Author Topic: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?  (Read 1953 times)

Comar

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How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« on: July 08, 2018, 05:18:53 PM »
When corporate greed is pulling strings like these: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/health/world-health-breastfeeding-ecuador-trump.html

Let's just say all morals aside isn't it bad for business to be pulling shit like this if names and company ties get exposed? Just assuming I'm Darth Vader and I want my profits should I be worried?

MDM

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 08:22:27 PM »
...isn't it bad for business to be pulling shit like this if names and company ties get exposed?
According to the article,
Quote
“The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children,” an H.H.S. spokesman said in an email. “We recognize not all women are able to breast-feed for a variety of reasons. These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so.” The spokesman asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely.

Although lobbyists from the baby food industry attended the meetings in Geneva, health advocates said they saw no direct evidence that they played a role in Washington’s strong-arm tactics. The $70 billion industry, which is dominated by a handful of American and European companies, has seen sales flatten in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breast-feeding. Over all, global sales are expected to rise by 4 percent in 2018, according to Euromonitor, with most of that growth occurring in developing nations.

MasterStache

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 06:53:20 AM »
When corporate greed is pulling strings like these: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/health/world-health-breastfeeding-ecuador-trump.html

Let's just say all morals aside isn't it bad for business to be pulling shit like this if names and company ties get exposed? Just assuming I'm Darth Vader and I want my profits should I be worried?

Current administrators siding with corporate interest and using strong arm threatening tactics to force their will. Sounds like business as usual.

Dabnasty

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2018, 07:30:11 AM »
I've looked through a number of articles on this issue and haven't been able to come up with more information on the actual wording of the resolution, but everything points to limiting the ability of formula manufacturers to promote their product, particularly where it is promoted as superior to breastfeeding.

When the HHS spokesperson said the resolution "placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children" it looks like that was a bit of a stretch. There is no indication that mothers who could not breastfeed would be restricted from buying formula. It's possible that less retailers would carry formula and prices would rise if it became less popular, but that's the free market at work. So unless the WHO, a number of physicians who have come out against the US tactic, and every news outlet reporting on this story is being dishonest about what was actually in the resolution, the US was bullying Ecuador in support of formula manufacturers.

Even if there was a legitimate reason to oppose the resolution, this whole ordeal makes the US look bad every step of the way. Bullying a smaller country to change their laws, that doesn't look good on the world stage. Backing down when Russia steps in, that just makes it embarrassing.

FIRE@50

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2018, 07:43:41 AM »
Really? This is where you draw the line for investing in the S&P 500? You were fine with the weapons manufacturers? The tobacco companies? The industrial companies polluting your air and water? etc?

GuitarStv

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 08:21:16 AM »
Even if there was a legitimate reason to oppose the resolution, this whole ordeal makes the US look bad every step of the way. Bullying a smaller country to change their laws, that doesn't look good on the world stage. Backing down when Russia steps in, that just makes it embarrassing.

What I found fascinating is that it's kinda like the whole Trump presidency in miniature:

- Try to hurt people for little/no discernible gain?  Check.
- Be a bullying asshole?  Check.
- Totally bend over backwards to make Russia happy?  Check.
- Accomplish nothing but damage to US reputation world wide?  Check.

Johnez

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2018, 10:44:08 AM »
Really? This is where you draw the line for investing in the S&P 500? You were fine with the weapons manufacturers? The tobacco companies? The industrial companies polluting your air and water? etc?

I'm guessing this is just an example. Posts like this on the ethics of investing occasionally pop up. Everyone has their "issue" that gives em pause, this one seems particularly egregious, especially concerning the problems formula presents in poorer countries (dangerous lack of clean water, expensive).

talltexan

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2018, 08:11:43 AM »
A lot of people feel the same way, but have a fiduciary responsibility to provide for their future selves and families. Products exist that allow for investing in a board index of ethical/responsible companies.

marty998

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2018, 03:24:58 AM »
...isn't it bad for business to be pulling shit like this if names and company ties get exposed?
According to the article,
Quote
“The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children,” an H.H.S. spokesman said in an email. “We recognize not all women are able to breast-feed for a variety of reasons. These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so.” The spokesman asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely.

