If you have money invested in the stock market, whether through a retirement account or a straight brokerage account, I challenge you today to find out exactly what your money is invested in and make a conscious choice about what you are supporting in the world.
If you aren’t sure how to do this, grab your last account statement (or go online) and find the 5 letter code that indicates where your money is invested. Then, type that into Google and review the breakdown of holdings. For example, AGTHX, the Growth Fund of America, sure sounds nice, doesn’t it?
But, if you look a little closer …
After typing AGTHX into Google you will see that if you are invested in what they call the Growth Fund of America, you are actually investing in Phillip Morris (the tobacco company that hid data on nicotine’s addictive properties), EOG Resources (fracking), and Amgen (a company accused of suppressing a true cure for cancer to promote it’s own bottom line — unverified).
The process often goes like this, a new employee is told, “We’ve set up a 401k for you, now you need to pick your investments.”
The employee looks at the options offered, and picks something that looks safe or that has a positive sounding name such as “Growth Fund of America.”
Most employees simply don’t know any better. So the first question for all of us is, “Do I want to stay blind or am I ready to wake up?”
And if you are ready to wake up, the next logical question is, “Am I really desiring to support big tobacco, fracking and big pharma? Or do I want to do something else with my money?”
We can take control by not investing blindly just because we want that “safe” 5% return for our retirement.
What will retirement be like anyway if we are living in a world without clean water (fracking), where we cannot get access to our own natural healing (big pharma), and where lying to addict people is considered acceptable (big tobacco)?
We vote with our dollars, but not just through what we buy, but also with HOW WE INVEST. Using robo-funds, or financial advisors who only care about their own commissions or getting your money under management, or simply ignoring it because it’s too complex, is not conscious investing.
But we can change that.
As your Personal Family Lawyer we take a holistic look at you, and a big part of that means evaluating how you are using your resources. You can make a change. We can help.
This article is a service of Gratia P. Schoemakers, Personal Family Lawyer,® who develops trusting relationships with families for life. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session,™ where we can review your family wealth needs and help identify the best strategies for you and your family. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk because this planning is so important.