Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Have No Conscience When Buying Stocks

I was going to respond to the comment that Stephen left in my post about smoking being good for you but decided that a full post would be better served. Full disclosure. I don't smoke. I hate smoking. I hate being around smokers. I generally won't go to a place if they allow smoking. That being said, I have no problem buying shares of the largest tobacco producer around.

One of the things you can't do when you are trying to pick stocks, especially in the short term, is worry too much about the social impact of what you are doing. When people tell me that they have a problem buying a certain stock this is what I tell them. Buy the stock, and when you make a lot of money, support a charity that tries to address the issue. So if you don't like smoking, fund lung cancer research. If you don't like alcohol stocks, fund a charity like MADD.  Stocks are just pieces of paper.  Buying the stock doesn't actually help the issuing company.  A stock trade is between you and some other third party, the original company does not directly benefit from your purchase (they do indirectly but that would be a whole other post)

That being said, there are literally thousands of stocks you can buy. So if you really feel that strongly about it, just try to find a similar stock with a similar thesis. If you don't want to buy a stock like Altria, look at other consumer staples like Coke or Kellogg (I don't recommend these like I do Altria by the way).


  1. You bring up a good point Terrence. I'm all for getting rid of cigarettes, but let me play devil's advocate to drive home this point. Let's say you don't invest in a tobacco stock, how you be sure that money would have added to the smoking pool? And vis-versa?

  2. [...] Despite the fact I stated I never smoke, I was coincidently talked into smoking a Cuban cigar last night. I figured you don’t often get the chance to smoke one in the United States, so I might as well take advantage of the situation while I could. So I sat down with some friends and a few Cubans and a nice eighteen year old scotch. [...]

  3. [...] Double Journey has a little tip for buying stocks and that’s have no conscience! [...]

  4. Buying stocks with questionable products can easily be avoided. There are lots of great stocks to trade. With that said, if I see a good short term trade, I go for it regardless of what the company sells. It doesn't have a direct impact on the company anyways.