Although lobbyists from the baby food industry attended the meetings in Geneva, health advocates said they saw no direct evidence that they played a role in Washington’s strong-arm tactics. The $70 billion industry, which is dominated by a handful of American and European companies, has seen sales flatten in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breast-feeding. Over all, global sales are expected to rise by 4 percent in 2018, according to Euromonitor, with most of that growth occurring in developing nations.

If lobbying doesn't work there wouldn't be any lobbyists now would there :)

But there is, so it follows it does.

Even if there was a legitimate reason to oppose the resolution, this whole ordeal makes the US look bad every step of the way. Bullying a smaller country to change their laws, that doesn't look good on the world stage. Backing down when Russia steps in, that just makes it embarrassing.

What I found fascinating is that it's kinda like the whole Trump presidency in miniature:

- Try to hurt people for little/no discernible gain?  Check.
- Be a bullying asshole?  Check.
- Totally bend over backwards to make Russia happy?  Check.
- Accomplish nothing but damage to US reputation world wide?  Check.

The ironic thing is Ecuador is trying to help Julian Assange, who, according to numerous disreputable sources, allegedly interfered in the US elections with the assistance of Russia to aid in Mr Trump's quest to get elected.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 03:29:09 AM by marty998 »

talltexan

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2018, 02:19:38 PM »
I don't think a lot of Americans realize just how much generic Latin american countries would love to do something small to get back at the US for several centuries of exploitation by the Anglo-European great powers.

tyort1

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2018, 05:28:41 PM »
The ironic thing is Ecuador is trying to help Julian Assange, who, according to numerous disreputable sources, allegedly interfered in the US elections with the assistance of Russia to aid in Mr Trump's quest to get elected.

Oh that's funny!

pecunia

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2018, 06:14:02 PM »
Quote
A 2016 study in The Lancet found that universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield $300 billion in  savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.

Our businesses are often no longer run by honorable men and women.  They bring shame to us all.

wbranch

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2018, 09:14:20 AM »
Quote
A 2016 study in The Lancet found that universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield $300 billion in  savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.

Our businesses are often no longer run by honorable men and women.  They bring shame to us all.

No longer? When were they?

pecunia

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2018, 10:37:39 AM »
Quote
No longer? When were they?

Good question and rather depressing as I ponder history.

e34bb098

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2018, 12:23:47 PM »
If you don't feel happy with the S&P 500, then you could pursue the other two traditional paths to FI: real estate, or entrepreneurship.

But, if you have high standards, you'll inevitably have to deal with people or companies that don't measure up.

So maybe a better question is "why do you have to feel happy with your investments?"  Mine are just a tool.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2018, 01:51:34 PM »
maybe a better question is "why do you have to feel happy with your investments?"  Mine are just a tool.

Yes, exactly. I don't care how careful you are with your investments. Your money will go to corporations that you find objectionable simply by virtue of the fact that you are a member of a capitalist society. I bought $600 worth of plywood manufactured by Koch brothers-owned Georgia-Pacific this spring, because it's the only brand of plywood sheathing available in my area. I fill up with gas every week, and I use electricity every day, even though I fear the long-term consequences of fossil fuel use. I send my mortgage check to Wells Fargo each month even though they're scum of the earth. All of these transactions have a bigger effect on these companies' bottom line than owning a few shares of their stock through my index funds, but they're practically unavoidable unless you want to live as a self-sufficient recluse (which, trust me, I've considered).

Dan_ZTT

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2018, 05:05:37 PM »
Quote
A 2016 study in The Lancet found that universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield $300 billion in  savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.

Our businesses are often no longer run by honorable men and women.  They bring shame to us all.

