The Greatest Company in the History of the World

"It's the world's greatest company, period." -- Arjun Murti, Goldman Sachs

I'm what a lot of folks would call "obsessed" with finding great stocks. So when I heard Goldman Sachs oil oracle Arjun Murti boldly label a company as the world's greatest company, you'd best believe I paid attention.

That's pretty high praise, but the facts speak for themselves. In fact, my research led me to take Murti's claim one step further: This is the greatest company in the history of the world.

The corporate titan in question produced modern-day history's greatest fortune and earned double the combined 2008 profits of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) . If you'd invested $1,000 in this company in 1950, your shares would now be worth about $2,400,000. And, incredibly, this giant still has decades of slick profits ahead of it.

The greatest
Meet the world's greatest company: ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) . Biggest, strongest, most efficient, most evil -- there's hardly a superlative that hasn't been said about this most successful of the Standard Oil grandchildren. But while much is made of just how great or how evil folks peg Exxon to be, there's strangely little discussion over the core drivers of why its stock has been a huge success.

It would be easy to say that Exxon's success and that of Standard Oil's other grandchildren -- Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) , ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, etc. -- was just a function of their being in the right place at the right time. Hawking oil and gasoline at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, after all, is a Category 5 tailwind.

But there's much more to Exxon's success. And, fortunately, those discernable traits are ones we can spot in other opportunities.

1. An owner-operator culture
John Rockefeller didn't run an infamously efficient organization just for kicks -- as the largest shareholder, he had a vested interest in the success of Standard Oil. When managers and employees are shareholders alongside you, they share your desire for the business to be managed for the long term.

Take a look at the cutthroat world of discount retail, where a fanatical focus on controlling costs and smart growth are crucial to long-term success. Which companies in this space have proven among the biggest winners for investors over the past 20 years? None other than Costco and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) . Both are known as much for their insider ownership as for their tenacious zeal for efficiency and delivering value to customers.

And, by the way, there's still plenty of alignment between Exxon's leadership and outside shareholders. The company consistently posts better margins and returns on capital than its Big Oil brethren. CEO and Chairman Rex Tillerson has plenty of incentive to keep it that way -- he owns 1.1 million Exxon shares.

2. Enduring demand
Demand for oil is strikingly consistent. For most companies, steady demand equates to steady cash generation. But just as importantly for Exxon as the consistent demand for oil is the lasting nature of that demand. Constant doubt over the staying power of oil has helped keep Exxon's shares perpetually undervalued, allowing Exxon and dividend reinvestors to consistently gobble up shares at attractive prices.

Back to the importance of demand. Consider Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , which I recently recommended to our Income Investor members. P&G's core products (razor blades, toilet paper, disposable diapers, etc.) all face little chance of technological obsolescence. Even better, demand is regular and firmly entrenched. Maybe I'm just a pretty boy, but I'd be living in my car before I stopped buying razors.

Now consider a company whose fate hinges on innovation: Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) . Sure, there's a lot to love about Apple, but long-term demand for its products is downright unknowable, if for no other reason than we've no idea what Apple will even be selling years from now.

Again, historical results say it all here. According to dividend-guru Jeremy Siegel, the highest returning S&P 500 stocks from 1957 to 2003 were:

  1. Kraft Foods
  2. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco (now owned by Reynolds American)
  3. Standard Oil of New Jersey (ExxonMobil)
  4. Coca-Cola

Cheese. Tobacco. Oil. Coke. I think you get the picture.

3. No one loves a sinner
Some folks feel a bit queasy over the idea of investing in so-called sin stocks: tobacco companies, brewers, Big Oil, etc. Just like the long-standing (and false) belief that oil demand will dry up in the not-so-distant future, many investors' aversion to investing in sin stocks just leaves the stocks that much cheaper for the rest of us. Their loss. Our gain.

As an investor, you'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. Again, consider the primo status of oil and tobacco on the above list. And care to guess the best-performing survivor of the S&P 500 from 1957 to 2003? None other than Philip Morris, now known as Altria.

Smokin' returns
And here you thought Exxon's secret sauce was a blend of industrialization and cold-blooded ruthlessness. OK, sure, maybe there's a pinch of both in there, but plenty more was involved in the company's success. Take that knowledge forth, Fool, and:

  1. Look for owner-operator cultures and management teams incentivized to focus on long-term results.
  2. Know that steady, lasting demand helps deliver expectation-beating results over time.
  3. Don't be afraid to snuggle up with sin stocks.

