Desmond and Bola walk into the boardroom chatting boisterously. They both appear to be in high spirits and James wanted in on the gist.
“Guys, how far? Looks like you are discussing some money-making schemes – come on, fill me in” James says jokingly.
The two young men shift a little uncomfortably in their seats as their gaze goes back and forth. James was their manager and they needed to be careful how to respond to him.
After a long pause, Bola responds “Chief, it’s really nothing, just that Desmond was telling me of his uncle who wants to invest money but is adamant that his investment must align with his personal moral compass. So, I told him about Ethical Funds, but the only caveat is that I hear one must be a Muslim to invest in that kind of mutual fund.”
James leans back in his chair with a knowing smile on his lips, lets out a short laugh and responds “You’re correct Bola, but not entirely. Ethical Funds are not just for Muslims but for anyone who is interested in investing their money in companies whose practices and values align with their personal beliefs.”
Desmond who had been quiet all along speaks “So boss, what kind of companies does the Ethical Fund not invest in?”
“Ethical investors typically avoid “sin stocks” which are companies that are involved or deal primarily with traditionally unethical or immoral activities like gambling, alcohol, firearms, tobacco and adult entertainment amongst others” James replies.
Desmond ponders his answer and then asks, “If that’s the case, doesn’t this then mean that the return margin will be low on the Ethical Fund as not many people would be willing to boycott investing in these kinds of companies?”
James stands up, takes off his jacket and turns up the air conditioner, then responds “On the contrary Desmond – it will surprise you the number of high-net worth individuals who invest ethically. I have a lot of knowledge regarding this because I have an Ethical Fund investment along with a lot of my friends.”
Bola jumps in “Oh really? Since when have you had it? And what’s the returns like?”
James goes on to explain how he had maintained his Ethical Fund portfolio for going on six years because his Fund Managers advised on longer-term investing due to the exposure of the fund. He also shared how the Fund Managers in charge of his Ethical Fund had done a good job which ensured that he still made money while protecting his personal and ethical beliefs.
When he looked up at his audience, he realized they were both jotting down aggressively.
“Are you guys even paying attention?” he asked.
“Sure boss. We’ve been thinking of asking you to ‘show us the way’ when it comes to making money. We’re jotting down because these lessons won’t be a waste” Desmond replied with Bola nodding in agreement.
“Well, I thought this was for your uncle, Desmond” James quizzed.
The two young men looked at each other and laughed loud “Boss, we too, like to invest ethically and earn returns. You know what they say about what is good for the goose being good for the gander right?”