to kill. If a company produces guns and accepts that those will be sold to normal citizens, and even give instructions on how to transform them to give them more killing power, for me it's a 100% "no buy".

N is considered as a rare neurological disorder. A medication was developed shortly after I was diagnosed. But when they disclosed that they were looking into the possible use of it to keep soldiers awake for more then 48 hours, the price of the shares jumped! This could have been so dangerous! (Fortunately it did not work, but other drugs were found for the soldiers)

It would be too long to discuss all the grey shaded companies.

My question was not so much: Is this or this company 100% "good" or "evil"?

It was mainly: are the ethics part of the decision to invest or do we think in a certain way the rest of our live, and forget about it when it comes to buy shares?

Thanks for you reply,


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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 09:08:07 AM »

yes, for example if you trade food. i wouldnt do that if people cant pay higher index price.
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