James Early and I are looking for similar opportunities over at our dividend-focused newsletter service, Income Investor. Specifically, we search for undervalued stocks boasting impressive, durable competitive advantages with a nice dividend to boot.

Exxon is a great company -- but because we're hunting for tastier yields, it hasn't made the cut as one of our elite Buy First recommendations. To find out which six dividend giants made our final cut, you can click here to try our service free for 30 days.

Already an Income Investor subscriber? Log in at the top of this page.

Senior analyst Joe Magyer owns shares of Philip Morris International. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em! Procter & Gamble is an Income Investor recommendation, as is Kraft Foods. Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and Coca-Cola are Inside Value recommendations, Apple is a Stock Advisor recommendation, and Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. The Motley Fool owns shares of Procter & Gamble. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 5:15 PM, drudy wrote:

    prince edward sound

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 5:45 PM, atreusinc wrote:

    I've rewritten my comments on this article several times-- with satire, sarcasm, and self-righteous outrage-- but all I'm left with is disbelief.

    Really? Is this really it? Is money all we're interested in as investors?

    What a narrow and unfortunate definition of investment. I hope most of my fellow investors on Motley Fool do not have such an easy time, as Mr. Magyer appears to have, separating their investments from their effects.

    The world does not belong to us, nor is it a resource to be pillaged simply because people will pay top dollar for the spoils.

    There must be more to investment than short or long-term profits. If we investors do not starting redefining the nature of what we do, we truly are 1st class passengers gobbling filet mignon on the deck of the Titanic.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 6:22 PM, rgperrin wrote:

    My response to the questions raised in paragraph 2 of this thoughtful commentary is: yes, yes, and yes. As investors, we are this or that. As citizens, churchmen, hobbists, gamers, sportmen, wilderness defenders, we can be governed by concerns other than what maximizes the legal returns on our legal investments.

    Let me put it this way: how many of us would want, say, our retirement investments managed by someone who puts the "interests" and "concerns" of "social justice," globalism, sexual equality, a tobacco- and alcohol-free world, animal "rights," zero population growth, anti-carbonism (oil, coal), global warming (it was global freezing in my college days), free medical care, etc. above those of making an honest profit from the best legal investments available?

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 6:38 PM, motleyspiritfool wrote:

    Bravo, atreusinc, and thank you for speaking out; there must be more to investing, indeed.

    Do enlightenment and investment have to cancel each other out, or could the former enhance the latter for the benefit of the Earth and all her inhabitants?

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 7:07 PM, cordwood wrote:

    Indeed.....

    "Drury" expouses Club of Rome,Algore,Nancy Palooosy etal, phillosophyw/ his comment.

    Does that indicate his opinion that one who causes a car accident,or stumbles and breaks a leg should not be allowed to drive or walk again?

    "Altre.." suggests that we consider something besides profits when investing...well sure,we certainly should consider losses! I know few philantropist investors.

    As opposed to our current Congress,I believe that there must be more in XOM organization that know what they are doing!

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 7:29 PM, blackxactofool wrote:

    I'm no intellectual master, but this article left me shaking my head. Imagine advising us to invest in oil. Well of course it makes money, Joe, it's our oil "Pusher". How the heck else do we get to ride around after the oil cartels took away our electric trains for gas guzzling buses. Who the heck has put the kibosh on electric cars for years, Joe? The oil lobbyist's? Ya think? DUH!!!

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 7:46 PM, peters46 wrote:

    'Do enlightenment and investment...' Depends on what you mean by enlightenment. If you are talking naysayers, yes, they ruke each other out.Naysayers? No petro fertilizer, NO herbicides, NO pesticides, etc. Organics could not feed the population of the US at reasonable prices, never mind much of the rest of the world. NO forest products, NO mining, NO meat. NO use of natural resources. NO roads. NO transportation other than barefoot (shoes normally require leather, rubber or plastic)(bicycles require mining)(even horses emit enormous amounts of methane). NO medicine (most medicines require the use of petro chemicals to produce). Where will there be profits (the family organic farm?). Or by investing do you mean lending or granting money to producers of something? How about foreclosing on your local organic farmer who can't afford to pay three percent interest? Or by enlightebment do you mean you would not charge interest? That would not be investing. But yes. There are modern products that do the job more easily, faster, cheaper and better while being more environmentally friendly. I have not had to fix a flat tire since I bought my first radiials (versus fixing two to three a year before that. My car (a '93) gets four times the mileage that my '65 did. Everyone just buy hybrids? I couldn't afford one. Progress/enlightenment takes time and is a step-by-step process. Naysaying/enlightenment on the other hand takes only a voice (no brain) and seconds - to what end? Improvement for those who have - but death or drudgery to the have-nots. We could put millions of people to work mopping, sweeping and dusting for the millionaires. Is that your idea of enlightenment?

