Dueling Fools: Socially Responsible Investing

Should you let your conscience be your investing guide? Maybe you won't buy into Altria (NYSE: MO  ) because of its cancer sticks. Maybe you won't buy into Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ  ) because of its libations. Maybe you'll go even further and write off General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) because deep in its conglomerate portfolio is a factory making Marine One helicopters and providing jet engines to other military planes.

This isn't an easy subject, in part because you will rarely arrive at a consensus as to what constitutes a sin stock. If you want to get a cocktail party started, just ask a crowd whether defense contractors are good or bad. Trust me. I was at that party. And then the riot police came.

Some stocks just court controversy. Not everyone was tickled to see Playboy (NYSE: PLA  ) singled out as a Rule Breakers recommendation earlier this year. I'm sure that some folks weren't pleased when Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD  ) was tapped -- pun intended -- as an Inside Value stock pick two years ago. Were you one of those objecting, or do you find the objections silly?

More importantly, can a portfolio thrive by embracing socially responsible investing? Not all Fools agree. This week, we have Dan Caplinger arguing in favor of SRI, while Joe Magyer thinks portfolios work best without a moral compass.

We know that you have an opinion. Read on to see two viewpoints go head-to-head. 

Duel on!

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't own stock in any of the companies mentioned here. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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