Saturday, 29 January 2011

Responsible Investing, Voting, Lifestyle - BP Oil Spill - The Love of Money - Are They Related?

Investing, voting, and community living require us to be responsible or it'll come back to bite us. When a politician campaigns by promising more jobs, more projects, more money for your town, do you vote because it's the 'right thing' to do? Or do you just look at the extra wealth for your area? Do you demand of politicians that they protect the environment? Do you vote for people who want to develop alternative energy or do you vote for the easier softer way? The last time you voted did you think about the environment, the impact that big 'business for profit' has on nature? Do you invest 'just for profits' or do you invest in responsible companies?
Do you believe in the natural order of things? If we thumb our noses at mother nature we'll end up like the Titanic - sunk. We can't just rape and pillage nature for profits without paying a price. Someone always pays! Victims of big businesses of many stripes are everywhere.
Do we teach our children to respect and work with nature? When they grow up will they concern them selves with nature's pay back? Do we teach them to try to uncover the 'hidden weaknesses' in everything we use? Will they run the next generation of companies well and save our earth while making money. It is not an either or situation.
Some countries require an oil company to drill a relief well before they drill the main well. Why don't we do this in North America? BP is taking 4 months to drill a relief well that in some places on planet earth would have been drilled before the main well was begun. This could have cut the spill time down from 4 months to a few days.
"The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" 1 Timothy 6:10
Let's be mature enough to not point to BP company, or the Government. They use the guidelines we as citizens allow them to follow. Let us be big enough to see that we could stand up for the rights of nature, especially when it is exploited for profits without regard for others. There are so many things that destroy more than they are worth. Gold mines poison people and whole ecosystems. If I was getting married today, with what I know now, I would not use gold wedding rings. I don't want to contribute to planetary destruction any more.
We need to research more where our products come from and at what expense. We need to share that information with others. People are really good people but they are often ill informed. The preceding example is not where I typically see misinformation and lack of due diligence. Money management and investing are common areas where we see hidden weaknesses.
There are investment funds that scrutinize firms for their ethics and environmental practices. If you are buying stocks do you research the management style for their record of community responsibility? This can take some time. Most things in life that are worthwhile do take time. Invest some time before you invest your cash to find out what you like and what you don't like about the investment. Perhaps you can not be right every time, but if you at least try, and when you find a firm that is below your ethical standards let other people know. It will not turn all bad apples running companies back into solid fruit, but if CEO's know that most of the public are asking questions, that will affect their boardroom decisions. Companies are aware of public opinion. Unfortunately most public opinion is more concerned with material things than with their conscience. Let us turn that around.
If you are still reading you are probably not just concerned about money, you are probably a person of principles. The problem with most of us is that we are pressured for time and seldom give serious thought to some aspects of our lives. So let's learn form our mistakes. The BP Oil spill is a good place to start. Is it the fault of BP oil? Is it the fault of the government? or- Is it our fault as citizens? Is it on our conscience? Should it be on our conscience?
How could it be our fault/responsibility? How can we change the workings of large corporations? How can we change the government? Realistically we can't as a single person, so most of us give up and say 'Oh well!" "What can I do about it?" We then just go along with public opinion. "What's the use?"
To start with we need to know that we do count.
We need to speak our minds even when the money mongers and politicians are selling their polished version of wealth and prosperity.
We need to know that we did what was right, not just the easy thing.
Perhaps starting an investment group in your local church or community to check on mutual funds and companies they invest in to see if they operate according to good principles. A group can pool their useful information and probably there will emerge a volunteer who will write up their findings and publish them, while sending a copy to the firms mentioned; both good and bad. You may be surprised by the impact a few people can have especially if others see the benefit and this practice spreads around the internet.
If we invest our time, our money and our personal vote unwisely we may have to pay a serious consequence later. Payback isn't always fun.
WHAT DOES IT MATTER? Think, Think. Think.
My goals as a writer are to alert my readers to the 'hidden weaknesses' that catch so many people unaware when it comes to their finances and their lifestyles. I also expose 'behind the scenes' practices, that are generally accepted by the public, which may not be so beneficial to the consumer. Many of these practices and myths favor the bottom line of big businesses. It pays to be informed.
Financial Planning is my business. Today I prefer coaching people to help them achieve their lifestyle goals without grief. It delights me to expose myths ('secrets') that perpetuate the personal financial field, so I hope to meet you in my next article.
Financial Solutions you can use.
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