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 8:38 PM, peters46 wrote:

    blackoxactofool - John Q Public put the kibosh on electric cars. Or were you one of those who spent $15-20,000 on an electri that would have a distance of 350-400 miles? The electrics now? $5-10,000 on one that will go 50-100 miles before needing an eight-hour recharge. And where do you think the electricity will come from? Solar, at two to four times todays electric costs? Hydrogen (which is not a source of electricity, but rather a means of conveying energy)? Even if solar were at todays electric prices, do we shut down at night? Electric trsains got their electricity from coal- or oil-fired plants. Invest in coal before Obama outlaws it as unenlightened (yes, he said he wants to get rid of it), Of course we could always use wind to move the cars (hot air produces an enormous amount of wind).

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 8:54 PM, eddietheinvestor wrote:

    I'm disappointed in the arbitrary declaration that Exxon and oil companies are sin companies and stocks. Until viable alternative energy forms are found, people need oil and fuel. How else could Obama, Gore, and Pelosi fly hundreds of thousands of miles in private jets to complain about global warming? Just today, Obama has suggested that he might inject pollutants into the atmosphere, which could cause much danger to the environment. What about GM and Ford, whose cars cause a huge amount of pollutants? GM and Ford are obviously sin companies. Delta, Northwest, and all the other airlines leave a huge carbon footprint, as do the mining companies. McDonald's, Burger King, Sara Lee, and Hardee's can be sin stocks because of the huge fat content and high cholesterol that derives from their products. All the makers of processed foods are sin companies.Agriculture stocks are sin companies because they use pesticides. In fact, all companies that ship their goods via airplane, truck, and freight train contribute to global warming. Cosmetic companies and pharmaceutical companies experiment on animals, so they are sin companies. Google and Yahoo! make it easy to find information about and spy on people, acquiring names, addresses, phone numbers, directions to people's homes, and even social security numbers; they must be sin companies. So what is left? Exxon is no worse ethically than other companies and thus should not be considered a sin company. If you really want to boycott the oil companies, don't refrain from buying their stocks. Instead, don't use any car, train, bus, or plane, and don't eat any food that has been transported to a store--if you can ride your bicycle to the store.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 9:21 PM, MahiDude wrote:

    Invest in silly string. Because it's more fun.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 10:29 PM, flannelb wrote:

    Watch the movie Who Killed the Electric Car....

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2009, at 11:47 PM, wolfhounds wrote:

    Geez, what a bunch of wusses. Want to invest in philosophy, get a PH.D.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 12:34 AM, filkollinz wrote:

    Thank you 'atreusinc', for pointing out the responsibility all of us have towards the planet and indeed, the whole of humanity, when we choose to invest in business. To only consider personal financial gain without the consequences is so crass as to be beyond acceptability in a world facing environmental disaster. Just because we can make money from the consumption of a product (that we know is damaging the planet), doesn't mean we should. I'm saddened to see this kind of rhetoric coming from one of the Motley Fool's own. It seems very out of step with the times - and to suggest that the tobacco industry is worthy of our investments when it has been knowingly built on the deaths and impaired health of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, leaves me frankly stunned. My conscience is clear Joe. Is yours?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 12:40 AM, chrone2 wrote:

    I'd prefer to make fewer dollars and have a sustainable world to live in. Kraft foods and other major food companies have brought us frankenfoods. Tobacco companies? nuf said... Exxon - think climate instability, global warming, tornado squared, and megahurricanes.

    Profit? what good is it in a wrecked world?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 12:42 AM, atreusinc wrote:

    Declaring that some companies are "sin" stocks and others are holy or otherwise blameless was not my intention. My point was that as investors I question the notion that our only concern should be profitability. It's an old idea, ethical investment, and I am probably one of the least qualified people in the world to explain or defend it.

    Perhaps we ought to consider that as investors we can play a unique role in leveraging the world away from technologies and practices that we know, or by employing the precautionary principle, suspect to be unsustainable in the long term. There are no panaceas, nor are there black and whites, but there are lesser and greater evils, and as investors we are used to dealing with this sort of nuance... determining what makes the most sense given the information we have at hand.

