I met with two women this Sunday to review my and their financial situations. We meet about every 6 weeks to go over our “numbers” and to offer feedback or advice wherever the other person wants it.
We particularly focus on what is “pressuring” us — where do we feel out of balance or unclear, where do we need ideas or support, encouragement or caution. And I brought up this idea of Stocks.
As you read a few weeks ago, I recently bought my very first share of stock (in Tesla) and the following week, I bought a few shares in Starbucks. While this has been a pretty cool exercise, and I do like watching the numbers go up or down (as they will do!), as I look toward a next investment, I begin to feel stymied.
Despite my affinity for renewable energy and Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial style, Tesla mines an incredible amount of precious metals and minerals from the ground, and their batteries will only last a decade at max, at which point they’ll be trash. Despite having installed a new executive board that is purported to be full of innovation and forward thinking, Starbucks produces a ton of waste per minute.
If you know me, you’ll know that I compost voraciously, I use handkerchiefs that I wash weekly, I carry reusable bags and bottles to the grocery store, I purchase consignment clothing, and I donate to organizations working to fight the conservation fight. My values around conservation of the earth are virile. So how can I rightly invest in companies that have such a harmful impact on the earth, even if, in Tesla’s case, the ecological benefits in the long run may outweigh the costs?
So, I brought this up to my financial group of ladies, as I’ve also known that the investment funds that support “eco” or moral entities do not perform well in the stock market. It seems that in order to make money in the market, I cannot live by my values.
My ladies said: Yep.
One did suggest my looking up the sustainable investment bundles, just to check out their recent performance (which I’ve not done yet). But the other woman said something that struck me even more brilliant:
Soon, I won’t need to invest in others’ ideas. My own success will fund me. My own ideas will fund my life.
This was a welcome thought: I do not have to play the game if I don’t like the rules. To me, it had felt as though there were two options: profit from Earth-raping and the demise of the planet or don’t profit.
That there is a third way doesn’t surprise me — though at the moment of realization, it always does! There seems always a third way; always a path I’ve not considered.
Consider that my own success, in whatever realm, will lead me to be financially prosperous and financially independent from corporate malfeasance? Yes, please.