Author Topic: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights  (Read 1718 times)

ThePauperOfNorthLake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights
« on: January 05, 2017, 08:53:49 AM »
I've been exploring the idea of investing in Emerging markets but am not comfortable investing in countries with human rights/democracy issues (for example, China, Russia, etc).

I'm thinking that the only way to do this would be to purchase Blackrock iShares ETFs for the individual countries that meet my criteria.

I've done some research online and it seems like there are passive index funds for developed markets that attempt to do something similar (Calvert Social index, FTSE KLD 400 Social Index, FTSE4Good Index). However, I have not found anything similar for emerging markets.  Any thoughts or ideas?

prognastat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
  • Location: Texas
Re: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 11:50:46 AM »
I've been exploring the idea of investing in Emerging markets but am not comfortable investing in countries with human rights/democracy issues (for example, China, Russia, etc).

I'm thinking that the only way to do this would be to purchase Blackrock iShares ETFs for the individual countries that meet my criteria.

I've done some research online and it seems like there are passive index funds for developed markets that attempt to do something similar (Calvert Social index, FTSE KLD 400 Social Index, FTSE4Good Index). However, I have not found anything similar for emerging markets.  Any thoughts or ideas?

I mean truly if human rights is your top concern technically putting your money towards a good charity might be the best investment. I am mostly joking, but simply by saving/investing money period you are prioritizing yourself over everyone else. You are simply debating over the degree to which you are prioritizing yourself.

You could also argue that by actually investing in these countries that have these issues you might be raising the wealth of these nations which in turn could potentially lead to improvements in human rights as they have in many countries.

Then there is the question of is investing internationally beneficial. International funds regularly underperform the US market. So even if you were being selfish it might just be better to invest in a S&P 500 fund.

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6274
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 01:55:06 PM »
I salute you for willingness to sacrifice return in favor of social causes

Who says he is sacrificing return? Even if past performance of ethical investments (for any given concept of ethical) is lower than market returns, past performance is no indication of future performance.

It may well be that these investments outperform in future.

Oh and if you are concerned about human rights and democracy issues, check your own back yard... I only have to mention Australia's treatment of asylum seekers and the GOPs gerrymandering of electoral boundaries as 2 examples off the top of my head.

By going down this path you quickly find that you can easily exclude every country in the world...

prognastat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
  • Location: Texas
Re: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 03:50:10 PM »
I've been exploring the idea of investing in Emerging markets but am not comfortable investing in countries with human rights/democracy issues (for example, China, Russia, etc).

I'm thinking that the only way to do this would be to purchase Blackrock iShares ETFs for the individual countries that meet my criteria.

I've done some research online and it seems like there are passive index funds for developed markets that attempt to do something similar (Calvert Social index, FTSE KLD 400 Social Index, FTSE4Good Index). However, I have not found anything similar for emerging markets.  Any thoughts or ideas?

I mean truly if human rights is your top concern technically putting your money towards a good charity might be the best investment. I am mostly joking, but simply by saving/investing money period you are prioritizing yourself over everyone else. You are simply debating over the degree to which you are prioritizing yourself.

You could also argue that by actually investing in these countries that have these issues you might be raising the wealth of these nations which in turn could potentially lead to improvements in human rights as they have in many countries.

Then there is the question of is investing internationally beneficial. International funds regularly underperform the US market. So even if you were being selfish it might just be better to invest in a S&P 500 fund.

After re-reading I probably should add that when I say prioritize yourself this is no judgement on anyone and isn't even intended to sound selfish. Included in yourself is anyone your are responsible for so this could include spouses, parents, siblings or children.

DavidAnnArbor

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1979
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Re: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 05:19:19 PM »
I've been exploring the idea of investing in Emerging markets but am not comfortable investing in countries with human rights/democracy issues (for example, China, Russia, etc).


It's definitely true that China has problems with human rights, just look at how they are treating the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. On the other hand the Chinese government has successfully lifted hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty, hunger, and suffering.

webguy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 265
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 10:54:13 PM »
By investing in emerging market indexes are you investing in the governments in these countries or investing in companies which just happen to reside in those countries? I guess I don't really see how investing in a Russian company is helping to fund human rights abuse.

Polish_Hammer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Pennsylvania
Re: Investing in Emerging Markets: Human Rights
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 12:34:28 PM »
personally I think it is a silly question that just leads you down the rabbit hole. Any company that deals with a foreign country with a bad civil rights record , or exploits the workers of that country, or whose government trades with, etc would leave you with few investment options. Plenty of emerging market index funds to utilize and be blind to the details. I have them in 401k and in my IRA with vanguard. Give 10% of your profits to the charity of your choice that supports those human rights issues. Done and done.