    I find this subject particularly important because in many ways investors are the true voters in a world mostly dominated by corporate power.

    Perhaps our vast ability to research could include the other two "Ps" as well as profit when we consider investment: do the companies we invest treat people well, and the planet?

    Many investors see their investments not just as a means of getting rich but a means of social change, of encouraging the shift toward a sustainable economy-- or nudging companies, "sinful" or otherwise, towards taking a triple bottom line, PPP approach.

    Again, there are no black and whites. For all I know Exxon--as an energy company at its core, rather than an oil company-- may yet become a white knight by investing in R&D towards cleaner energy that does not fuel the feedback loops of global warming.

    But I would want to know that the company was thinking that way, or leaning that way, first before I invested. I can't in good conscience earn my profit by sustaining sunset industries that support our addictions rather than work to shift or mitigate them.

    By the same token, there are many "sustainable" companies who do other things-- poor employee treatment, etc-- that outweigh the apparent good they do. Again these are additional levels of nuance, but we as investors are qualified to deal with them. If not us, who? And if we wish to get help, there are dozens of organizations that specialize in ethical investments, and examine companies under exactly these sorts of rubrics.

    My objection is not with Exxon, nor to say that all oil companies are sinful. My objection is with the premise that investment should only consider profit. That seems simply lazy and ostrich-like. I think that in only a couple of generations, the pure self-interest of the profit motive will look like a stool with only one leg.

    Wouldn't all of us prefer to earn less of a profit knowing that we're attempting to contribute to a livable world for my grandchildren, rather than running away with our who-gives-a-damn profits to my gated community and leaving behind a ruined landscape?

    I don't have the answers. But like many other Fools I am trying to look at all three Ps of the triple bottom line. Frankly it makes things more interesting, exciting and, for me, more rewarding.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 1:08 AM, joandrose wrote:

    To Atreusinc - lucky old you !

    No first class and fillet mignon on the Titanic for me ..

    My investments in ethical companies which just happen to provide employment to thousands of people and their families have me in the third class section with hamburgers ! Right now financial survival is what interests me - if I'm still around in the future then perhaps I will hug a couple of bunnies as well !

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 1:12 AM, joandrose wrote:

    To Wolfhounds - you got it right first time !

    10 out of 10 and a brownie point as well !

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 2:14 AM, tomd728 wrote:

    Indeed......joandrose the wolfman is spot on as

    usual.......what the hell are these other people talking

    about ?

    Did anyone of these posters read what Goldman Saks did with the CDOs and guarantees from AIG ?

    Hey.......it's out there you damn well better take it as

    you can simply add up how much money one lost

    on the well intentioned "Socially Conscious" stocks

    or equity stakes in those companies who "might"

    benefit society.

    If any one of these bleeders made money in gambling

    venues,tobbaco,liquor,bad pharma, etc etc. I want

    to see them give it back.

    Lord what drivel........

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 2:53 AM, PoundMutt wrote:

    Eat, drink, be merry, MAXIMIZE your investment return, for tomorrow you may die! Your concern for the earth is FUTILE! The super volcano under Yellowstone National Park is years overdue to ERUPT and BURY MUCH of the U.S. under many feet of ash and plunge the earth into global winter!How about asteroids and comets - one WILL hit earth and destroy us.

    Life on earth HAS NO FUTURE! In a few hundred million years plate tectonics will mash all the continents together into one SUPER continent and may render MUCH of the earth's land mass UNINHABITABLE to man AND beast!

    In a billion years or so the sun's energy output will increase to the point that the earth will be rendered UNINHABITABLE! In about 5 billion years the sun will become a red giant and consume the earth COMPLETELY!!! See how much good your MORAL investments will do YOU in the near future and your descendents THEN!!!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 8:03 AM, Cesaryco wrote:

    Why do one invest? To make PROFIT!!! DUH. Can you really be a eco-purist? Eat your organically grown food on banana leaves with bare hands, don't wash your hands with soap it contains phosphates that pollute water supply. I can go on and on. Are we being hypocrites to claim of buying only green cos.?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 11:38 AM, Buffal0Bill wrote:

    I do not invest in "sin" stocks, but ExxonMobil's inclusion as a sin stock baffles me. It provides the necessary resources for people to get to work, to plow and plant and harvest fields, to heat their homes in winter. They are not involved in collusion with the government of Sudan like some others are. Sounds like a pretty helpful stock in terms of good produced for mankind to me.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 1:25 PM, daftstockpicker wrote:

    Not a chance. Probably one of the worst companies to work for.

