Author Topic: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing  (Read 8628 times)

Jill the Pill

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need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« on: December 31, 2012, 08:51:24 PM »
Hi there.

We have a large savings account (saving 50% of income, mortgage paydown underway) and my partner has a pretty good 401K.  I have a tiny IRA.  Plus, I am somewhat responsible for my mother's very large savings accounts.  Between us all, we have a lot of money sitting around at 0.4%.  Really, really this has to change!

Three things prevent me from acting.  (1) ignorance of investing, (2) fear of loss, and (3) moral concerns.  I am quite hesitant to get involved in stock investing because I believe most of the money is made from pollution, exploitation of workers, production of weapons, agribusiness, and contributors to global climate change.   

I need a healthy shove in the right direction.  Where should we put all this money so I can still sleep at night?   Are "socially responsible" funds a load of green-washed hooey? 



marty998

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 03:49:46 AM »
I am quite hesitant to get involved in stock investing because I believe most of the money is made from pollution, exploitation of workers, production of weapons, agribusiness, and contributors to global climate change.

You're quite correct - I believe they call it "capitalism".

There are a number of green and/or ethical funds out there. Some fund managers even market themselves as only investing in non-pollutive/non-exploitative companies and industries.

I have some of my savings invested in whats called a "sustainable balanced" portfolio. It avoids cigarette companies, high-carbon intensive industries and weapons manufacturers amongst other things.

Fees are slightly higher but if enough people kick hard enough then every fund manager will one day get the message that this is what people want. Find a manager that invests based on the UN PRI (Principles of responsible investing). That will put your mind more at ease, however as always with every investment there's no guarantee you won't lose money
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 03:53:12 AM by marty998 »

Honest Abe

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 05:25:13 AM »
Jill,

I sincerely and whole heartedly recommend betterment.com for you. It basically takes the lowest cost stock and bond index funds, automatically balances your allocation for you based on the risk profile you set (and gives you advice on what is appropriate), and then REbalances automatically. It essentially automates great investment behavior, and your money can be withdrawn at any time. I've had great results with them thus far. Their annual fee of 0.25% if you have over $10k deposited is cheap and very, very worth it.

No matter what you do I wish you luck.. If you have any questions let me know!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 07:19:11 AM by Honest Abe »

Jill the Pill

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 12:23:55 PM »
Thanks, Marty.  Just being able to google UN PRI gives me somewhere to start.  Abe, does betterment make any pretense of socially conscious investing?   I only looked at their front page, but is that a criterion you can give it?  I was almost more interested in the prosper link under your signature as a non-stock alternative. 

Honest Abe

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 04:06:01 PM »
Hey Jill,

I'm sorry I read your post really quickly this morning and missed the last paragraph. To answer your question, Betterment puts your money in plain vanilla broad-market based index funds that act as a snapshot of the market as a whole (in both the US and internationally) as well as US Government Debt (bonds.) So no, there is nothing particularly "green" about it.

Let me take a moment to address the green thing...I'm about as granola as they come (though you should have SEEN me in college, I was straight off the organic hemp farm!) I'm a vegetarian, I drive a Prius, and without getting into politics... yeah I'm pretty lefty.

However when it comes to investing yours and your mother's money, I would advise you to not necessarily put these values in the forefront of your investing strategy. For example, you could have put a huge portion of your savings into Solar companies 4 years ago... it seemed very promising. Obama was elected and pumped money into Dept. of Energy grants, the country seemed ready to move away from oil and solar was being hyped as new start-ups promised world-changing technology.

If you had invested in those companies, in most cases you would have lost not just some... but ALL of your money. Many solar companies went under because they were very bad businesses being run by very wonderful people with some very bad luck. 

Now I'm not saying the answer is saying "screw it" and buying Altria stock (formerly Philip-Morris.) If that bothers you, then don't do it. But if you can't bring yourself to invest in a Vanguard Total Stock Market fund or S&P 500 index fund because a few pennies on the dollar go to Exxon Mobil or a company that operates factories in China that are a bit sub-par, then I'm sorry but investing is not for you. At some point you have to be of the mindset that your goal is to make money for yourself, and there's nothing wrong with that, because hey, it's money. You can always up your charitable donations with your profits if it helps you sleep at night.

