FundRobot » Bond Funds » Can a career in the stock market be socially positive if...?

Old   #1 (permalink)
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Default can a career in the stock market be socially positive if...

If you get to be really good at investing money in stocks and increasing it, do you think that could be socially beneficial work if you invest money for organizations like homeless shelters, education programs etc.?

If you buy stock in google or walmart or some big corporation, do they get richer because you buy their stock? I don't want to support mega corporations, but I want to financially help small, do-good organizations.

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Old   #2 (permalink)
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Default can a career in the stock market be socially positive if...

Interesting question! Short answer, if you buy a share of wal mart that is already on the market, they will not be receiving money from your purchase. The only time a company receives money from the sale of stock is when they do an IPO or when they sell new shares to the public.
So you want to help a homeless shelter or education program. Now, I do not know everything but I am unaware of any publicly traded homeless shelters. Nor do I know of any that are considering and IPO. From m understanding homeless shelters operate off donations and government funding. Some large education centers (like the mass online programs you see commercials for) may be publically traded. So you could buy a share of them, however as I mentioned the money isn’t going to the university itself because it isn’t an IPO.
You can invest in a university or school that is not publicly traded though! Just not through stocks. Many university issue bonds to raise funding. When you buy a bond, you are giving money directly to the university and in turn the university will pay you interest on that money plus at a specific time in the future they will pay you back what you initially gave them. Basically it’s a loan, but you are giving it to the school.

But to answer your question if a job is the stock market can be socially beneficial….yes is can be. But keep in mind that more times than not you purchase a stock because you want the price in the stock to rise so you can sell it and make some profit. Along that, you do take into account what company’s sell and their overall strength, but don’t forget that some companies you may consider not to be “socially beneficial” ex. Tobacco companies, large manufacturing companies producing toxic waste or utilizing child labor in emerging markets; can create a good profit opportunity for you. And in that case are you not going to invest in them? What if your clients don’t have the same view as you and just want you to create a profitable portfolio for them….
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Old   #3 (permalink)
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Default can a career in the stock market be socially positive if...

First, remember that investing is, in itself, a form of giving. Investing in Walmart is supporting a company with a mission of delivering products as cheaply as possible to the consumer. In practice, they make life better for millions of poor. Poor people are better able to afford a cell phone, a hair dryer, a toothbrush, even medications and doctor visits, because of Walmart's mission. And if you invest in them, and they succeed, everyone profits: the poor person can get more goods for less money, the company can employ more workers, train more unskilled workers, and promote more workers to higher paying positions, and you (the investor) make money on your investment. Much better than if you were to take your money and buy something else.

Second, an ugly proposition for you. You could become a 'helper', making $50,000 a year, helping people in a charitable operation. Or you become a 'ruthless corporate trader', and donate enough of your earnings to pay for 20 helpers. Which serves society better - you becoming one helper, or you funding 20 other helpers?

I myself work towards being wealthy. I gave up my career as a math teacher, now working in a small company that uses math to make better stock market investments. If that company goes well, I will earn enough money to fulfill a mission of mine: an entire private school for foster children. I am taking a chance, but I am hoping to try to help the world by building a school, rather than just being one teacher.
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