A good cry

DOUG  By Guest Blogger Doug Rowat

There may not be a more depressing songwriter in the world than Sarah McLachlan. My wife jokingly suggests that her songs should be accompanied by a crisis-hotline number each time they’re played on the radio.

Yet, when you combine one of her wrenching, emotional ballads with images of an injured puppy in a SPCA commercial? My god. It takes actual willpower not to reach for your credit card. McLachlan herself admits that she can’t handle the ads either, but also doesn’t deny their effectiveness, noting a few years ago that they helped the SPCA raise more than $30 million. As she puts it, “It worked like a hot damn.” There’s no denying it: if you want people to give you money, make ‘em cry a little.

There are parallels, of course, between those pull-at-your-heart-strings commercials and emotion-driven investment decisions. Witnessing a social malady, reacting emotionally and then impulsively throwing money at the problem happens constantly with our investment choices. And because these decisions are emotion-based, not fact-based, the outcome isn’t always favourable.

Take cancer. (How’s that for an abrupt turn.) According to The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent health research centre at the University of Washington, in 2016, there were 17.2 million cancer cases worldwide and 8.9 million deaths. Cancer cases increased by 28% between 2006 and 2016. Mainly because of an ageing global population, these numbers will, in all likelihood, continue to grow dramatically.

Obviously, these are frightening statistics and, as a result, they carry a lot of emotional heft. They also imply that investing in the cancer-treatment space is a no-brainer. Further, on a personal level, who doesn’t know someone who has battled cancer? Therefore an impulsive investment decision might have been made to put some money into the Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (CNCR) when it was released in 2015. Loncar focusses on small-cap companies that develop therapies to treat cancer. However, in part because of concentration risk (there are only 26 holdings in this ETF), CNCR has dramatically underperformed the simple, broad-based S&P 500 Health Care Index since inception (see chart). In other words, by wanting to do some good with your investments, you might not have carefully considered all the investment risks. The end result? Your heart was in the right place, but you didn’t make any money.

Loncar Cancer Immunotheray ETF (white line) since-inception performance vs S&P 500 Health Care Index (orange)

Source: Bloomberg

When the BP oil-spill disaster dominated the news in 2010 and five million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf Coast waters over the span of four agonizing months, creating one of the worst environmental disasters in history, I received many calls from investors wanting to purchase solar and renewable energy ETFs. Mainly, these investors were simply angry and frustrated with BP and, as a result, their investment decisions weren’t carefully thought out.

As proof, the Invesco Solar and iShares Global Clean Energy ETFs have performed terribly since April 21, 2010—literally the morning after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and, ostensibly, the best time to buy clean energy and the worst time to buy BP and the oil sector in general. But the ultimate irony? BP has gained 35% on a total return basis since this date and the S&P 500 Energy Index, which is loaded with all those nasty oil companies, is up a similar amount. The clean energy and solar ETFs? Sharply negative returns across the board. You might have felt better about yourself for trying to save the environment, but your portfolio definitely wasn’t saved.

BP (white line) and S&P 500 Energy Index (orange) vs select clean energy ETFs (red & yellow) since 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion

Source: Bloomberg

Now, some socially responsible ETFs have performed just fine long term; however, it’s important to make sure that the decision to invest in these products, particularly the niche ones, is being made objectively, unclouded by emotion and that all the risks are considered.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do good for the world, but many socially responsible investments are simply money pits.

And you can trust my advice on this. You’re in the arms of an angel.

Doug Rowat, FCSI® is Portfolio Manager with Turner Investments and Senior Vice President, Private Client Group, Raymond James Ltd.

 

62 comments ↓

#1 Sebee on 03.23.19 at 2:29 pm

I often hug trees. They are amazing, and I appreciate the air.

But does anyone know how the trees feel about being hugged without permission? #MeTree?

#2 SoggyShorts on 03.23.19 at 2:29 pm

For all of you talking yesterday about no impeachment mueller nothing report, it’s actually a good thing for democrats and anyone who isn’t a MAGA hat wearing ‘Murican.

Have you seen the line of succession? Is Mike Pence an upgrade?

Much better to hope the cheeto blows himself up and one of the 2 dozen dems running beats him.

#3 SoggyShorts on 03.23.19 at 2:37 pm

Doug, I’ve heard of “socially responsible ETFs”, but are there Evil ones? If a client was so inclined, is there something that bundles big tobacco, military stuff, for-profit prisons, pay day loans, coal/oil, casinos etc?