And whatever you do, don't get involved in P2P investing to make a positive difference in people's lives. Borrowers are paying near usurious interest rates on these unsecured loans, and you're making money off it. You could look for people with sob stories to make yourself feel better about lending to them, but there's a good chance they're lying in their loan description and going to walk away with your money.  The nobility in P2P is that these people are going to either do the right or wrong thing with the money they borrow, but hey at least it's going to people like us and not Capitol One Bank.

And that's all I've got. I hope that helps, and that I didn't make any false assumptions about you... but as a Prius-driving, NPR-donating, farmer market-loving comrade I wanted to make sure you didn't get into investing operating under assumptions that may get you into trouble down the road.

Good luck and God bless!

 

Jill the Pill

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 05:46:51 PM »
"then I'm sorry but investing is not for you. "

That is the conclusion to which I keep returning!  Gee thanks, Abe, for the helpful analysis, most especially on the P2P usury.  I keep looking for creative alternatives.   

Given that you can only vote once-in-a-while, it seems that voting with your money is one of the few world-influencing opportunities an individual has.  I would be a hypocrite owning part of Exxon, since I'm trying to get involved in climate divestment.  Ralph Nader owns a couple of tech stocks.  I guess I could do a little of that (no foxconn, no conflict metals) and maybe municipal bonds. 

Honest Abe

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 07:06:26 PM »
Check out Motif Investing as well.. they arrange baskets of stocks and ETFs according to certain "themes." I'm not sure how well they vet their picks when it comes to green/sustainability issues but it may be worth a look.

Nords

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 07:43:00 PM »
Are "socially responsible" funds a load of green-washed hooey?
I think there are plenty of very socially responsible funds out there.
They just don't make any money.

Ralph Nader will be working until he dies because that's what he enjoys doing.  He's investing in those stocks for some other reason than making money.

You could look through the companies of the S&P500 (or the Russell 3000... it might be a long search) to find one you're comfortable with.  It may turn out to be part of an industry sector that you're comfortable with (like, just as an example, "medical tech").  If you can identify a sector that you're happy about (or at least not unhappy), then there's a sector exchange-traded fund that probably has a decent expense ratio.  The issue with this approach is that it's not very diversified, so you'd still want to limit your investment in this sector to 10-15% of your total.  But as others have pointed out, the sector might still suck.

Another option would be rental real estate.  Or maybe you'll be the world's nicest commercial landlord, or you'll find a happy REIT.

I think your moral concerns may be rooted in your admitted ignorance.  You'll find something wrong or bad about every company you research.  Even Berkshire Hathaway is guilty of the behaviors you describe.  You're either going to find companies that are making money in mostly-acceptable ways (and buying carbon credits to make up for their pollution) or you're going to come away from the experience disgusted with the whole idea of investing in stocks.

Luckily for those of your moral fiber, you may not need to invest in stocks.  You might not even need to chase yield.  There are plenty of early retirees on Early-Retirement.org who avoid stocks like the plague.  If you live a low-consumption lifestyle then perhaps you already have all the money you need, your personal expenses won't be affected much by inflation, and you may be able to put it all in a seven-year CD ladder.

But for learning about investing and morality in one book, you could try William Bernstein's "The Investor's Manifesto" or "The Birth of Plenty".  You could also seek a financial advisor to help you in your company research, although you'll pay appropriately for their expertise.

Personally I think you'll do better in CDs & munis than you will in picking stocks representing wonderfully ethical yet money-losing enterprises.  At least with CDs & munis you can donate the profits to charity for a tax deduction. 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 07:45:21 PM by Nords »

Ishmael

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 06:02:47 AM »
Investing the the wrong place to worry about being socially responsible; if you don't buy the stock and make the money, someone else will. It's as simple as that.

Buy the stocks you want, and when it comes time to vote on shareholder issues about being socially responsible, vote the socially responsible way. That has more impact than not investing in them at all.

I think there are two outlets that really matter:
  • How you choose to spend your money. That's the only thing that really has an effect on how companies behave, because they're like a dog with a favorite treat - they'll do whatever they have to to get that treat. For companies, if that means behaving in a sustainable, responsible manner, that's what they'll do. You have far more impact with how you choose to spend your money than any other way in our society.
  • Politics. Although it doesn't have anywhere near the potential impact of the first point, it still can have an effect. Although, if you are a US citizen, my outsider's POV is that the Dempublican and Republicrat parties are a perfect example of MMM's latest blog post about miniscule differences being exaggerated.

