Sounds crazy, right. Picking an investment based on the company’s social values. Isn’t profit, or efficiency, or something you find on the balance sheet more important?
Important? Yes. More important? I don’t think so.
It’s increasingly important to align our lives to a social value system, and that includes expressing our social values in the companies we do business with. Would you buy Tyson chicken if you knew how Tyson torture baby chicks? Would you buy from a company that used child labor?
If you won’t buy from these companies, why would you invest in them?
You shouldn’t. And, that’s not a judgement on values that don’t align with your own, it’s common sense.
Investing in alignment with your social values is one of the core principles of the Elephant’s Paycheck Blueprint. By doing so, you are more connected to the company you own (remember, buying stock in a company makes you an owner). Being more connected keeps you more interested, learning more about the company than you would otherwise.
In fact, we’re not the only ones thinking this way.
In response to being challenged for Starbuck’s public stance supporting same-sex marriage, CEO Howard Schultz responded: “It’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company.”
More and more, consumers are desiring that companies “take a stand” in support of their core values. Why shouldn’t investors take the same stance in respect to their own values?
Companies that “take a stand” also show that they stand for something more than (not “other than”!) profits. That can only help long-term investors like us.