Ethical Investing (or “socially responsible investing”) is a way to invest in something good so that you feel spiritually and emotionally validated while also putting your money to a good cause.
Have you ever noticed how making money makes you feel good but it’s short lived?
Studies show that when we spend our money on specific things we get far more emotional value out of them.
- Spending money on experiences makes us happier than spending money on material items.
- Spending money in compassionate ways (giving it to people who genuinely need it) makes people far happier than spending money on themselves.
- Investing in causes we care about makes us happier than investing just for profit.
- And of course, there’s the good karma too.
If you want your money to make a difference to the world and to actually make you happier, invest in things you care about.
To Get The Most Out Of Your Money, Invest Is Something You Love
The most value you will ever get out of your money is when you spend it on things that matter.
Invest in something that:
- a) helps the world,
- b) make you feel good about yourself.
You’ve worked hard.
You’ve been smart with your money.
Your bank statements look great. And your credit rating score is pushing 900. Now you want to put your money into something that matters. You want to give back. Or, you’re a one-percenter and you just don’t know what the hell to do with all this money stuff that keeps growing on your trees, but you’ve become bored of being selfish, so what do you do now?
Invest ethically in a way that helps the world and also helps you to feel spiritually uplifted. This way you will get far more emotional and spiritual reward from your money.
What is Ethical Investing / socially responsible investing?
People are becoming more and more aware of the damage being done to the world and of the (too many) issues that the world faces.
Because of this, people are choosing to invest ethically.
This isn’t about investing your money in the right stocks so you’ll get paid dividends. It’s about investing in causes you care about, being socially responsible with your wealth, and helping the world to be a better place while at the same time doing something with your money that makes you feel good deep down in your core in a way loafers and executive memberships fail to do.
You can invest time ethically too, if you don’t wish to depart with money.
Ethical investing is simply about putting your money / resources into something you believe will be for the greater good.
How to choose what to invest your money in:
There are many excellent guides that cover how to invest in something. Like this one, for example.
What I propose is that while you’re investing, consider the more philosophical and spiritual aspects of investing.
Here’s how to invest in a spiritual way.
Look for companies that share your beliefs:
Answer the following questions to find the perfect company to invest in:
- What general field should the company be in?
- How should the company treat its employees? (No one wants to invest in a company run by bully-bosses. Forbes has a good article on companies that treat people right)
- What charities and causes should the company give to? (Fortune has a great article on companies that give the most)
- How important is the environment to you? Check how environmentally friendly a company is before you invest in it [this article on Virgin helps].
Put your money where it will be of influence:
Ethical investing can be a source of power.
Make sure your money is put somewhere where it will actually influence the company.
For instance, if you buy stocks online for British Gas, you’re money will not grant you any real influence. You might make money. But your investent will have relatively little influence over the overall company and will not make a huge difference to it. Investing in a smaller company means your money actually has far more influence. A generous investment into a small company could make a world of difference.
Knowing your money is actually helping a company is far more spiritually rewarding than simply dropping a penny in the ocean of a multi-national giant.
Invest in the community:
Community investing is the fastest growing sector of Socially Responsible Investing.
By socially responsible investing we mean supporting communities around the world that actually need help, such as starving kids in Africa.
Many large companies are being to invest in community far more than they used to, as reported on Forbes. An investment in community takes your money beyond the business realm to real people. Consider how spiritually uplifted you will feel knowing that your monetary investment is actually helping people in need to live their lives.
Screen companies to guarantee investments are ethical,
Don’t just trust those companies. Use positive and negative screening. Get a “socially screened portfolio”. T
The companies in your stock portfolio, mutual funds and pension plans need to be monitored so that you can guarantee that you are putting your money in a good company.
If a company is animal testing you might not to get rid of them, even though they’re making you money. You can find the worst companies for animal testing on PETA’s list.
Company screening is about looking at both the positive and negative influence that a company is having on society and on the world.
Thankfully, there are companies that can help you with this.
Consider looking into “socially screened portfolios”. These are portfolios that have been tested for ethics.
The company screen process is simple.
It’s broken down into positive screening and negative screening.
Negative screening is about punishing companies that use unethical methods, like animal testing (those guinea pigs are living beings, respect them) and off-shoring labour to third world countries so they can pay some poor starving man a buck a week. Positive screening is about looking favorably at companies that have a good influence. Maybe the company is environmentally friendly. That’s a plus.
Thanks to socially screen portfolios, it’s easy to find the right company to invest in, meaning even you one percenters can invest in something good.
Always remember, your money has the power to:
- influence the world in positive ways
- help companies get started or grow
- promote ethical business
- make you genuinely happy in a way that random purchases cannot.
When you choose to invest ethical, everybody wins.
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