In short, buy what you think are great investments, and then put the money to use in a way that you think is responsible. For example, if you had a surplus of money, you could buy tobacco stock (arguably the most "unethical" investment around), for example, and then send all of the money you make as profit into anti-smoking causes. The more money you make, the stronger the opposition to the product!

In my own personal case, I own some stock in oil companies that work in Alberta's tar sands, which are awful on many levels and make me throw up a little bit to think about. My plan eventually is to erect a wind generator, at least putting some of the money to a sustainable end, which I can't guarantee if someone else owns that stock.

If you don't have a surplus of money, taking the money you earn from investments and using it carefully, following your own moral compass, is the best thing to do IMO. The inflow of money back into the system is where the influence happens, not the outflow.

One caveat: be careful to separate your interests from the social good, and make sure you're not trying to make political changes to benefit your investments (i.e. you) at the expense of something else.

meadow lark

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 12:42:06 PM »
When you buy a share (stock) in Monsanto (as an example), Monsanto doesn't get any money.  So I don't see why buying their stock is seen as helpful or not helpful to them.  Sure, if you buy a huge amount of stock (and I do mean huge)  you could run up the price a little bit and increase the value of the shares the company still owns, but that is pretty farfetched. 
  I know you guys will correct me if I'm wrong, but the only time the stockholders give money to the company by buying stock is in an IPO or if the company decides to make another public offering (which I don't think are common.)

I think we impact the world much more by voting, organizing, being politically aware and active than by our investing.
My argument would be that making, saving, and investing so that we can be FI is a social good, if you are the kind of person who cares about the social good.  For instance, if I don't work some other nice person will have a job.  I will drive less.  I will be more visible in the public area (streets, parks, etc) walking or biking.  This is a good because I think there is less crime when there are more people in public areas, especially when those people look like moms.  I will have time to do more community things, because that is what I care about.  I'm not arguing everyone's FI is a social good, but I think the people who care and want to do things pre-FI will be even more effective post-FI.  And that happens a lot faster with investing.

Kenoryn

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 02:41:16 PM »
I don't know much about it, but you could google Jantzi funds (this might just be Canadian?) and also check out Sustainalytics:
http://www.sustainalytics.com/

And see what the magazine Corporate Knights (Canadian) has to say about it:
http://www.corporateknights.com/

And invest in that carpet company from The Corporation. ;) Interface?


chucklesmcgee

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 04:57:23 PM »
When you buy a share (stock) in Monsanto (as an example), Monsanto doesn't get any money.  So I don't see why buying their stock is seen as helpful or not helpful to them.  Sure, if you buy a huge amount of stock (and I do mean huge)  you could run up the price a little bit and increase the value of the shares the company still owns, but that is pretty farfetched.

Most of environmentalism and other feel-good things are more about making a statement and a sort of "every-little-bit-helps","sending-a-message","if-everybody-did-it","gather-round-hold-hands-and-sing-kumbaya" type of a deal. There aren't any fewer dead or tortured animals because you decided to go vegan. The earth isn't going to be measurably less hot in 50 years because you decided to bike, get a Prius or buy carbon-credits for your plane trip. Chances are no additional turtles are alive because you took the time to cut up your six-pack plastic or decided not to release balloons into the air which might then end up in a waterway and be swallowed up. But nonetheless lots of people do that stuff for the reasons above.

Socially-responsible funds fall into the same category. None of those companies are going to actually do measurably better because you happen to now own .0001% or less of them. A lot of "irresponsible" funds are great at making a ton of money and so their stocks will do well. But if enough investors demand socially responsible funds, it's possible that they could have some impact. And if a company on such a list knows it could face a massive sell-off if it did something irresponsible, maybe that would have an impact, even on shareholders who weren't invested for socially-responsible reasons.

FiveSigmas

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2013, 05:54:11 PM »
When you buy a share (stock) in Monsanto (as an example), Monsanto doesn't get any money.  So I don't see why buying their stock is seen as helpful or not helpful to them.

When you buy a share in a company, you aren't giving money to the company, you are owning a piece of the company. Among other things, this means that any dividends you earn are the direct result of the activities of that company. I think a lot of folks interested in socially aware investments are concerned that by buying a piece of a company it is as if they themselves are engaging in the practices of that company (if only by proxy).