Some are, some aren't. It's the same now as it's always been, just the same way that some people in life are nice and some are dicks.

As others have said, you can never completely avoid some of your money going to places you don't like. I'm happy to just live as frugal and efficient a life as I can and improve the world that way.

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2018, 10:41:31 AM »
If the S&P isn't really your thing, Altria can be bought today with a 4.77% dividend : )

acroy

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2018, 08:05:18 AM »
When corporate greed is pulling strings like these: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/health/world-health-breastfeeding-ecuador-trump.html

Let's just say all morals aside isn't it bad for business to be pulling shit like this if names and company ties get exposed? Just assuming I'm Darth Vader and I want my profits should I be worried?
My understanding is that the resolution would actually have placed restrictions on certain infant nutrition products. that is a BAD THING for infants who need it. As the HHS rep stated:
“The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children,” an H.H.S. spokesman said in an email. “We recognize not all women are able to breast-feed for a variety of reasons. These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so.”
^ I agree with that 100%, and with the corollary statement that the UN should put no barrier on nutrition choices. Even Slate agrees with HHS (doesn't happen often)
https://slate.com/technology/2018/07/whos-breastfeeding-resolution-really-is-flawed.html

As for if you can be 'happy' investing in the S&P: yes if you like to make money and can come to peace with the fact many business are led by sociopaths (fact).
If not, there are plenty of 'socially responsible' investment vehicles which may be more up your alley. http://etfdb.com/type/investment-style/socially-responsible/

pecunia

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2018, 09:11:05 AM »
acroy:
Quote
As for if you can be 'happy' investing in the S&P: yes if you like to make money and can come to peace with the fact many business are led by sociopaths (fact).

Wow!  That's extreme!

(And it may be true.)

GuitarStv

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2018, 09:19:14 AM »
When corporate greed is pulling strings like these: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/health/world-health-breastfeeding-ecuador-trump.html

Let's just say all morals aside isn't it bad for business to be pulling shit like this if names and company ties get exposed? Just assuming I'm Darth Vader and I want my profits should I be worried?
My understanding is that the resolution would actually have placed restrictions on certain infant nutrition products. that is a BAD THING for infants who need it. As the HHS rep stated:
“The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children,” an H.H.S. spokesman said in an email. “We recognize not all women are able to breast-feed for a variety of reasons. These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so.”
^ I agree with that 100%, and with the corollary statement that the UN should put no barrier on nutrition choices. Even Slate agrees with HHS (doesn't happen often)
https://slate.com/technology/2018/07/whos-breastfeeding-resolution-really-is-flawed.html

Your understanding is incorrect.  Did you even read the slate opinion piece you posted?

It clearly describes that there is nothing at all wrong with the WHO health guidelines, but that in one particular hospital they didn't implement them in a sensible manner.

I'm shocked . . . SHOCKED that the spokesperson for a group of companies who have engaged in a campaign of lies to push their product at people - an action that has been proven responsible for thousands of baby deaths - would argue against a resolution that parents be provided with truthful information about breastfeeding.  I mean, these companies have a direct profit motive to suppress this information . . . but surely that has nothing to do with it.

PaulMaxime

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Re: How can I feel happy about investing in the S&P500?
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2018, 09:36:31 AM »
When you buy stock in a company none of that money goes directly to the owners of the company. You are supporting their share price by holding their stock, but those of us small fry will never really have any  influence on that company just by owning or not owning their shares.

No company is 100% good or 100% bad. Capitalism in the large has done a lot more good for the world than harm, as far as I'm concerned. Look at the alternatives like Cuba, North Korea or Venezuela.

But if you invest and get rich you can use that money you've made to directly affect the causes you care about. Take some of that nasty oil (tobacco, debt collection, choose your poison) money and support renewable energy. Use it to help elect the official that shares your views. Give some money to a local shelter or help educate kids in Africa, whatever floats your boat.

Not investing because some part of a business is doing something you don't like is shooting yourself in the foot, IMHO.