Sometimes, I feel that no matter what you do, no matter how much research is done, there are always skeletons in the closet. This is how I feel after reading about the lawsuit against Chevron.
One thing I didn’t account for when I did Chevron stock analysis was to look at the company’s dark side. I didn’t do any research to find negative articles regarding the company. Why I didn’t do such work before trading CVX? It’s simple; I thought others would have done their homework.
The funniest part is that I trusted major Socially Responsible Investing Indexes to do the work. I thought they had enough resources and eager researchers to find the skeletons in the closet of any company. Back in November 2010, CVX was part of my socially responsible investing portfolio. So this is my question today: to what point are you ethical?
This question isn’t only limited to the investment perspective but throughout your whole life. When I said I was happy to see Chevron fight back and defend themselves against the lawsuit, I also added that I hoped they were right. I won’t be the first to throw stones at someone or at a company… until they are proven guilty. But on the other hand, I’m wondering how one can be successfully ethical in your life?
What I mean is; it’s fairly easy to make ethical choices when it comes to your own actions. For examples:
– I’m trying to find ethical companies to invest in
– Each year, I give a portion of my income to charity
– I try to teach good family values to my children
– I don’t buy knockoff clothes or other products
These actions are easy to do since they don’t require much effort. They are just triggered by single day-to-day decision I am make. However;
– I don’t spend hours to find out if the companies I invest in are ethical
– I don’t look over what is being done with my money when given to charity
– My children may do things that are not ethical (actually my son got into a fight at school last week!)
– I don’t do research on my latest pair of jeans to know where it was manufactured
So, how can I claim to make ethical choices? I’m not sure anymore. Honestly, I really want to make the “right” decisions but I don’t really have the time to review each movement done by a company or an association around me.
Some say to never believe companies… but based on this premise, should we always believe journalists? Or politicians? In fact, who can we really trust? If the answer is no one, then, what is the point of making research to make sure your make ethical decisions? You have to believe someone somewhere somehow.
Do you have any tricks? Is it important for you to make ethical decisions? To invest responsibly? I thought I was when I purchased Chevron since they were part of many SRI indexes, claiming to be a first class employer and to invest massively in alternative sources of energy. But what really does matter? Polluting the Amazon or producing cool social reports for financial analysts?