The size of one's share relative to the size of the company itself is irrelevant. If someone invests $1000 in a company that makes all of it's money making and selling Soylent Green, it doesn't matter whether the company itself is worth $20,000 or $20 billion. In either case, it's essentially the same as that same person buying $1000 worth of dead bodies, turning them into biscuits, and then selling them to people (sorry if I spoiled any plot-lines for anyone).

All that being said, I do believe in index funds, and I do invest in them. I believe that capitalism as a whole does more good than bad. Very crudely speaking, I feel investing in the broader market is a bit like investing in humanity, and I can deal with that fact that some of the money I invest will go towards activities I emphatically do not support.

SunshineGirl

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 01:25:59 PM »
A couple random things --

-- The fact that savings pay so little these days is a deliberate decision on the part of the powers-that-be to have people NOT keep their money in safe savings, but to instead spend it or invest it in a riskier way that also generates profit for financial companies. That alone can make a person reluctant to invest - I personally don't like that I'm being penalized to such a degree for saving money, which is supposed to be a good thing! When I first started earning money, I made 5% on CDs and money market funds (early 90s). My first mortgage was also 8%, and I thought that was a decent rate! 

-- Since you feel the way you do about the stock market, paying down your mortgage is probably a very good direction for you to go with your excess cash.

-- I'm not one to recommend stocks, but one I do like from a feel-good perspective is FHCO (The Female Health Company), a small company which makes female condoms for women in third-world countries for the prevention of pregnancy and disease. The company has no debt and pays a dividend of 3.3%. Maybe you could find other companies like this if you want to buy stocks?

-- But really, paying off your mortgage is a good use of your money.

sheepstache

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 02:18:43 PM »
green-washed

Nice.

If it helps, I used to worry about the fear of loss, but then I realized it was because I was focused on having a nice life in retirement.  1) Since you're frugal anyway, "nice life" has nothing to do with how much money you have.  I know that's pretty obvious, but it took me awhile to realize that it applied to the period of my life spent in retirement just as much as now.  For some reason even though I was happy living frugally I was looking at retirement numbers as though I was going to be a huge consumer as soon as I turned 65.  2) For decently-well-off people, getting extra returns on retirement money is the difference between a luxury car lifestyle vs. a mid-level sedan lifestyle.  Understandably, it's hard to see much reward for the risk.  For mustachians, it might be the difference between retiring at 40 vs. 45.  5 years of your life!  That's certainly worth more of a risk.  Especially because, unlike regular retirements where a massive drop means you're eating cat food, a massive drop for mustachian investments simply means you'll work for longer.  It's a much more flexible plan.

Not to paralyze you further by offering more options, but you might take a look at Microplace.  It's a bit like a cross between Kiva and P2P in that you can make loans for social causes but then you get your money back with interest.  The rates are on the low side and there's the possibility you could lose your principal, nor does it have the feel-good-glow of pure charitable giving, but it might be something to do with fun money if you ever have any.


(sorry if I spoiled any plot-lines for anyone).

Ha!

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 04:05:09 PM »
When you buy a share (stock) in Monsanto (as an example), Monsanto doesn't get any money.  So I don't see why buying their stock is seen as helpful or not helpful to them.

When you buy a share in a company, you aren't giving money to the company, you are owning a piece of the company. Among other things, this means that any dividends you earn are the direct result of the activities of that company. I think a lot of folks interested in socially aware investments are concerned that by buying a piece of a company it is as if they themselves are engaging in the practices of that company (if only by proxy).

The size of one's share relative to the size of the company itself is irrelevant. If someone invests $1000 in a company that makes all of it's money making and selling Soylent Green, it doesn't matter whether the company itself is worth $20,000 or $20 billion. In either case, it's essentially the same as that same person buying $1000 worth of dead bodies, turning them into biscuits, and then selling them to people (sorry if I spoiled any plot-lines for anyone).