#4 JP on 03.23.19 at 2:38 pm

Thanks for the great post Doug. I admit Miss McLachlan has a way of making the eyes water with her tunes.

What is your opinion on the possibility of the new budget shuttering Horizon’s Total Swap Return ETFs?

Through a synthetic structure they re-characterized dividends and interest as capital games.

Have you ever held these securities personally or did the company ever consider using them in clients taxable accounts? Or were they deemed a bit risky?

HXS which tracks the S&P 500 has about $850 million AUM. That is a whole lot of unrealized capital gains that may throw many investors into a tax pinch next year.

#5 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.23.19 at 2:41 pm

Yes, I always find it quite ironic when multi millionaire celebrities have the gall to ask for MY money to be contributed to their fave charity.
“How’s about handing over some of your millions….”

#6 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.23.19 at 2:57 pm

@#111 Luc

Interesting article.

““The only thing that is helping them is their parents,” said Tal from the CIBC. “The education system basically failed them. They are highly educated but they are not educated in what’s relevant. There is a mismatch between the skills that they have and what the economy needs and therefore you have many people underemployed and, or, trying to compromise.”

+++++

That paragraph, in a nutshell, explains a lot about underemployed Millenials.
Forget University degrees and hideous debt.
Go get a trade.
Earn while you learn and grow wealthy….

#7 Leo Trollstoy on 03.23.19 at 3:03 pm

They also imply that investing in the cancer-treatment space is a no-brainer.

The opposite is true

If the problem still exists, it means that nobody has solved it

Money pit

Easy

#8 MicroGX on 03.23.19 at 3:07 pm

Haha, funny but oh so true, good post Doug thanks…..

#9 Penny Henny on 03.23.19 at 3:08 pm

There may not be a more depressing songwriter in the world than Sarah McLachlan. -DR

got you beat by a mile ‘Morrissey’

WIKI-Morrissey’s music is characterised by his baritone voice and distinctive lyrical content featuring recurring themes of emotional isolation and sexual longing, self-deprecating and black humour, and anti-establishment stances.

#10 BP Oil Disaster on 03.23.19 at 3:11 pm

I remembered it well, because some of us had our computer monitors filled with live links watching the robot drones. I was up until 3:00 AM many a day to watch what really was happening with others. The official story was different from reality, because what you were watching was a different explosion.

#11 Deplorable dude on 03.23.19 at 3:27 pm

Lol….lots of Democrats crying today…….

You’d think they’d be happy that their President isn’t a Russian stooge….shows how eff’d up their sense of reality has become with 2 years of 24/7 MSM garbage.

Actually the report has not been released. Did Trump call you? – Garth

#12 Vampire studies on 03.23.19 at 3:44 pm

6 hey fartz. Not finished the article yet but I also glommed onto that tidbit. All part of the post-secondary education industrial complex…..

#13 Borden Renter on 03.23.19 at 4:06 pm

If you want depressing, try Elliot Smith. He’s like Sarah McLaughlin, but good. Ditto for anything by Jason Molina. Come to think of it, both of them committed suicide. What a shame…

Personally, I’d take the ‘evil’ ETF of companies that actually make money. Each of us uses fossil fuels or an oil by-product dozens of times a day. No shame in investing in stuff you use. Come to think of it, Enbridge has done very well these last few months… and they even pay me well for buying their stock. What a deal!

#14 expat on 03.23.19 at 4:19 pm

With all the waste in charities we never donate to a charity that doesn’t touch our community.

Too many cheques went out over the years only to get phone calls every month for more and yet nothing was ever cured.

The charity business, becuase that is what it is, is the only business that produces nothing but invoices.

It is the best business there is. What sealed it is when I went to the heart foundation downtown to see where they were. I was expecting a utitliy type building and office.

What I saw was brass and glass and leather in one of the most expsnive buildings in my region……

Our local scouts and guides troops needed help rebuilding their camp cabins.

I drive them every day – I see my cheque right there….
Not a stitch of brass and glass but one helluva lot of young smiling faces…… They are asked every year for their program funding requirements by our town….

Unfortunately – the corporate charities became just that
corporations

#15 Strippaplease on 03.23.19 at 5:03 pm

With global warming on the rise, there must be clean energy/solar ETFs worth looking into?

