Author Topic: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?  (Read 5030 times)

blusafe

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Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« on: September 10, 2015, 09:52:43 AM »
Unless I'm missing something, I looked through the investment and cash flow strategies, and they all used stocks as a foundation.

I feel like Lending Club is no longer truly p2p lending, and neither are any of the other major platforms. Large capital firms have sunk teeth into the game, saturating the arena. I used to nitpick my loans, but this consumed too much time. I could not tolerate the fact that many of the borrowers continue to default. I was enabling their wasteful, un-badassity lifestyle.

Do you have any cash flow or investment advice that does not revolve around the waste economy? Real estate looks like a good angle, but the "all-or-nothing" aspect is far too high risk. I looked into REITs, but hard to find one I trust (meaning they don't take undue advantage of non-sophisticated borrowers).

I consider myself a very savvy investor (when I want to be). I got out of the game when I realized I supported bad habits of others.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 03:40:34 AM by blusafe »

Gone Fishing

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 10:02:35 AM »
Not a perfect solutions, but you can reduce your dependence on stocks (and thus the consumer economy) by:

Producing as much as you can at home.  We probably produce close to $2k per year of meat and vegetables.  Not huge, but almost 10% of a typical mustachian budget. 

Renovate and lease extremely efficient small housing units for income.

Probably involves more risk, but buying stocks in companies that more closely align with your personal philosophies. 

Scandium

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2015, 10:29:45 AM »
Wow, a genuine, balls to the walls bleeding heart liberal. How cute.

I got out of the game when I realized I supported bad habits of others.

Why do you care? It's their choice, nobody is forcing them to do these things you describe as wasteful. And maybe, just maybe, other people have different life priorities than you do, and make different choices. If they like to live (in your opinion) wasteful, overspending lives and this makes them happy why should you (or I) care?

As for the environmental angle, I go with the Dr Strangelove philosophy there. I do "my part" to not waste (recycle etc), but once you accept that humans will inevitably destroy themselves and the planet anyway life is much easier. Freeing yourself from the constant angst of greenery guilt. You could bike everywhere your whole life, and the CO2 you spared the atmosphere would probably be less than what an single cargo ship release in a week (no, I did not check the numbers).

NP

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2015, 12:39:48 PM »
The only way you can make a meaningful difference on a large scale is through political action, that is, by persuading (or tricking) society into changing rules or typical behaviors. If you're extraordinarily wealthy, then perhaps putting your money where your mouth is actually matters, but for the vast majority of people your actions only make a difference for your immediate surroundings.

For example, if you believe that one ought to be nice to one's neighbor, then it matters if you are because there's only a limited number of people to fill that role in your local environment, thus your contributions can be significant. On the other hand, it matters very little how much energy you save regardless of your attitude toward conserving the environment because your energy usage is only a drop in the ocean. Unless, of course, you manage to become a role model and very many people follow your lead.

I'd wholeheartedly support laws that steer business activity toward a state of affairs that I'd consider more ethical, even if it cost me money because a law that applies to everyone can make an impact. However, I'm not willing to make futile sacrifices that'd only hurt me and be of no great benefit to anyone. How I invest my modest wealth is totally unimportant in the big scheme of things, so I invest it in the most profitable way I can, i.e. in the stock market.

Within reasonable limits I do make an effort not to be wasteful because it saves money, it makes me feel good and it's a fun challenge but I'm under no illusion that I'm actually saving the planet.

RichMoose

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2015, 03:32:38 PM »
How do you reconcile your love of the environment, reducing waste, and overall joy of the wider community when you support the current Consumption Economy?

I don't need to reconcile my love for this world. I buy stocks because it's one form of how I selfishly take advantage of others' stupidity. You should try it!

I recycle almost everything, drive my personal vehicle very little, rarely buy new things, minimize heat and electricity use, and live a generally bad ass lifestyle. I love it. But almost everyone else I know enjoys struggling in their cushy world of rampant consumerism.

I'm not going to change that, so I will certainly take advantage of it. Here's a few ways how I do that: 1) I invest in stocks with all the money left over each month because I don't spend lots thereby further profiting from their consumerism; 2) I buy perfectly good, cheap used items that these plush individuals willingly discard for the "latest and greatest"; and 3) I let them support my government through sales taxes and income taxes due to their high spending/low saving while I minimize my tax bill in every way I can, including buying used items so I don't pay sales tax.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2015, 07:36:45 PM »

As for the environmental angle, I go with the Dr Strangelove philosophy there. I do "my part" to not waste (recycle etc), but once you accept that humans will inevitably destroy themselves and the planet anyway life is much easier. Freeing yourself from the constant angst of greenery guilt. You could bike everywhere your whole life, and the CO2 you spared the atmosphere would probably be less than what an single cargo ship release in a week (no, I did not check the numbers).

