Advices for investing money.

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Kim OHara
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by Kim OHara »

dharmacorps wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:58 pm
... Socially responsible investing, while good in theory, is also based on what the company presents to investors, and could be totally false. I have relatives who are involved in such a fund and were shocked to find out a large percentage of their portfolio was in a major defense/weapons manufacturer. Clearly what one person considers "socially responsible" is not what another may find ethical. Unfortunately it seems like cherrypicking investments doesn't work from a ethics standpoint ...
Ethical investment funds are usually very public about what they do and don't invest in, for the very good reason that that is how they attract investors. Look at these, for example
https://www.australianethical.com.au/
https://ethicalinvestments.com.au/ (click on the 'screening' button)
(not that I am particularly recommending them, but they've been around for a while and came up near the top of my search results)
And if you don't like their priorities, try elsewhere. There are lots to choose from.
or a investing standpoint (also interestingly, socially responsible funds underperform).
Again, this information is very public.
And my experience is that they don't do much worse than non-ethical funds, e.g. 8% or 9% vs 10% for similar risk profiles. I'm happy enough with that compromise.

:namaste:
Kim

chownah
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by chownah »

One perspective about investing money:
Using money is condusive to greed. Not every use of money is connected with greed....in fact most uses of money are just that it makes it easy to exchange goods and services in that bartering (an other obvious alternative) is clumsy, slow, and requires alot of bookkeeping so it consumes a lot of human resource. So...I am not wanting to convey the idea that using money equals greed or that using money is like the plague and should be avoided at all costs (pun intended).

Having said that to restate; money is condusive to greed. You can be a person who is devoid of greed and make money at your job and use it to support your life style and the surplus you can stick under your mattress (I'm talking literally here) and then think that you have done all that you can do to not support greed in the world....and.....I would not argue with you but I might quibble a bit. My quibble is that you had to work for someone to get the money and it is not unlikely at all that the business where you work is at least in part driven by greed and if you work for some major corporation I think it pretty obvious that usually this means that greed is a big factor in what drives it. So....you could take a discerning view of right livelihood and find a job which is greed free and if you also only purchase things from greed free sources....and THEN you could think that you have done all that you can to eliminate greed from the world.

The foregoing has to do with putting your surplus money under you mattress or in a box in the ground etc.....but instead of secluding your money you invest your money somewhere it really means that you are loaning the money to someone (maybe a bank or a business or an investment fund or a university student or etc.) who then uses that money in some way....maybe in some way connected with greed. You are concerned about this since you are asking about investing money ethically....some people don't worry about this because they are of the view that it is up to other people to worry about what they do with the money they control....but it seems that you do have those concerns.

Without labouring the point I'll just point out that with the exception of putting your money under the mattress it is virtually inevitable that just the fact that the money is moving around being borrowed and spent is condusive to greed. What to do?

What to do: do the best that you can. Maybe don't think about eliminating greed but instead think about what kinds of activities are condusive to non-greed....condusive to reflecting on the value of what goods or services are being produced instead of the profits. I think it is good to remember that money is not greedy; people are greedy.....and there were greedy people in the world long before there was money in the world....greed is a natural outcome of the human condition in the human population and it is unlikely to ever be eliminated across the board.

What to do: in connection with doing the best you can as mentioned above you could start your own business with the resolve to focus on the quality of the goods and services being produced and to present to your community how it is possible to have a business not obsessed by greed. I am firmly of the opinion that investing your money with banks etc. will not demonstrate to anyone in your community how a business can be run unobsessed with greed. I'm an organic farmer and one reason I do this is just as I have said....I'll never get rich and I suppose I'll never care to.
chownah

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DooDoot
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by DooDoot »

sunnat wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:47 am
The suggestion is that to spend on things that spread the dhamma
Sounds very theoretical. For example, I try to spread the dhamma, for free, but no one listens to me. Therefore, why would i spend money on it?
chownah wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:11 am
One perspective about investing money:
Using money is condusive to greed.
The suttas encourage the investment of money for lay people.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

chownah
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by chownah »

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:25 am
chownah wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:11 am
One perspective about investing money:
Using money is condusive to greed.
The suttas encourage the investment of money for lay people.
I don't know what point you are trying to make here but you have taken the first sentence in a paragraph "Using money is condusive to greed." as if it summarized the message to be imparted in that paragraph. You omitted the start of the next sentence which was "Not every use of money is connected with greed" and all the rest. You seem to be thinking that I am trying to dissuade people from investing money....I think I am trying to give them a perspective on how to invest money so that it demonstrates to their community that there are ways to invest money without being driven by greed.

In short....I think you have very seriously mis-characterized what I posted by taking one sentence out of context and presenting it here....so there is not much about your reply to me to discuss except for how badly you have mis-characterized my previous post.
chownah

buddho99
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by buddho99 »

chownah : thank you for this post, very interesting read :)
sunnat wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:47 am
Ok, to labour the point. Is possibly not having enough money in a future a problem.? solved by getting money? What exactly is enough. If you have enough why have more.?

The suggestion is that to spend on things that spread the dhamma is in a final analysis the wisest investment that ensures a truly prosperous future. That may be a leap of faith so setting aside a portion for a seemingly irrelevant investment may in time show result. The more opprtunities you create for people to experience the Dhamma the more likely it is that you are one of those people with a result being that you become less attached to money and therefore, paradoxially, more the person likely to have money.
I don't know if that is directed towards me but I haven't said or implied any of that. I said that if I was to run out of money in the future, I would deal with it. I may be wrong but you seem to think that starting a conversation about investing = being attached to money.

dharmacorps
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by dharmacorps »

Kim OHara wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:56 am

Again, this information is very public.
And my experience is that they don't do much worse than non-ethical funds, e.g. 8% or 9% vs 10% for similar risk profiles. I'm happy enough with that compromise.