    ExxonMobil will largely be irrelevant in the next 15-20 years. You can cut costs and grow only until a certain limit.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 4:28 PM, DanielMack wrote:

    ExxonMobil will most likely control whatever alternative energy resources we use in the future. Who do you think buys up and shelves all of technology with the potential to replace oil? And by the way it will be many, many years before oil is replaced. I know people wish it were not so, but you cannot profit by being naive and the only reason to invest is to profit. A fool and his money were lucky enough to get together in the first place.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 5:03 PM, matthunt97 wrote:

    To all the above people that assume limited to no responsibility for global warming, thus blaming Exxon…………or some one else…..STOP CONSUMING ANY PRODUCT MADE WITH OIL BASED HYDROCARBONS….. (plastics…..and….)…..THANK YOU!!

    I think I will take a nap and ruminate on the good old days of human perfection….and dream of buying stock purely for their altruistic PC nature.....

    Tongue in cheek

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 5:13 PM, markosaur wrote:

    My biggest ethical problem with Exxon is that it spent loads of money on legal fees successfully fighting for decades the payment of penalty fines for the huge Exxon Valdez oil spill from which nature and some fishermen have yet to fully recover. Probably spent more money than if they had just paid the fine.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2009, at 5:17 PM, markosaur wrote:

    As far as "sin" stocks go, is it ethical to invest in them if they earn you the most money so you have more funds available to donate to charities and to afford green products (which are usually more expensive)?

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2009, at 10:54 AM, EJohn54 wrote:

    What an awful company! I cannot imagine a more evil company than one that provides so many jobs for people around the world. How many degrees of separation do you think you could get before you hit somebody employed by ExxonMobil? Yes, lets all switch to alternative energy because it will "create jobs". Will it create enough jobs to cover the millions lost in the oil industry?

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2009, at 11:23 AM, wuff3t wrote:

    TMF's reason for existence is to provide investment advice; not to provide moral guidance. Besides which I'm not sure the article actually recommends investing in Big Oil - it just holds Exxon up as an example of the sort of company people should look for.

    Whilst it is good that people are concerned about the future of the planet, how often when researching a stock do we investigate how well they treat their employees, for example? Have you ever looked into what level of health insurance a company provides, or what redundancy package they offer, or whether they comply fully with anti-discrimination legislation, before deciding to invest? If not then are you really sure you have made an ethical investment? How do you know? Perhaps the company you so admire simply puts out good PR whilst treating its employees abysmally?

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2009, at 4:03 PM, eaglesjazz wrote:

    Now I remember why I stopped subscribing to Fool several years ago --- your site is a pain to deal with. As a subscriber I can't seem to get your latest reports advertiised on line and when I press "log in" I can only get a blank page. What's with you guys?

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2009, at 10:08 AM, toraab wrote:

    I did not know much about XOM but then I came across histocky.com And it showed me the movement of past years so I could traded it in the past.Then, when I was confident In my knowledge of the stock i jumped into the game and bought and sold real stocks...and enjoying this great stock ever since...

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2009, at 2:59 PM, Ironbob wrote:

    First of all, to the altruistic--take your altruism and shove it where the sun doesn't shine. I don't invest to make goobers like you feel good about yourselves considering that you're driving, flying or heating your homes with the same product I am. What you're really looking for is for someone else to pick up the tab so you can feel good about yourselves because you got someone else to pick up the tab for your righteous idea of how the world should run.

    As for Exxon, the article is spot on. The only thing I'm critical about is anyone who knows anything about investing knows Exxon has been and probably always will be one of the best, if not the best, investment vehicles of all time for the reasons stated.

    Getting back to altruism. Let's get one thing established, those who say that investing isn't only about money are only fooling themselves or they aren't very good at fooling others. Guaranteed, all they have to do is lose a few thousand on one of their "green" ideas and you can bet they'd change their thinking. The road to riches is littered with the corpses of the idealists.

    All I'm hearing out of them is a bunch of self-righteous prattle to make those who KNOW that the true nature of investing is to make money feel bad about it! Can you believe this garbage!?

    I'm supposed to feel bad because I didn't lose thousands by investing in some fly-by-night solar company and chose rather to make those thousands investing in a company that actually provides a useful and safe product?