The only really meaningful thing you can do for the environment is not to breed. Recycling, bicycling and driving low emissions vehicles are laughable really. I get why we do it, but it's re-arranging deck chairs on the titanic.

Beyond that I agree just accept you are on a fast train to the end of the [acceptable human] environment. On the plus side is humans do not have the power or technology to destroy the planet. We can and will destroy the ecosystem we need for a happy life. Some other form of life will take over and prosper after us.

Radagast

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2015, 09:17:18 PM »
I did no additional research on these, but Schwab has a screener for socially conscious ETF's. The three commission free ones at Schwab are at top, others may be commission free elsewhere. Superficially, the LOWC has an 0.20% expense ratio and seems to hold similar companies to a typical index fund. I suspect some intern spent a few days sorting the S&P500 to eliminate superficially carbon generating companies, and then they bumped the expense ratio up a little.

*LOWC   SPDR® MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF
*MLPA   Global X MLP ETF
*CGW   Guggenheim S&P Global Water Index ETF

RODI   Barclays Return on Disability ETN
WIL   Barclays Women in Leadership ETN
FAN   First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Index Fund
FIW   First Trust ISE Water Index Fund
QCLN   First Trust NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Green Energy Index Fund
GRID   First Trust NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Smart Grid Infrastructure Index Fund
MLPJ   Global X Junior MLP ETF
MLPX   Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF
TAN   Guggenheim Solar ETF
HECO   Huntington EcoLogical Strategy ETF
GRN   iPath® Global Carbon ETN
ICLN   iShares Global Clean Energy ETF
CRBN   iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF
DSI   iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF
KLD   iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF
EVX   Market Vectors® Environmental Services ETF
GEX   Market Vectors® Global Alternative Energy ETF
KWT   Market Vectors® Solar Energy ETF
PZD   PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio
PBD   PowerShares Global Clean Energy Portfolio
PIO   PowerShares Global Water Portfolio
PHO   PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio
PBW   PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio
PUW   PowerShares WilderHill Progressive Energy Portfolio
EQLT   Workplace Equality Portfolio

mrpercentage

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 01:12:27 AM »
You seem to have a good heart. Do not make the mistake of taking yourself too seriously. There is only so much you can do.

Please understand that REITS are interest rate sensitive and that you may experience a temoporary loss of principle while the Market tries to figure out what the Fed is doing. There are tons of REITS out there but you had a specific concern about tenants. Well here you go. Go to Investors--> Direct Stock Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plan. You dont even need a broker. They pay all the fees for you will provide fractional shares. You need to spend $100 a month until you have $1200. zero commission zero fees zero broker zero B.S.

http://www.realtyincome.com/?gclid=CJ7U-oO17scCFYYsvQod_oYK_g

Can't say nobody told you.

mrpercentage

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2015, 01:26:50 AM »
By the way I do the same with Exxon Mobil. Im now buying Exxon from Exxon. Not a bad idea either. You can buy Conoco Phillips and Phillips 66 and Ford and Procter & Gamble all directly with no fees. They will provide frational shares and reinvest your dividends or send them right to you. Go figure. You will know when you can retire. Is that dividend big enough? No... then keep working.

Some will have fees buying directly. Make sure you check. You can also buy Disney and Coke direct. I think Disney charges $2
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 01:29:05 AM by mrpercentage »

wenchsenior

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2015, 07:31:57 AM »

As for the environmental angle, I go with the Dr Strangelove philosophy there. I do "my part" to not waste (recycle etc), but once you accept that humans will inevitably destroy themselves and the planet anyway life is much easier. Freeing yourself from the constant angst of greenery guilt. You could bike everywhere your whole life, and the CO2 you spared the atmosphere would probably be less than what an single cargo ship release in a week (no, I did not check the numbers).

The only really meaningful thing you can do for the environment is not to breed. Recycling, bicycling and driving low emissions vehicles are laughable really. I get why we do it, but it's re-arranging deck chairs on the titanic.

