Most of us want to be “socially responsible” — however we define that. We don’t want to trash the planet for our children and grandchildren. We don’t think corporations should exploit their workers or their communities. And we don’t intend to profit from the misery of other human beings.
Yet most of us also need to provide for our retirement by holding shares in the world’s economy. If we fail in that task, we’ll be a burden to others in our old age, creating a different set of problems….
Are these goals — social responsibility and financial independence — compatible? How can small investors live up to their ideals without compromising the financial freedom they’ve spent a lifetime achieving?
I’ve wrestled with these questions, off and on, for much of my investing career. I had a difficult time answering them years ago, and I have a difficult time answering them today. But, given some intervening years, and another round of research, I’m a bit smarter about the options. Perhaps what I’ve learned can help you make your own peace with securing and growing your wealth, while causing the least harm….