    Give it a rest. Only an infinite jackass would buy any of the garbage floated out there by these people. Electric cars run on idealism and little else. The entire electric car idea is a pipe dream.

    Sorry, but I'll continue driving my pick-up at 24mpg rather than spend $50,000 so I can get an two seat electric piece of crap that only gives me 10 more miles to a gallon but still has to be charged with electricity that's provided by an electric plant ran by Exxon gas. I guarantee you there are millions of people like me who feel the same way.

  • Report this Comment On April 16, 2009, at 3:37 PM, ianb3406 wrote:

    Right on Iron-Bob. And this is exactly why we don't want idiots in the government running our 401K's....or telling banks who to lend money to for that matter......

    Electric cars are absurd, and in fact not efficient. You are going to run a car on electricity made from natural gas.....Have you figured the energy cost to get the electricity to your car? Better off running your car off gas directly. The electric car is a big boondoggle much like ethanol.

    Long term investment go big oil....short term go solar, just dump it before the other bozos posting here realize the investment is garbage. The guys posting here held on to their Tulips and .coms way too long.....

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 11:55 AM, wdzk wrote:

    Live your life ethically and invest wisely. To mix the two may be perilous. You really can not realistically think cow flatulations and car fumes causes global warming. The Al Gore Global warming theory is no different than the Al Gore contrived Y2K theory. It is another way to pave the road for more government spending. The increasing rumble of the Earth and geological events is a sign. More so2 and co2 is released in one volcanic event than we have produced since the gas engine was invented. Wake up and smell the fraud of Global warming. God is in control, not Exxon.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 12:40 PM, Embertster wrote:

    As investors, we become part-owners. As owners, we have RESPONSIBILITIES.

    Any investor in Exxon is partly responsible for the fouling of Prince William Sound in Alaska, future destruction of Arctic environments through drilling, denial of climate change, and a host of other unethical practices.

    Exxon promotes climate change denial by paying marginal scientists to speak on their behalf. It is amazing that the tactic has worked. There is no controversy about climate change in the genuine scientific community.

    Even if it means earning less, I will put my money into ethical investments only.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 3:35 PM, roto1169 wrote:

    Well said, wdzk -- I was behind atreusinc, but now I'm with you. ;)

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 4:07 PM, GoNuke wrote:

    Ethical investing is a choice our regulated free market system offers. By all means vote with your money. I vote not to subscribe to this newsletter because of all the losses I incurred during the last year the worst were stocks recommendations of the income investor.

    I don't have the option of choosing ethical over profitable. I don't have enough money to secure my retirement.

    As for the damage caused by oil spills -10 years after the Exxon Valdez disaster there was no ecological evidence that it had ever happened. The sea recovered completely much to the surprise of greenpeace.

    Exxon is not responsible for climate change. They supply petroleum to a vast market that demands it. If you want to combat climate change don't buy petroleum products. A supply will always emerge to meet a demand. Demand is the problem, not supply.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 4:09 PM, GoNuke wrote:

    If you really want to stop climate change dead in its tracks champion replacement of coal and natural gas generated power with nuclear power.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 5:08 PM, k9503 wrote:

    ---------

    Ironbob wrote: Sorry, but I'll continue driving my pick-up at 24mpg rather than spend $50,000 so I can get an two seat electric piece of crap that only gives me 10 more miles to a gallon but still has to be charged with electricity that's provided by an electric plant ran by Exxon gas. I guarantee you there are millions of people like me who feel the same way.

    ---------

    What make and model of two seat electric car are you talking about that costs $50,000 and only gets 34 mpg? The most popular hybrid, the Prius, costs less than $25,000 and gets more than 45 mpg. A completely electric car would get much higher mpg - well over 100 mpg. Perhaps you meant to say it gets 100 more miles to the gallon than your pick-up, rather than 10 mpg more. But it is admirable to keep driving your current vehicle as long as it works - that is more environmentally sound than buying a new vehicle unnecessarily just to get a few extra mpg.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 5:39 PM, k6fv wrote:

    Gee, I wonder if I can get any of that money Exxon is supposedly spreading around. I am a marginalized scientist/research engineer/educator who is skeptical of anthropogenic global warming. I am presently paying P.G.E. 38c for each kWhr of additional electricity, and that's scheduled to go up this summer. What will the rate be when the Dems get their carbon tax and people start drawing more power from the grid to run their cars? I'm also paying propane bills of $400-$500 per month (about $4/gallon) during our winter/spring.

