Monthly Archives: April 2014

Twist your brain around supporting evil for the good of humanity. Or not.

"Smoking is cool, and everybody knows it." --Chandler Bing (Friends)

“Smoking is cool, and everybody knows it.” –Chandler Bing (Friends)

So the idea of this blog is to talk about how to make a sustainable nest egg for safety and retirement, without (too much) guilt.

So, why are we here, we who have a list of rules (one of which is “Don’t buy defense contractor and tobacco stocks”) going to make the argument that we should buy tobacco stocks?

Well, lets think about it … money? Yeah, sure, of course. I mean, why invest in stocks if you aren’t going to make money. But, we here always have a secondary objective: Doing good, or, at least not doing (too) bad.

We have morals! We have ideals! And where we may not always live up to the ideals, we at least feel bad when we don’t abide by them. So, we don’t support companies that make things that purposefully kill, exploit or support killing or supporting … even when we don’t know what that means. [Does buying stock in alternative energy from a company that supplies energy to a factory that makes bombs that are used to shell civilians 6000 miles away constitute supporting building and dropping bombs? And if so, or not, does simply paying taxes support that too, thus making the whole thing moot?]

Certainly there are shades of gray  to buying any stock. In a gray fog, while wearing sunglasses.  At night. Underground.  With the Beatles playing (cause it sounds like a psychedelic party!)

So, let’s just set up a set of rules. Actually, 2 cop outs, and 2 rules. No, well, making money is one of the rules, so 3 rules. But, 2 besides that.

Forget it. Lets just focus on the rules:

1) (cop out) Business sucks. But it’s the best thing we have ever found to channel the selfish human heart into constructive gains. Businesses employ people, who support families. They pay (lots) of taxes (or, their employees pay lots of taxes, either way, the government gets more so they are happy). Generally, they pay for everything and move money around. They are the heart of the world. (Roads are arteries and veins. Money is blood. People are cells. Dogs are leukocytes. Food is, well, food. Movie stars are the moles and freckles. Manteca, Ca., is the anus, Etc.)

2) (cop out) In planes with sudden loss of pressure, parents are told to put on their masks first, get some oxygen, and then take care of their children. Like that, we need to take care of our bottom line, so we can continue to fight the good fight. (BTW, this is good justification for taking an evening off from your kids. And just may be true, also.)

3) Avoid bad (self explanatory, but hard to define)

4) But above all, support good.

So, what does this all mean. It is sound and fury signifying nothing, but we’re calling it our “Guiding principals”. (Hey, we want at least the illusion of doing good. It’s working just so long as we believe it, right? ‘Cause, lets be honest, just being alive and breathing is f***ing things up, and it just gets worse from there.)

So, cigarettes kill people. Don’t support that. But, as an alternative, e-cigarettes have lower the risk of cancer and lung disease. So support that.

But, doesn’t supporting e-cigarettes support the tobacco industry?

Yes, it does. So, how can we invest in this? I mean, we are hooking people on nicotine, either way, right? Er … yes.

But, lets look at our algorithm here (you just learned a fancy word for recipe):

Rules one and two: Check!

Rules four: Check!

Rule three:<buzzer sound> Not so much.

But, FIGHTING the big EVIL corporations can be done by methods other than destroying them, but by redirecting their evil ambition towards less evil, but more profitable business ventures. If we are supporting something bad, but steering it towards something good, then we’re doing good, right? Like Michael Corleone in the Godfather, trying to go legit. Or, like an undercover drug operative. Or like James Bond!

No matter how you spin it to yourself, the truth is, is that if the stock price goes up (more people are buying it) then the more tobacco companies will pay more attention to e-cigs. This will decrease the production of regular cigarettes, which, lets face it, stink.

Or, maybe we are just trying to talk ourselves into something stupid.

Look at the stock: Victory Electronic Cigarette Incorporated (OTCBB [Over the Counter Bulletin Board]: ECIG) (These wacky stock brokers! HA HA HA).

It is all over the place, highly volatile. The FDA is cracking down (not really, but hey, when the Wall Street Journal hypes something …) the prices are just going to plummet.

But, as you know, we advocate buying things when they get bad press. And we believe this industry will grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years. And this company is just starting out …

Could it be the next Starbucks? The next Netflix?

Probably not, but, heck, it’s stocks. 99% of new companies fail.

Bottom line: It may not hurt you to invest a small portion of your portfolio on this, like say, $1000. Or, it may cost you $1000 and your soul. We aren’t quite sure.


NOTE: StockGuilt is a blog about interesting stocks, and our views. We are not stock brokers, investment councilors, planners or legal advisers. In fact, at least one of us is an idiot. The rest are just folks who think about investments. This is what we think, and what we will do/did. In no way are we telling your what to buy or sell … Do your own homework.

If it works out for you, and you feel generous, well, we’ll probably get in trouble if we take your money, so …  We like Ronald McDonald houseUnicefSalvation Army and SafeNest