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Subject:  Why SRI? Date:  10/20/2007  3:49 PM
Author:  5000fingers Number:  2207 of 2249

As a somewhat-left-of-center environmentalist, I'd like to believe in the idea of socially responsible investing. But I just can't get behind the notion that by investing in equities of a socially responsible company (whatever your own definitions or criteria might be), you are in any way "helping" or "supporting" that company. A purchase of stock (whether by an individual or a mutual fund or pension manager) is a transaction limited to the buyer, the seller, and a little off the top to the broker. Not one penny goes to benefit the business itself.

The only way I see to help these companies is by buying their products or services. If I buy $10,000 worth of stock in, say, a company that makes solar photovoltaic systems for homes, I am paying off the previous owner of those shares, and I will hold it until I sell it to the next owner. The only impact to the company is now they have a different address to send the annual report to. On t