All that being said, I do believe in index funds, and I do invest in them. I believe that capitalism as a whole does more good than bad. Very crudely speaking, I feel investing in the broader market is a bit like investing in humanity, and I can deal with that fact that some of the money I invest will go towards activities I emphatically do not support.
I disagree, simply because, while I benefit monetarily from the activity, I am not enabling it or taking part in it in any way. As a matter of fact, the shareowners-first, must-pay-dividends attitude has run many a company under-- any dollar Soylent Co. gives out in dividends is one that they don't have for business operations, i.e., making people into biscuits. Furthermore, as a shareowner, I can advocate for more responsible behaviour from the companies I own in a forum that is closed to me if I do not own stocks. I feel that responsibility lies only with those who cause, encourage, or are situated to allow an action. With relation to Soylent Co. and its shareholders, with the exception of the limited control over policy given as shareholder, none of these apply. If one exercises this limited power, you've done what you could and can live on the earnings guilt free.
That said, if you own a large index fund, your democratic due diligence can be quite a lot of work.

Interestingly, my opinions are the exact mirror of yours in that I am rather skeptical that capitalism as we know it does or has done more good than bad.

FiveSigmas

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 09:55:27 PM »
I disagree, simply because, while I benefit monetarily from the activity, I am not enabling it or taking part in it in any way. As a matter of fact, the shareowners-first, must-pay-dividends attitude has run many a company under-- any dollar Soylent Co. gives out in dividends is one that they don't have for business operations, i.e., making people into biscuits. Furthermore, as a shareowner, I can advocate for more responsible behaviour from the companies I own in a forum that is closed to me if I do not own stocks. I feel that responsibility lies only with those who cause, encourage, or are situated to allow an action. With relation to Soylent Co. and its shareholders, with the exception of the limited control over policy given as shareholder, none of these apply. If one exercises this limited power, you've done what you could and can live on the earnings guilt free.

Thatís a good point that being a shareholder offers opportunities for change that would not otherwise be available, and I think shareholder activism can be a strong mitigating factor. I donít think it gets the hypothetical shareholder of Soylent Co. entirely off the hook, though. Say Soylent Co. is 51% owned by a single nefarious entity (call him Ned), and Joe the investor owns some piece of the remainder *. Here, Joe really has absolutely no say in the operations of Soylent, as his (hopefully) benevolent vote will always be overruled by Nefarious Ned. Is it still okay for Ned to reap the profits of Soylent Co.?

To simplify matters even more **, letís say that business is booming, and Joe, seeing a fabulous investment opportunity, decides to buy out all of the other investors. Joe now owns 49% and Ned 51%. Joe knew ahead of time all about the day-to-day operations of Soylent Co. and knew exactly where the returns come from. When people look up the SEC filings of Soylent Co: they see two names: Ned and Joe. Can Joe really wash his hands of the actions of Soylent and place all the blame on Ned?

* This is mainly just a thought experiment, but I imagine itís not too far from real life, either. Iím not an expert, but I would imagine that for a lot of publicly traded companies the distribution of ownership is fairly heavily weighted towards a relatively small number of holders. I believe a large percentage of the shares of Facebook, for instance, are non-voting.

** Hopefully not too far. I have to admit, Iím absolutely not a lawyer or ethicist and really have no idea what actually happens in these sort of cases.

That said, if you own a large index fund, your democratic due diligence can be quite a lot of work.

Hah! I'd never thought of that. I'm not sure what happens to my vote for all the little bits of shares that my index funds own. I certainly don't get shareholder ballots for each of them. Admittedly, I think some index funds synthesize a portion of the basket of stocks they're intended to mirror via derivatives, but I figure the funds at least have to hold on to some real shares. Actually, I'm fairly happy that I don't receive a metric ton of ballots as I honestly would get so overwhelmed I'd just toss them in the shredder.

FiveSigmas

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2013, 10:14:59 PM »
Since you feel the way you do about the stock market, paying down your mortgage is probably a very good direction for you to go with your excess cash.

Yeah, paying down your mortgage does seem like a solid way to go, assuming you know you won't need any of that money before the end of your mortgage term.

lr

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2013, 11:01:35 PM »
If I were like the OP (and I once was) this thread would have left me curled in a ball on the ground, inactive and helpless, especially with all of the debate about companies eating dead people. 

But this stuff is actually fun because it's about freedom, and it's only as morally sketchy as you are

For example, yes, it's possible to deal in scummy P2P loans.  It's especially common, in my opinion, when you start getting greedy and chase high returns on stupid loans to nutcases buying $10,000 honeymoons when they can barely afford food.

