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道德与投资

Investing in Vices

道德与投资

A tricky question in investing is how much of a role ethics should play in your stock selections.

Should you invest in companies that manufacture weapons? What about nuclear power? Alcohol? Gambling? Tobacco? Those are the “Big Five” in terms of ethical decisions. They tend to provoke the strongest emotions, and come up most often in discussions of ethical investing. But the list could go on and on. Should you invest in companies that have been fined for polluting the environment? Companies that have been sued for racial discrimination? Companies that don’t have women in key positions? Companies that do animal testing? Companies that sponsor sexually explicit TV shows or art exhibitions?

The world being what it is, too fine an ethical filter could quickly screen out almost every large company and many small ones. I tend to be tolerant of most vices in life, and also in investing. I am currently seeking out defense stocks. I’m eyeing at least one nuclear-power stock, and am favorably disposed toward gambling stocks. There’s no liquor stock I want to own, but if the numbers looked attractive, I’d buy one.

投资时需要慎重对待的一个问题,就是道德规范在你选择股票时应该占多大份量。

我们是否应投资于生产武器的公司?或者投资于核动力、酒类、赌博、烟草类公司?这是有道德争议的“五大”领域,容易激起人们最强烈的爱憎之情,也最常引发道德性投资的讨论。不过这个名单可以一直列下去。你是否应该投资于那些因污染环境而受罚的公司?那些被指控种族歧视的公司?那些不让妇女担任要职的公司?那些用动物进行试验的公司?那些为直接渲染色情的电视节目出资和举办类似艺术展览的公司?

现实世界就是这样,如果用太细的道德过滤器去筛选,那么几乎每一个大公司和许多小公司很快都得从投资的名单中筛出去。我倾向于容忍生活中的大部分不道德行为,在投资方面也是如此。我现在正在挑选一些国防类的股票。我至少中意于一种核动力的股票,还看好博彩类的股票。我不想买酒类股,但如果价位有吸引力的话,我还是会买一种的。

Smoke-Free Zone

In my personal portfolio, the only industry I won’t invest in is tobacco. Tobacco causes disease and suffering when used as intended, whereas most of the others cause problems only when they are abused.

Client portfolios are a different matter. When you are managing other people’s money, your job is to maximize performance. We don’t have any tobacco stocks at Dorfman Investments, but I’m on the stock selection committee for a money management firm, Dreman Value Management, that has tobacco holdings. As for performance, the 80 “socially responsible” mutual funds tracked by Morningstar Inc., the Chicago research company, returned 15 percent a year on average in the five years through October. That compares to an 18 percent return for all U. S. stock funds, and 26 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index during the same period.

At my firm, and many others, clients with their own separate accounts can specify whatever ethical restrictions they want. One of my clients doesn’t want to own weapons stocks. For her, I won’t buy stocks such as Lockheed Martin Corp., Litton Industries Inc., Cordant Technologies Inc. or Kaman Corp. But stocks of that type will be in many other clients’ portfolios.

无烟区:

在我个人的投资组合中,我唯一不碰的是烟草业。当你有意常吸烟草时,它会带来疾病和痛苦,而其它的大多只有在滥用时才会带来麻烦。

顾客的投资组合就是另一回事了。当你为别人理财时,你的任务就是要取得最好的业绩。多尔夫曼投资公司中没有烟草股,但我是德雷曼价值管理公司――一个理财公司――选股委员会的委员,该公司却持有烟草股。据芝加哥的一家调研公司――晨星股份有限公司的跟踪调查,就业绩来讲,80家“对社会负责”的共同基金在直至10月份的过去5年的年平均收益是15%。与之相比,同阶段美国所有的证券基金的平均收益是18%,标准普尔500指数的平均收益是26%。

在我的公司和许多其他公司中,客户有他们自己各自的考虑,他们能明确指定他们的道德禁忌。我的一位客户就不愿持有武器股,所以我不会为她买进诸如洛克希德・马丁公司、利顿工业公司、考顿科技公司或卡曼公司的股票,但这类股票会出现在许多其他客户的投资组合中。

Weapons of Defense

The question of whether military force can be used ethically is one of the oldest and most difficult in history. To me, Hitler and World War II are sufficient proof that maintaining a strong U. S. Military force is a moral act.

Some of my best friends disagree. To them, the ends do not justify the means. I asked one friend, who is a Quaker, what the U. S. should have done about Hitler. His response: “I don’t know. But I believe we should have found an alternative other than force.”

That is an intellectually honest position, but to me not persuasive. On the whole, I feel the world is a better place if the U.S. has rocket fuel (Cordant), defense electronics (Litton), and Seasprite naval helicopters (Kaman), than if we don’t.

防御武器:

军事力量能否被合乎道义地使用是历史上最古老的也是最困难的道德问题之一。对我来说,希特勒和二战足以证明美国保持强大的军事力量是道德的行为。

我的一些最好的朋友不同意这个观点。他们认为,目的正当并不能证明手段正当。我问一位教友派信徒的朋友,对希特勒这样的人美国应该怎么办。他说:“我不知道。但我相信我们应该找到另一种办法,而不是暴力。”

这是一个理智的诚实态度,但对我没有说服力。总的来说,我觉得如果美国有考顿公司生产的火箭燃料、利顿公司的电子防御系统和卡曼公司的海军用海怪直升机,这个世界会比我们没有这些武器更好一些。

Power Sources

Nuclear power is another issue that people feel strongly about. In the wake of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, I can’t argue that it’s wrong to be concerned about the safety of nuclear plants. And yet, I believe people forget the hundreds of injuries and the massive pollution caused by oil-and coal-fueled electrical generating plants. Nuclear power, at least potentially, is a less polluting energy source than most of its competitors. The green so of cutting hack on energy use strikes me as misguided. Economic opportunity and social justice are much easier to achieve in an expanding economy. And an expanding economy virtually requires abundant energy.

