Perhaps I’m some sort of antisocial deviant, but I’ve never been a big fan of socially responsible investing. It has always seemed crazy to me to ignore profitable investment opportunities because a company’s product happens to be politically incorrect at that particular moment.
And yes, notions of what constitutes “socially responsible” do happen to shift over time. Not too long ago, tobacco was considered a harmless vice and arms manufacturers were considered patriotic.
Likewise, all-American companies like McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) are considered respectable investments today, but what about tomorrow? After all, like tobacco companies, both sell products that are bad for your health. And like cigarettes, many cities are starting to tax and regulate sugary soft drinks for public health reasons.
Nevertheless, I suppose there is nothing wrong with owning companies that make you feel good about yourself, so long as you maintain your objectivity. I’ll give you five of my favorite “warm and fuzzy” stocks today. To make this list, the company has be engaged in socially responsible businesses and must pay a respectable dividend.