    I predict $1/kWhr for electricity and $10/gallon for propane long before our mean sea level rises one foot.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 5:42 PM, BoctorBill wrote:

    I am an environmentalist through and through. I'm probably the most conserving and recycling person you will ever have met, if you meet me. I used to have a problem with buying oil company stock, too, but I changed my mind a while back.

    Buying a stock has little to do with what the company does. We buy the stock, we sell the stock, it goes up and down due to market forces. It is only marginally related to the company's actual behavior. It's not stimulus-response. It is a different kind of equation. Our profit or loss is not really even related to the company. Companies that are doing fine quite often have lousy stock performance. Like it or not, the ownership of a stock is almost completely divorced from the company's behavior. ALMOST.

    Of course, I and other environmentally aware people should consider how we can actually impact the behavior of this company: by buying stock in it. That's right, as a stockholder, you get to vote on board members. You can have an effect on future direction of the company.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 6:27 PM, LiamFisher wrote:

    Want to make bank nowadays? Invest in arms manufacturers and the makers of ammunition. There is already a 6 month+ back order on both.

    Outside of the inner-cities and Leftist enclaves like NY & LA, no one is buying into the Obamanation's Socialist bullsh*t. Most Americans are rightfully more fearful of their own Government than of anything else. Want to watch the trends....follow the money to the gun store!

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2009, at 7:23 PM, compufixer wrote:

    I object to the characterization of Exxon Mobil as Big Oil. It is the largest American oil company, but it is only 15th largest worldwide.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2009, at 9:12 AM, dividendnut wrote:

    Most of what I read, before I got bored, was nothing but liberal bunk.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2009, at 9:44 AM, azcharlie wrote:

    The older I get, the more discouraged I become, with the intellegence level of the American citizen. I sit here and try to read articles on making money, and all I see are comments why somehow, this is bad?

    What did Exxon do, really, to become this great sinner? Provide what people want? It's like people think the Chairman of Exxon was at the helm of the ship (literally) when it went aground.

    I saw a comment on electric trains and some perceived plot by "big oil" to get rid of them. Where does this wonderful "electricity" come from? Some liberal think tank? The reason we use oil is because it provides the most energy per dollar, period.

    Good Lord people. Quit listening to the liberal dribble and think for yourself. Maybe our first step in "change" is we should revamp our schools system.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2009, at 11:57 AM, iamfoolest wrote:

    You took Arjun Murti seriously?? You're fooler than i thought! He's the smart ass who said fairly recently that oil would break the $200 barrier, and look where oil's now. Reminds me of another smart ass (incidentally another Indian) called Ravi Sarathy who, in 1998, predicted Softbank (a Japanese telecommunication conglomerate) to touch 180,000 yen. He not only made a laughing stock of himself but got kicked out of Lehman Brothers the moment dot com bubble burst. Be careful of such cheap fraudsters.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2009, at 12:08 PM, CarolT100 wrote:

    Unfortunately, the tobacco companies ARE controlled by anti-smokers. That's why they have let the anti-smokers get away with committing scientific fraud to falsely blame smoking and passive smoking for diseases that are really caused by infection.

    The anti-smoking conspiracy began over a century ago. Skull & Bones members ring-led the creation of the American Tobacco Trust, to gather all the companies under anti-smoker control. But they knew that they couldn't just take over the tobacco companies and shut them down, because others would simply enter the field. So, they also created and built up enemies to persecute tobacco, particlarly the American Cancer Society, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the American Heart Association, and used these as proxies to create and control the federal health establishment (the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, et al.) to manufacture fraudulent pseudo-science to deceive the public at taxpayer expense. The anti-smoker-controlled tobacco companies merely put up a phony pretense of fighting the anti-smoker-controlled "health" lobbies, and purposely throw lawsuits (that is, to those brought by the "right" plaintiffs) in order to financially intimidate potential entrants away from the tobacco industry.

    Philip Morris/Altria is a particular flagrant example of conspiratorial control. The anti-smokers used it to scoop up the remaining companies that hadn't been sucked into the Tobacco Trust, and they built it up to serve as the lead Judas Goat to betray the rest. J. Russell Forgan, who later wrote the act creating the Central Intelligence Agency, began investing Marshall Field 3d's money in the tobacco industy in the late 1920s, and he led the financing of Philip Morris's expansion from the 1940s to 1960s, when he specifically recruited insitutional investors. And, from 1960 to 1981, the stepson of the head of the American Cancer Society was on its board of directors!

    http://www.smokershistory.com/power.htm

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2009, at 3:07 PM, atreusinc wrote:

    Volcanoes and Global Warming

    A side note to wdzk and others... I believe you are misinformed about the contribution volcanoes make to global warming. This is a common red herring. The top five eruptions of the past century barely register as a blip compared to human-produced carbon dioxide.

