If asked, I suspect you'd rank among the roughly 84% of Americans who'd withdraw their money from stocks that do business with companies supporting genocide. You're probably also among the 88% who don't want their mutual funds investing in such companies. Unfortunately, many of us just don't know enough about this issue to take action.
The statistics above come from Investors Against Genocide, which monitors companies and mutual funds with investments connected to genocide around the world. The site's prime targets are four oil companies operating in Sudan, most notably PetroChina
From an investing perspective, PetroChina has rapidly growing revenue, and the tantalizing business of offering fuel to a massive population and quickly developing economy. But its operations in Sudan deliver revenue to the government there, supporting its genocidal policies.
What can you do?
To take action, you might decide to just divest any holdings in PetroChina. That's what Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
Unfortunately, other companies still invest heavily in PetroChina. Citigroup
If you'd rather not stop there, consider urging companies to commit to genocide-free investing in general. Such a pledge would oblige the businesses you own to carefully consider the ramifications of their own ventures in areas far beyond Darfur.
Mutual funds may also have ties to unwelcome investments. Recently, the Unitarian Universalist church moved 2,800 retirement accounts from Fidelity to privately held TIAA-CREF, because Fidelity wasn't divesting from investments tied to Sudan. If if more organizations follow suit, the migration could be good news for shareholders of fund provider T. Rowe Price
What's your stance on socially responsible investing? What do and don't you invest in? Let us know -- leave a comment below!
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick and a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our investing newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.