Beyond that I agree just accept you are on a fast train to the end of the [acceptable human] environment. On the plus side is humans do not have the power or technology to destroy the planet. We can and will destroy the ecosystem we need for a happy life. Some other form of life will take over and prosper after us.

Depressingly, this is the fatalistic view I've also come to. I try to be somewhat conscious of environmental impact of my OWN consumerism (buy less shit, buy more used, eat local, drive less, eat less meat, recycle, etc)....but honestly? Just not making more damn people is the only meaningful action IMO to support my values. So I didn't make any.

Beyond that, I sort of stick my fingers in my metaphorical ears, especially when it comes to investing.

NP

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 08:18:31 AM »
Depressingly, this is the fatalistic view I've also come to.

These depressing forecasts are only some of the possible outcomes. Both the destruction of our species or of human civilization on the negative side, and the survival of life on Earth on the (relatively) positive side were described above as certainties but neither is actually certain. It's entirely possible that human civilization proves to be somewhat more resilient than previously thought, or that environmental damage turns out to be not quite as detrimental to humans as it's projected to be. If that's the case, after a while we might develop the ability to live in space or on other celestial bodies, whether in our presently known biological form or in some other way, and then environmental considerations will no longer matter for our survival. Alternatively, we could develop technology that can destroy absolutely all life on Earth and we might use it before we obtain the ability to live elsewhere.

Trying to imagine what the future might be like is an interesting mental exercise but if someone gets so caught up in it as to believe they've figured it all out, they're delusional. Nobody sees the future.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2015, 12:05:29 PM »

Trying to imagine what the future might be like is an interesting mental exercise but if someone gets so caught up in it as to believe they've figured it all out, they're delusional. Nobody sees the future.

If you think you can predict the you should get rich on the stock market. ;)

Having said that you have to work with the data you have, trends you see and what makes sense to you.

Aliens could land tomorrow and either give us zero emission unlimited energy or they could enslave us and use us for food. I'm not planning for an alien invasion personally. ;)

forummm

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 08:35:50 PM »
It really doesn't matter what you invest in. You aren't promoting mindless consumerism by owning Apple or encouraging people to drive Hummers by owning ExxonMobil. And you aren't helping those companies out at all by investing in them. You just make money off of those bad behaviors. But it's either you or someone else. Those businesses will remain with or without you.

mrpercentage

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2015, 02:29:49 AM »
The nice part about hand picking stuff is that you can steer clear of companies or policies you don't like.

Personally I don't think Exxon is bad
1. They are big enough to make a difference
2. Conversion of coal plants to natural gas have them making a realistic positive change

I realize they have been involved and responsible for disasters before and may be in the future, but if you consider their size they have a pretty clean record.

Take Phillip Morris. I dont plan on investing in anothers cancer. I wont tell you not to do it. But not for me.

Unless a business is obviously abusive to human rights in some way, I say invest. Profits are what business is about. As long as profits dont come before the wellbeing of others. Lots of cans of arguements can be made. I don't want to open one here. Im just saying you have a choice. You can chose to learn more about what you own and decide if you want to be a part of it.

If you think about it, you are a consumer. If you do not eat you will die. Just do it responsibly. Water and sunshine will never sustain you. Thats why plants are produce and we are consumers.
I think an MMM creed would be wastefulness is a sin and efficiency is a virtue. You cant controll how other people use resources as forummm says. You can control what resources and items you invest in.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 03:04:28 AM by mrpercentage »

Jack

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2015, 09:00:11 AM »
Do you have any cash flow or investment advice that does not revolve around the waste economy? Real estate looks like a good angle, but the "all-or-nothing" aspect is far too high risk.

IMO, real estate is your best bet. You can appease your morals or avoid risk, but you can't do both.

(Not to mention, I disagree with your "far too high risk" assessment of it in the first place.)


As for the environmental angle, I go with the Dr Strangelove philosophy there. I do "my part" to not waste (recycle etc), but once you accept that humans will inevitably destroy themselves and the planet anyway life is much easier. Freeing yourself from the constant angst of greenery guilt. You could bike everywhere your whole life, and the CO2 you spared the atmosphere would probably be less than what an single cargo ship release in a week (no, I did not check the numbers).

The only really meaningful thing you can do for the environment is not to breed. Recycling, bicycling and driving low emissions vehicles are laughable really. I get why we do it, but it's re-arranging deck chairs on the titanic.

Beyond that I agree just accept you are on a fast train to the end of the [acceptable human] environment. On the plus side is humans do not have the power or technology to destroy the planet. We can and will destroy the ecosystem we need for a happy life. Some other form of life will take over and prosper after us.

