Dueling Fools Dueling Fools
June 17, 1998

A Social Affair

Do you invest with your heart or with your mind? It's not a question that we can easily answer. Motion is part of emotion, no? Socially Responsible Investing is naturally a tricky subject -- and makes for one inspired Duel.

This week Rick Munarriz (TMF Edible) and Selena Maranjian (TMF Selena) are Dueling Fools. Rick sees no reason why one should not cross personally objectionable stocks off buy lists. Selena, on the other hand, prefers the bigger pool, and the potential of "fight" over "flight."

Did somebody say fight? Well, yes, civilized Fools we -- debating in decorum with mutual respect. So, get ready for a social scuffle, we have a great moral melee for you.

You Get to Vote!

After reading all of the arguments, cast your vote for the winner of the Duel. We'll tabulate results each week and revisit them from time to time to see whether you were right! As always, we invite you to join us in the Dueling Fools Message board to continue the duel.

[Any suggestions, comments, praise, or flames, please send them along to the Dueling Fools Team.]

The Bull...
I am no Dudley Do-Right on a sugar high. Sorry Nell, save yourself. Like a lot of people, I surf up and down the sea of mores. I will cut off the teenager in the Camaro to let the elderly pedestrian cross the road ahead of me. I have no problem with going to church on Sunday and tuning into Howard Stern on Monday morning. I guess I'm a Goody One Shoe. I am all things left and right, right and wrong, yet I will be hard pressed to buy into a sin stock.
The Bear...
How can I be against socially responsible investing? Well, I'm not really against the practice; I'm more against the term, which seems almost an impossibility. We often think about socially responsible investing in terms of a few discrete issues, perhaps deciding to avoid companies dealing in tobacco or weapons, or firms that test products on animals. We end up with mental lists of companies that fall into two categories -- "okay" and "not okay." I suspect, though, that most of the firms in the "okay" category are probably not okay on some other ethical measures.

Results for last week's Shareholder Lawsuits Duel

Answer Percentage
I can't make up my mind


TMF Seymor's Bull argument


Bill Barker's Bear argument


They were both excellent


They were both lame