:namaste:
Kim
The information on what is in the funds is public (in the US, they have to be by law), but the public may not be educated as to what is actually in the funds (who the companies are and what they do). They're just selling the idea to assuage people's consciences. You also run a significant risk of a Enron type situation or Madoff situation, where the company is dishonest in their business practices and conceal it from the public. Or a company like PG&E, whose irresponsibility over their has caused massive wildfires, but also advocates climate change adaptations in energy policy.

Essentially the error here is believing one can hand pick companies that are "better", and everyone has the same definition of what "better" is. My parents are invested in a "socially responsible" fund that is almost half Oil and defense stocks. In such cases, you are just lining the pockets of mutual fund managers charging massive fees to sell you the idea you are doing "good" with your investments. It is far better to invest in a low or zero cost fund that tracks the market without getting involved in individual stocks. Your intention there is to own the market, not individual stocks.

Also, in performance:

https://markets.businessinsider.com/new ... 1028221827

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Kim OHara
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by Kim OHara »

dharmacorps wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:37 pm
...Also, in performance:

https://markets.businessinsider.com/new ... 1028221827
You might like to look at your source more critically.
It's a press release from PRI which is part of the Kochtopus, i.e., it has a vested interest in undermining ESG funds.
The Pacific Research Institute (PRI), known as the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRIPP) until 1984, is a conservative think tank founded in 1979 with the mission to “champion freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility for all individuals by advancing free-market policy solutions.” According to their website, PRI “promotes the principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility. The Institute believes these principles are best encouraged through policies that emphasize a free economy, private initiative, and limited government.”[1]

Steven F. Hayward is the Pacific Research Institute's senior fellow in environmental studies, and also works with the American Enterprise Instite which maintains a close relationship with PRI. Both the Pacific Research Institute and the American Enterprise Institute has received significant funding from Koch Industries and Scaife foundations. Hayward is the author of PRI's Almanac of Environmental Trends which they publish every third year on Earth Day. [31]

According to the print version of the PRI Report, the chief drivers of environmental improvement are economic growth, constantly increasing resource efficiency, technological innovation in pollution control, and “the deepening of environmental values among the American public.” It paints a less favorable picture for government policy, which Hayward describes as a “a lagging indicator, often achieving results at needlessly high cost, and sometimes failing completely.” [29], [30]

PRI has received over $1.7 million in donations from Koch-related foundations, $3.8 million from Scaife foundations, and $615,000 from the oil company ExxonMobil. The Pacific Research Institute also received over $1.5 million from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, two groups that have been described as the “Dark Money ATM” of the conservative movement. [12], [14] [emphasis mine]
:reading: https://www.desmogblog.com/pacific-research-institute

I'm not saying they are wrong, but I know I wouldn't trust them to be right.

:namaste:
Kim

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Polar Bear
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by Polar Bear »

A traditional Buddhist answer would be to invest in your long-term future:

“When one’s house is ablaze
The vessel taken out
Is the one that is useful,
Not the one left burnt inside.

“So when the world is ablaze
With the fires of aging and death,
One should take out one’s wealth by giving:
What is given is well salvaged.

“What is given yields pleasant fruit,
But not so what is not given.
Thieves take it away, or kings,
It gets burnt by fire or is lost.

“Then in the end one leaves the body
Along with one’s possessions.
Having understood this, the wise person
Should enjoy himself but also give.

Having given and enjoyed as fits his means,
Blameless he goes to the heavenly state.”

https://suttacentral.net/sn1.41/en/bodhi
:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

MettaDevPrac
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by MettaDevPrac »

If you might be interested in cultivating generosity, this is a way.

https://www.bhikkhuni.net/mission/

https://www.bhikkhuni.net/projects-2/pr ... s-support/

“But how do we define a lay follower who is practicing to benefit both themselves and others?”

“A lay follower is accomplished in faith and encourages others to do the same. They’re accomplished in ethical conduct and encourage others to do the same. They’re accomplished in generosity and encourage others to do the same. They like to see the mendicants and encourage others to do the same. They like to hear the true teaching and encourage others to do the same. They readily memorize the teachings they’ve heard and encourage others to do the same. They examine the meaning of the teachings they’ve memorized and encourage others to do the same. Understanding the meaning and the teaching, they practice accordingly and they encourage others to do the same. That’s how we define a lay follower who is practicing to benefit both themselves and others.”

https://suttacentral.net/an8.25/en/sujato
- MettaDevPrac

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Kim OHara
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Re: Advices for investing money.

Post by Kim OHara »

This activist/advisory group may be worth a look:
BankTrack is a non-governmental organization working in the field of private sector banks and sustainability. BankTrack uses direct action, lobbying, and research to achieve its goals. BankTrack focuses primarily on the work of private sector banks and their involvement in projects that are a risk to the environment, society or human rights.

BankTrack was established as a network in 2003, building upon initiatives that led to the release of the Collevecchio declaration. The Declaration[1] was the first civil society statement on the role of financial sector and sustainability, and was signed by over 100 civil society organizations. In 2015 it ceased to be a network and became an independent organization[2].

BankTrack releases research reports focused on sustainability in the banking sector, used by many organizations, banks and analysts...
:reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BankTrack

:namaste:
Kim

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