Alcohol, to some people, is the worst villain. And yet, when the nation tried to ban alcohol during prohibition, the experiment proved a failure. I can’t resist adding that moderate drinkers have much lower death rates from heart attack than teetotalers. There are no liquor stocks I want to own presently. But at the right price, I would own one.

动力源:

核动力是另外一个引起人们强烈关注的问题。由于切尔诺贝利和三哩岛事件,我不能说考虑核电厂的安全是错误的。但是我想人们忘记了由用石油和煤作燃料的发电厂引起的成百上千种伤害和大量的污染。与其大多数竞争者相比,核动力至少从潜在能力上考虑是一种污染较小的能源。我看这种减少能源使用的“绿色”解决方法是误入歧途。经济发展的良机和社会的公正在一个正在增长的经济中实现起来要容易得多。而一个正在发展增长的经济实际上是需要丰富的能源的。

对某些人来说,酒是个最坏的东西。但当国家试图禁酒时,结果总是归于失败。我忍不住要附带补充一句:适度的饮酒者比完全禁酒者心脏病死亡率要低得多。我现在还不想买什么酒类股。但一旦价位合适,我是会买一种的。

The Gambling Vice

Anita Green, the director of social research at Pax World Fund, the third-largest social responsibility mutual fund, recently referred to gambling as “a vice that inflicts crushing social costs on American society”. Noting that seven of the largest 20 mutual funds in the U . S. hold one or more gambling stocks, she suggests that investors pick a fund that has sworn to avoid them–namely, her own.

Gambling, which Green opposes so strongly, is to me a pleasurable activity. I go to the racetrack, watch the pageantry of the horses, jockeys and silks, and enjoy the spectacle more because I have a $ 2 or $ bet on the outcome. I enjoy spending a day or two in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. But I go only once every year or two, and set myself a limit of $ 50 or $ 100 a day. When that’s gone, I walk around and see the sights.

For better or worse, it appears that America is still moving in the direction of more gambling. So I think that casino and lottery stocks–issues like Scientific Games Holdings Corp., Mirage Resorts Inc. and Mandalay Resort Group–are good bets.

The impulse to invest ethically is praiseworthy, but I’m skeptical of “one size fits all” approaches to it. And I think anyone attempting to invest ethically should have respect for the complexity and difficulty of the task

Gap’s problem

For example, Pax World Fund, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, says it invests only in companies “that treat their employees, their environment, and their communities with respect”. I’m sure it makes every effort to do so, but in an imperfect world, these decisions get mighty tricky.

Pax World’s largest stockholding is Gap Inc. Friday, Gap (along with some other retailers) lost in its attempt to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of selling clothes made under sweatshop conditions in the U.S. territory of Saipan. In August, four other defendants in that suit, including Nordstrom Inc. and J. Crew Group Inc., agreed to settle the claims against them by establishing a $ 1.25 million fund to monitor working conditions of their Saipan workplaces.

None of this necessarily means that Gap is a bad company, or culpable in the Saipan case. But it does illustrate the difficulty in making ethical investing decisions.

赌博恶习:

阿妮塔・格林是第三大社会保障共同基金――派克斯世界基金――的社会研究经理,最近她指责博彩业是“一种让美国社会付出毁灭性代价的恶疾”。她注意到美国最大的20个共同基金中的7个拥有1个或多个此类股票,于是呼吁投资者选择那些发誓不买博彩股的基金—-也就是她自己所任职的基金。

格林如此激烈反对的博彩对我来说是一种令人快乐的活动。我到赛场去,观看马匹、骑手以及骑手们穿戴的彩色绸制赛马服组成的盛大华丽的场面,并享受着这样的壮观景象,更多的是因为我对结果投了2块或5块钱的注。我喜欢在拉斯维加斯或大西洋城花上一两天的时间。但我一两年才去一次,并把自己一天的花费限制在50或100美元。钱一花完,我就四处溜达,看看风景。

不管好坏吧,似乎博彩业在美国仍有发展之势。所以我想博彩类股票—-如科学博奕持股公司、梦幻旅游胜地公司和曼达雷旅游胜地公司所发行的—-是值得一赌的。

促进合乎道义的投资是值得赞赏的,但我怀疑这种“一刀切”的做法能否行得通。我认为任何打算进行合乎道义的投资的人应该考虑到它的复杂性和困难程度。

盖普公司的问题:

举个例子,派克斯世界基金,总部设在新罕布什尔州的朴次茅斯,说它只投资于那些“尊重员工,尊重环保,尊重社区”的公司。相信它是尽力这样做的,但在一个不完美的社会里,这些决策是非常困难的。 派克斯世界基金所持有的最多的股票是盖普公司的股票。周五,盖普(及其他一些零售商)输了一场官司,他们本想驳回被指控销售美国西潘地区血汗工厂生产的衣物伽诉讼案。8月,包括诺德斯道姆公司、J.克鲁集团公司在内的其他四个被告同意出资125万美元设立基金来监督西潘工厂的工作条件,以此解决向他们提出的索赔要求。

这都不意味着盖普是个差劲的公司,或者在西潘事件中是有罪的。但它确实说明了在作出道德性投资决策方面存在的困难。

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