    According to the USGS, all the earth's volcanoes contribute between 145-255 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. (See <http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/index.php>)

    According to the DOE's Energy Information Administration, in 2005 alone human activity created 27 billion tons of CO2. That's about 200 times the amount created by volcanoes.

    For citation, see here:

    <http://blogs.edf.org/climate411/2007/05/21/volcanoes/>

    I think you're right about God, but acting like spoiled children soiling their sandbox out of a sense of entitlement (and rationalized by reference to inevitable apocalypses, whether solar or divine) has never been high on God's list of preferred qualities, in any religion that I know of.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2009, at 6:31 PM, excaliburmini wrote:

    But, just think if you bought Palm at a dollar or two, the amount of money you would have made this year alone...something is wrong with this picture...

    going to make it right...

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2009, at 4:25 PM, artistx wrote:

    Joe Magyar is a lazy investor. He doesn't take into account anything but the financial implications of his decisions. It's about putting your money where your beliefs are. If you support global warming, go ahead and support Exxon. If you support green technology, social justice, etc., support companies working toward that. There are many ways to make money but I expect my money to do more than make me rich, I want it to improve the world for the next generation.

  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2009, at 2:33 PM, toddsw wrote:

    So, the object of investing is...not to profit? Hello, no profits = no business, no food, transportation, no products, back to the stone age where mobility was measured in how portable your food was (nomads following herds and agrarian societies, hunters or gatherers).

    A more "enlightened" approach might be to avoid those companies that sell something that you (not the nutbags on either side of the political divide)object to (I don't invest in tobacco companies, I don't smoke). To state that you shouldn't buy ExxonMobile because (horror) they sell petrolium products, well then, I guess you must not drive a car, ride a bike (tires), eat what you don't gather/kill yourself (while walking), or depending on where you live, even use public utility provided electricity.

    Take the profits you generate and do something useful with them (why do the enlightened think it is someone elses job to contibute to the "greater good", a very elastic term) gov't - no thanks, corporations - not their job usually, politicians - seriously) that you want to promote.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2009, at 5:43 PM, spinindog wrote:

    I can't believe someone posted that Exxon is a bad company to work for. I work for a big oil company, my wife works for the biggest...

    Exxon employees are not only among the smartest citizens in the US, they are generally the kindest. You don't build such a strong company with low quality employees. I don't know how to put into words, without sounding mushy, how incredibly "good" the people are who work there.

    It is amazing how little most people know about Exxon. Yes, their CEO is expected to put on a "tough guy" appearance; trust me, it's a sham.

    It is very annoying to read comments directed at oil company employees, 99.9999% of whom are very normal, incredibly useful citizens.

    I will, however, fault Exxon on their handling of the Valdez. That was absolutely unacceptable and baffles every oil company employee I know.

    Some people will never be convinced that oil is not evil. I do wonder, if America were to make a complete break from oil today, which country would invade us first...China, Russia, Jamaica?

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2009, at 9:35 AM, MobilSucksDotCom wrote:

    Please fool.com leave this comment --- they need to see it --- please allow the message to be carried through. Thank you oh so much. Thank you!

    It brings me great pleasure to read such an article and ALSO OWN THE DOMAIN MobilSucks.com !!! Don't bother visiting the site right now....it is going through a few changes and is down as we "speak."

    Yet what the dirty scum bags did to my father in 1998 shall always be ________________.

    It brings me great pleasure to own MobilSucks.com

    Yes, Mobil...he is still alive, but you hurt him dearly --- please make things right while he is still alive...just this once you can make a difference.

    Lucio A. Noto - aka Lou Noto - Ken Strong and countless others who teamed up --- the file still exists and you will not be forgotten by anyone ---- your time will come through nature ---- everything you've "accomplished" will be meaningless in the hospital bed that will eat you alive...slowly....in a sick and disgusting creepy way. It will last a long time...it will not be pleasant....and I don't have to do anything....nature takes care of it for me.

    MobilSucks.com forever!

    Please fool.com leave this comment --- they need to see it --- please allow the message to be carried through. Thank you oh so much. Thank you!

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