How you use your money can be powerful and is a vote for the world you want to see. Here are 3 different ways you can be more of a financial activist with your money habits.
Boycotting is simply refusing to buy a product from a person, brand, corporation or country as an expression of protest for social, moral, political or environmental reasons.
The purpose is to inflict economic loss or show your moral outrage in the hope that financial activism encourages the target to alter an objectionable behaviour.
You start with what is valuable or important to you, your moral compass and align your money habits behind these. Getting transparent information on corporate behaviours can be a challenge. So try Ethical Consumer to see if any resonate with what is important to you.
Buycotting is the opposite. It is actively choosing and deliberately purchasing a company, person or brands products in support of their positive policies.
The aim is to create an economic gain, a positive vote with your money for those whose actions align socially, morally or environmentally with you. You actively channel and support businesses that do things the way you want to see them done.
Again it is important to start with what you value. And what change you want to see in the world. Then find the information you need about companies so you can positively champion them financially. If in doubt check out your local BCorps directory or brands CSG policies on their websites.
With sustainable investing, we often move to funds that have organisations and objectives that either screen out firms that do harm or actively choose those contributing positively.
By moving away from those companies we can be sure we are no longer profiting from their behaviours. But in turn we have no “inside say” on what their policies & behaviours are. Shareholder activism is where shareholders of publicly-traded organisations use their voting rights to bring change within or for the corporation.
This can be done individually where sufficient shares are owned or as a co-operative group of small share holders agreeing to vote on specific issues. Check out TulipShare for more on how this works.
This is not an alternative to long term investing in your pensions and ISAs which should always be well diversified and in line with your attitude to risk. This is specifically for those wanting to be more activist with investments.
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