Discussion: Would you invest in a profitable but non-ethical company?

Hello all!

Recently I encountered a video documenting the Apple iPhone 6’s launch. Despite noting the main purpose of the film is to tape down the usually hidden and dark behind scenes of the product launches, I couldn’t stop to ponder for a while.

Is the company you consistently support, invest and fund doing an ethical business?

Look at the stuffs you have with you everyday. Your shirt, jeans, shoes, hair products, gadgets. To relentlessly reduce overhead costs, companies might threaten to force workers to speed up their productivity and lengthen their work time or they would get fired. To reduce material costs, companies might substitute for less economic friendly materials or reduce quality checks, more specifically serious when looking at food products.

So are principles of morality in businesses disregarded totally by consumers? Since most consumers are looking for less costly products?
Which brings us back to a common topic…

Would you invest in a profitable but non-ethical company

Doing a bit of research on my part, I found the professional term ‘Ethical investing‘ or also known as Socially responsible investing appeared quite frequently.
Based on Michael C., a Contributor of Forbes, ethical investment is usually achieved by direct funding to companies, communities or governments that the investor believes best hold to values of importance to the individual. These include the environment, consumer protection, religious beliefs, employees’ rights as well as human rights, among others.
However my point here is that taking the video below, assuming you feel that the company’s marketing strategy of unnecessary demand creation is unethical but aware that the company’s earnings for the coming years will increase, will you be giving your cash to fund these companies?
Principles of moralities might be subjective but everyone should have something they feel that a company shouldn’t be doing. What if a company you invested crossed the line? Would you have continue providing money for them to keep up their doings because you overlook it with the potential profits instead?

Knowing that there should not be a right or wrong answer as I myself is stuck in the fence as well, hence I would like to know how you guys think regarding this matter?

This is the video I saw on YouTube:

The Independent Abecedarian

3 thoughts on “Discussion: Would you invest in a profitable but non-ethical company?

  1. Hi IA,

    Hmm, I’ve been asking myself that a lot of times too. My take (so far) is this: I will invest in such companies – the so called non-ethical but profitable companies – simply because it’s not possible to know which are ethical and which are not. Whatever is reported might just be at the very tip of the iceberg. In the lack of such knowledge, I’ll invest in everything but I’ll contribute my own income to donate to causes that are just.

    In a way, I’m redistributing the income from such non-ethical companies to worthy causes. I find that this is the most practical way to balance that moral tingling in my heart, in the absence of perfect knowledge of who are ethical and who are not.

    1. Hello LP!

      Good to hear that it is not just me thinking about it!
      True enough, there are always two sides to most things. Contributing part of profits to causes is just the answer! I have not thought about it. I too agree this is the most practical way. Everyone can contribute to a cause they stand for using part (or even whole) of the profits gained.
      Thanks for your comment, this is a good share of your thoughts!

      The IA

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