Those problems come and go. What bothers me is the almost-total abandonment of professional judgment and ethics in Washington and on Wall Street - and the absolute lack of urgency that these problems should be attacked and fixed, once and for all.
Roll your eyes, if you want, but I'm deeply troubled. That's why I believe the time is right for a socially responsible investing strategy that will serve as a wakeup call to Corporate America, Washington and Wall Street. And I'm going to show you four investments that will help get you started.
An Ethical Wakeup CallMaybe I am old-fashioned, naïve or both, but I believe that our elected leaders and corporate institutions should be setting examples for the rest of us. So I don't think it's okay for our elected officials to engage in extramarital affairs or to "sext" blackjack dealers, or for Wall Street firms to trade against clients. But two-time California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and House Democrat Anthony Weiner, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) apparently do.
The way I see it, our leaders and our financial institutions need to be doing everything cleaner, better and more ethically than the rest of us because their ability to serve us depends on the most delicate - and critical - of all human attributes.
I'm talking, of course, about trust.
Unfortunately, it's very clear that trust doesn't rank very high on their list of priorities at the present moment. As a result, I believe that we should take matters into our own hands by embracing the social-investing philosophy. This approach to ethical investing is one that's coming back into vogue -one we are very likely to hear a whole lot more about in the years to come - and one that will deliver a very clear message to our leaders in New York and Washington.
That message: We want change.
I'm not alone in making this call.
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