#16 PastThePeak on 03.23.19 at 5:06 pm

6 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.23.19 at 2:57 pm

That paragraph, in a nutshell, explains a lot about underemployed Millenials.
Forget University degrees and hideous debt.
Go get a trade.
Earn while you learn and grow wealthy…
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Or at least a university degree that doesn’t end in “studies”.

Not too many grads with STEM degrees lack opportunities.

#17 PeterfromCalgary on 03.23.19 at 5:15 pm

“nasty oil companies” You mean well run, ethical oil companies which fuel our economy and allow us to enjoy a high standard of living.

Remember SNC-Lavalin is not an oil company.

#18 The New Normal on 03.23.19 at 5:17 pm

Someone I know flew to LA, and will be taking a flight to Hong Kong at a specific time. He’s on his way soon, but little does he know that I have the live flight radar data on my computer for all airports in the world. There is only one flight per day, and his flight doesn’t exist for Saturday or Sunday. I cannot be fooled.

#19 Blessed Canadian Millenial on 03.23.19 at 5:29 pm

#11 Deplorable dude on 03.23.19 at 3:27 pm
Lol….lots of Democrats crying today…….

You’d think they’d be happy that their President isn’t a Russian stooge….shows how eff’d up their sense of reality has become with 2 years of 24/7 MSM garbage.

Actually the report has not been released. Did Trump call you? – Garth

————-

And the full report will never be released. What’s your point?

If the report had even a little bit of something against Trump, he would have been impeached already.

Truly a witch hunt and I’m ashamed at what the mainstream media is doing.

#20 Yung Thug Preschool Dropout on 03.23.19 at 5:40 pm

DELETED

#21 AK on 03.23.19 at 5:47 pm

“A good cry”
====================================

That’s what the hosts of CNN and MSNBC have been doing over the past 24 hours.

#22 acdel on 03.23.19 at 5:48 pm

Good posting today Doug, how very true!

#1 Seebe, your post is a classic, had to clean up my laptop due to spitting my beer all over it. :)

#23 AK on 03.23.19 at 5:49 pm

“but many socially responsible investments are simply money pits.”
=====================================

For some reason, the Liberal Government has not received this message.

#24 Old gringo on 03.23.19 at 5:53 pm

Don’t we all love trees, however, not as much as my beloved (perro) dog

#25 Stone on 03.23.19 at 5:58 pm

#3 SoggyShorts on 03.23.19 at 2:37 pm
Doug, I’ve heard of “socially responsible ETFs”, but are there Evil ones? If a client was so inclined, is there something that bundles big tobacco, military stuff, for-profit prisons, pay day loans, coal/oil, casinos etc?

———

An evil ETF in general is called a mutual fund.

#26 Not 1st on 03.23.19 at 6:00 pm

I literally weep for Canada every day the Trudeau liberals are in power.

#27 Not 1st on 03.23.19 at 6:05 pm

#15 Strippaplease on 03.23.19 at 5:03 pm

—–

Sure lots of solar panel and windmill investments out there. You get your money back in 20 yrs just as the equipment needs to be replaced. Zero return. And that’s the same reason you see nobody putting up green infrastructure unless it’s heavily subsidized and other more efficient energy forms are punished.

#28 Doug Rowat on 03.23.19 at 6:34 pm

#3 SoggyShorts on 03.23.19 at 2:37 pm

Doug, I’ve heard of “socially responsible ETFs”, but are there Evil ones?

—-

Capital ‘E’ evil? That could only be mutual funds.

—Doug

#29 Eco Capitalist on 03.23.19 at 6:59 pm

@#3 SoggyShorts

Google Vice funds and Sin funds. They exist.

#30 The Wife on 03.23.19 at 7:32 pm

Doug’s wife about Sarah’s songs is correct and are somewhat depressing concerning the past. There is one called ‘Stupid’ that indeed will make some people cry about it all.

#31 ImGonnaBeSick on 03.23.19 at 7:40 pm

#4 JP on 03.23.19 at 2:38 pm

I moved all my retained earnings to the Horizon Total Return ETFs after the first round of Morneau changes… Now he’s trying to crush these… I guess again I’m considered a tax cheat for not doing anything illegal, just trying to figure out how to fund my retirement and leave a legacy for my kids and eventual grandkids..