On the other hand, LendingClub loans start at under 6%, which is half what a bank would charge and a damn good tool for helping people refinance unfair credit card rates.  Yes, some people will lie and a few will default, and that's just a cost of business. Most investors still come out far ahead of the pittance most banks will give you.  That said, P2P is relatively new in the world and I personally keep only a small percentage of my money there  (although enough that I can weather defaults on a few loans;  I spread the risk out among lots of people and it becomes manageable).

As another example, index mutual funds are a proven, sensible way to invest.  Unfortunately, a simple index will put you in bed with a few companies that do really questionable things.

But there are a several indices that automatically remove or reduce some of the worst offenders for most socially-responsible investors,  leaving you with flawed and human, but not horrific sets of companies to own at below average fees. Some 401k plans, like mine, offer good funds that track these social indices.  One might miss out on some profits compared to an unscreened index,  but many do a reasonable job tracking the overall market.  I would avoid the more active green funds, with higher fees, because it does start to eat into retirement and I see no reason to believe an active manager would perform better than an index.

All of that said,  I probably would have chosen Betterment a few years ago.  Their unscreened indices would have been a bit uncomfortable,  but the moral problems do feel worse for me as the amounts invested gets bigger. Realistically, filling up my gas tank once probably does a lot more damage to villagers in Africa than the few dollars invested in Shell when the overall amounts are small.  Over time, I'd move the money into investments closer to what I currently have,  once I'd had a chance to do some homework.

Cheer up!  We're blessed with more, lovelier, more socially conscious options to invest our money in than any of our ancestors, from real estate to solar power, to low cost mutual funds, to local businesses.  Spend a little time learning a few things, read a Boglehead book to get started,  dip your toes into a small test account, and be awesome. 

Because I also detect lots of disillusionment with capitalism,  I'd suggest reading up on The Wealth of Nations, which is basically a founding document of our modern society and a lot more optimistic than I had expected for a hundreds-of-years old book on economics.  The world does suck,  but it's also wonderful. Understanding why our society was built this way makes it easier to do good.

Honest Abe

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2013, 03:49:30 AM »
https://joinmosaic.com/

There's a new P2P service focused entirely on funding solar projects.. Just be sure you don't need the money any time soon, as with all P2P loans you'll be tying up your principal for the length of the note

FrugalJLW

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2013, 06:33:10 PM »
Hey Honest Abe - I invested there too. Maybe they'll develop a secondary market once they get enough of an investor base. I am willing to forgo a little bit of profit in order to support sustainable projects, and I also like the idea of debt investing in a tangible asset (the solar installation itself) as a type of diversification.

-Frugal J

Hotstreak

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2013, 08:53:40 PM »
Leaving your money in a savings account is investing in the bank.  How do you feel about BOA?  How much did your credit unions CEO make last year?  Just curious, my personal beliefs are far from those brought up in this thread.  Is this a "worst of two evils" decision, or is there really any good decision?

grandcanyon

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2013, 05:05:00 PM »
Is the OP still here? I wonder how they are doing. I'm facing the same situation as I have a fear of losing principal but I can handle losing gains. I don't try to time the market but every time I seem to add alot of money in the market something bad happens. The first was the 2001 drop, the second was the Europe drop. The second time I had it in supposedly safe things like REM, PFF and I saw a 20% hit in a short amount of time. I recouped but I got out at even and have been nervous ever since.

pom

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2013, 03:22:40 AM »
Shouldn't the fact that you recouped be the best way to reduce your fear.

Think about it, you invested twice at the worse possible time yet you recouped your money each time. What does that tell you?

matchewed

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2013, 04:53:39 AM »
Is the OP still here? I wonder how they are doing. I'm facing the same situation as I have a fear of losing principal but I can handle losing gains. I don't try to time the market but every time I seem to add alot of money in the market something bad happens. The first was the 2001 drop, the second was the Europe drop. The second time I had it in supposedly safe things like REM, PFF and I saw a 20% hit in a short amount of time. I recouped but I got out at even and have been nervous ever since.

Also you sold when you hit even. Did it go up past that even point? If so you did one of those bad investment moves of buying high selling low. Investing is a long game, you will lose money, you will gain money. Over the long time frame you generally gain more than you lose.

arebelspy

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Re: need kick in pants / obstacles to investing
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2013, 09:49:13 AM »
Is the OP still here? I wonder how they are doing.

Seeing the "guest" under the name on the post, looks like, unfortunately, the OP deleted their account.
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