I've had this sitting in drafts for a while. I can see that the number of regular readers is declining since I temporarily signed off in the last newsletter, but I hope a few of you will enjoy this excerpt from an email I received a while back. I think it's interesting to hear what actually motivates people to invest ethically.
Here it is:
I am in no doubt that there is a ruling class in Australia, that is the nexus of business and politics (just look at ICAC) and I am frankly sick of the endless parade of mostly white, private school educated men that constitutes this privileged corporate class. I am familiar with it because I grew up in it (for example, both [edited out] and [edited out] were in my year at high school, although I have nothing against them personally). I have spent my life trying to work at the opposite end of that spectrum ie in the grass roots cultural and community sectors, so I am well aware of the irony that I am now a professional investor.
My long background in underground electronic culture means that I see my investing activity as a form of 'hacking' (in the non-criminal sense). Since I am stuck in a capitalist system, I try to use my knowledge to (ethically) exploit vulnerabilities in that system, because the market is not efficient, especially at the microcap end. Meanwhile I try to do as little harm to the planet as possible by investing in what I believe to be relatively ethical companies, and ideally companies that are trying to make the world a better place.
In addition to financial independence from wage slavery, I use my profits to create a more environmentally sustainable life for my family, and make donations to organisations that are aligned with my values. Longer term I hope to be successful enough to be able to practise philanthropy on a larger scale. I look to people like David Walsh and Graeme Wood in that regard.
I know that was all very pretentious and long-winded of me, but I thought you might be interested to know where I'm coming from, since we all come to (ethical) investing from different backgrounds and perspectives.
Don't hesitate to be in touch.