There are risks worth reading about these types of ETFs and a swap is (was) a legitimate investment vehicle until Tuesday…

HBB
HXT
HXS
HXDM

But they’ve since added a real estate and a preferred shares… I’m hoping these Liberals are ousted in October or sooner and this next budget never sees the light of day.

#32 Remembrancer on 03.23.19 at 7:41 pm

#30 The Wife on 03.23.19 at 7:32 pm
Doug’s wife about Sarah’s songs is correct and are somewhat depressing concerning the past.
———————–
I’ll see your Sarah McLachlan and raise you a Tom Waits…

#33 Out Of Work CEO, Will Travel on 03.23.19 at 7:46 pm

The Arms of an Angel reminds me of that book by travel writer “Paul Theroux” where the hero goes into the bush in Africa to help the locals…and after they remove from his possession (appropriate; politically correct like saying) all his possessions and he is living in a hut with nada he is rescued by another like-minded NGO and so the virtuous circle is complete. No good deed goes unpunished as the fable explains.

#34 Nonplused on 03.23.19 at 7:55 pm

If they could actually cure cancer, like say develop something like a pill you take 3 times a day for a month and it goes in there and kills all cancer cells, even if it costs $10,000 for the bottle, it would kill a multi-billion dollar industry. Multi-billion dollar industries don’t like to go away like that. So they aren’t looking for a cure, they are looking for treatments.

Heck we can’t even cure the common cold, or at least if we can, we aren’t, because cold remedies are also a multi-billion dollar industry.

I’m reminded of some of the greater scams that have popped up on Go Fund Me. Hover boards, water bottles that extract water from the air using a tiny solar panel, a little scuba tank, etc. People fall for them. Oh ya and Tesla. You’d think after the tulip mania back in 1637 we’d have it figured out. But no, we got the Beanie Baby bubble of 1999, Bre-Ex, and now Bitcoin, and many others.

And here’s the thing: Even if they come up with a cure for cancer, you are still going to die. Something is going to get you sooner or later. And even if they could extend lifespans to 200 years, for most people that is going to be 110 years in a wheel chair, and senile. Is that a worthy goal? Maybe 90 years is enough.

Also, let’s do an if-if-if experiment. If they can prolong life for 200 years, and if they can stop the aging process at say 30, and if society can adjust to people living so long, wouldn’t that change the risk profile of almost everything we do? Who would ride a motorcycle? Fight a forest fire? Fly a helicopter? Get in a car? Fight a war? All of these things and many others suddenly become just too damn risky. It is the fact that we only have so many days that makes each day worth living.

—————–

Since you opened on dogs Doug, sad dog story from last night. 2 of our acquaintances took their dogs for a walk last night and there was heavy equipment around (idle), and both dogs were dead by midnight. The cause of death has not been revealed but I suspect antifreeze on the ground. Be careful with antifreeze and dogs and cats. They think it tastes sweet but it kills them in no time (as it would you if you were fool enough to drink it).

#35 Nonplused on 03.23.19 at 8:22 pm

Regarding Garth’s rate increase calls:

Face it folks he got it directionally right.

There are 3 facets to any forecast: What? How much? and When?

If you try and forecast all 3 at once you are doomed to be seen as a failure, but I think Garth did ok. It’s just those of you who wanted to be able to retire on government bonds yielding 10% that have been disappointed. My prediction is that it is not going to 10% this time. That was so 80’s.

The fact was that rates had been at emergency levels for far to long and needed to rise, and Garth called that correctly and consistently. But I do not recall Garth ever saying what the rate would rise to, only that it would rise. And it did.

I personally feel rates could rise even more, but there appears to be a pause and when the rise continues it will be of the same nature as it’s been, a bit at a time and then a pause to see what happens.

You can’t get a druggie off cold turkey without restraints. This has to go slow. And there are just too many people (mostly boomers) who lived through Volcker’s 18% interest rates who are just hoping for a repeat so they can lock everything in. I suspect that just isn’t going to happen again.

#36 Tea and Oranges on 03.23.19 at 8:30 pm

#32 Remembrancer on 03.23.19 at 7:41 pm

#30 The Wife on 03.23.19 at 7:32 pm
Doug’s wife about Sarah’s songs is correct and are somewhat depressing concerning the past.
———————–
I’ll see your Sarah McLachlan and raise you a Tom Waits…
….

Leonard Cohen wins hands down…

I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.

