No. of Recommendations: 3
People who are trying to incorporate their sense of social responsibility into their investing do face difficult decisions sometimes. The question I like to ask myself at such times is "How would I feel if I lost money investing in this company?" Some companies I would at least be able to take solace that I was trying to align myself with a "cause" I would like to support. I would feel bad enough investing in an oil company that I wouldn't do it anyway, but if I did it AND LOST MONEY, I'd probably be looking for the nearest bridge to jump off.

Alternatively, you can try actually buying some, and if you don't like the way it feels, then sell. A couple weeks ago I decided Alcoa would make a nice conservative, limited downside/pretty good upside addition to my portfolio. My research into its social responsibility turned up a mixed bag--definitely a dirty industry, but at the same time they are winning awards and making efforts to be more environmentally friendly and socially responsible. And their product is a staple in "greening the world"--makes for lighter, higher gas mileage vehicles, recyclable beverage containers, etc. I bought some and am seeing how it feels--so far a bit uneasy, but not enough to make me sell.
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When Life Gives You Lemons
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