Depressingly, this is the fatalistic view I've also come to. I try to be somewhat conscious of environmental impact of my OWN consumerism (buy less shit, buy more used, eat local, drive less, eat less meat, recycle, etc)....but honestly? Just not making more damn people is the only meaningful action IMO to support my values. So I didn't make any.

Beyond that, I sort of stick my fingers in my metaphorical ears, especially when it comes to investing.

Why is it that everybody seems to think population growth is exponential and that we're heading for a Malthusian catastrophe, when it's actually logistic (and the developed world is already on the "tapering off" end of the curve)?

wenchsenior

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2015, 09:51:25 AM »
Do you have any cash flow or investment advice that does not revolve around the waste economy? Real estate looks like a good angle, but the "all-or-nothing" aspect is far too high risk.

IMO, real estate is your best bet. You can appease your morals or avoid risk, but you can't do both.

(Not to mention, I disagree with your "far too high risk" assessment of it in the first place.)


As for the environmental angle, I go with the Dr Strangelove philosophy there. I do "my part" to not waste (recycle etc), but once you accept that humans will inevitably destroy themselves and the planet anyway life is much easier. Freeing yourself from the constant angst of greenery guilt. You could bike everywhere your whole life, and the CO2 you spared the atmosphere would probably be less than what an single cargo ship release in a week (no, I did not check the numbers).

The only really meaningful thing you can do for the environment is not to breed. Recycling, bicycling and driving low emissions vehicles are laughable really. I get why we do it, but it's re-arranging deck chairs on the titanic.

Beyond that I agree just accept you are on a fast train to the end of the [acceptable human] environment. On the plus side is humans do not have the power or technology to destroy the planet. We can and will destroy the ecosystem we need for a happy life. Some other form of life will take over and prosper after us.

Depressingly, this is the fatalistic view I've also come to. I try to be somewhat conscious of environmental impact of my OWN consumerism (buy less shit, buy more used, eat local, drive less, eat less meat, recycle, etc)....but honestly? Just not making more damn people is the only meaningful action IMO to support my values. So I didn't make any.

Beyond that, I sort of stick my fingers in my metaphorical ears, especially when it comes to investing.

Why is it that everybody seems to think population growth is exponential and that we're heading for a Malthusian catastrophe, when it's actually logistic (and the developed world is already on the "tapering off" end of the curve)?

I know and am thrilled that we're tapering. However, there are still far too many people already on the planet for my preference (this is a subjective, values-related issue; I'm not making an objective statement about how many people could survive in such and such standard of living).

In addition, in the past we've always come up with a way to raise the carrying capacity for ourselves (not necessarily the billions of other species), and I suspect we'll come up with a way to do so again.

blusafe

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2015, 03:52:20 AM »
This is not a thread about overpopulation, or the morality of investment choices. I understand the OP asked these questions, but has since been modified to narrow the focus. I want to stick to discussion of non-waste economy investment.

To address a few points:

Overpopulation is a myth. I plan to have kids until the wife factory shuts down. I'm also studying to be a midwife, to enable others an option to have healthy children. I support and encourage decisions to abstain from children for any reason, but soap-boxing the overpopulation myth is not productive.
Humans are not inherently destructive. There are modalities of living that can increase 7th generation productivity.
https://deusnexus.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/overpopulation-fact-or-myth/

Some will always run to support self-destructive habits (drugs, crime, addiction, etc). Doesn't mean I need to enable the supply. Which is why I got out of stocks and bonds.

Thanks to everyone for the great ideas, especially mrpercentage
I think an MMM creed would be wastefulness is a sin and efficiency is a virtue. You cant controll how other people use resources as forummm says. You can control what resources and items you invest in.
Efficiency is a virtue, generational productivity even more so!

Seems like self-reliance, small housing units, and specific stocks may be my best cash-sink strategies.

Jack

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2015, 12:07:31 PM »
This is not a thread about... the morality of investment choices. I understand the OP asked these questions, but has since been modified to narrow the focus. I want to stick to discussion of non-waste economy investment.

If wanting to avoid investments that exploit other people's wastefulness isn't motivated by morality, what else could it be?

blusafe

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Re: Staying Away From The Consummerist Waste Economy Investment?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2015, 05:18:11 PM »
Please don't hijack the thread. I want to discuss actual mechanics and how, not why.