#37 LP on 03.23.19 at 8:33 pm

Re charitable giving

Cancer has laid its heavy hand on our house twice. I survived; my husband didn’t. Have I ever or will I ever support a cancer society, provincial or national? No, I have’t and won’t in the future. They waste too much money on what I consider to be frills.

But while my husband was dying in hospital he was visited in his room by a lovely woman who sang and played a violin and a small keyboard. She was there through the auspices of the hospital foundation. Though my husband didn’t open his eyes, his tortured breathing slowed and he smiled throughout the performance.

You can be assured I support that initiative and, indeed, requested like support in lieu of flowers at his funeral. Our request was heavily subscribed by family and friends and it delights me to know that through his death my husband was able to secure funding for that wonderful program.

#38 CROOKED JASON KENNEY - LOCK HIM UP!! on 03.23.19 at 9:06 pm

Albertans will be having a good cry if they vote for this fool. He’ll take the whole province down the toilet with him!

Stay away from standard energy related ETFs. The sector is toast, with climate change urgency about to knock it sideways. If Alberta does not diversify asap, it will become the worst have-not province in the country. Kenney offers nothing for the real challenges Albertans face.

#39 ImGonnaBeSick on 03.23.19 at 9:28 pm

#35 Nonplused on 03.23.19 at 8:22 pm

I think the closest thing I’ve heard is work done in oligonucleotides… The issue is trials take 100s of millions of dollars and tens of years before approvals… There was a company that cured intermuscular bladder cancer with a drug called urocidin (sp?) that was subject to a hostile takeover and disposed of… Bioniche.

#40 reynolds531 on 03.23.19 at 9:42 pm

My first couple of months working for a pension plan I set up an ESG mandate. Not my idea. It underperformed for years and years.

#41 Barb on 03.23.19 at 10:06 pm

#37 LP on 03.23.19 at 8:33 pm

Re charitable giving

Condolences on losing your husband to cancer.
Lovely that you were able to see him smile during that music at his bedside.
Added to the cherished memories in your heart.

#42 Barb on 03.23.19 at 10:08 pm

Great reminders Doug!
Sometimes it’s difficult to realize which emotion is leading.

#43 SoggyShorts on 03.23.19 at 10:38 pm

#29 Eco Capitalist on 03.23.19 at 6:59 pm
@#3 SoggyShorts

Google Vice funds and Sin funds. They exist.
****************
Yeah, I found those, pretty much just smokes, booze and gambling.

and this:
https://www.etf.com/sections/features-and-news/etfs-holding-guns-opioids-prisons

I’m a little surprised I wasn’t able to find a more diverse one. Even with a high MER I think a combination Vice+guns+prisons+opiods would sell.

There are enough…morally questionable? stocks out there that someone should be able to gather them together–perhaps no one wants the criticism that would come with it?

#44 Marcus on 03.23.19 at 10:56 pm

So many of my Canadian family and friends are crying about Trump not being indicted. Two years of lies and bullshit propagated by the international media. The tears are sweet ……. I just cannot drink any more. LOL!

#45 Doug Rowat on 03.23.19 at 10:57 pm

#36 Tea and Oranges on 03.23.19 at 8:30 pm
#32 Remembrancer on 03.23.19 at 7:41 pm

#30 The Wife on 03.23.19 at 7:32 pm
Doug’s wife about Sarah’s songs is correct and are somewhat depressing concerning the past.
———————–
I’ll see your Sarah McLachlan and raise you a Tom Waits…
….

Leonard Cohen wins hands down…

—-

Going to put on some Billie Holiday just to cheer myself up.

—Doug

#46 Solar on 03.23.19 at 11:26 pm

Yeah, there is no money in Solar.

The only stock I ever owned that went to zero dollar:
TSE:APV Arise.
Not long after buying it was delisted.

Thousands of my dolars went up in smoke with that one.

I am never buying solar corps ever again.

#47 Nonplused on 03.24.19 at 12:12 am

#38 CROOKED JASON KENNEY – LOCK HIM UP!!

What, exactly, did Jason Kenney do that would have him locked up? Seems there may have been some collusion in the leadership race but last I checked that isn’t criminal. It’s not the same sort of thing as Trudeau ordering his justice minister to stand down an investigation and then firing her.

And no, oil & gas will not convert Alberta from a have province to a have not. The oil era is no where near over. It will have to end one day, but as of today we simply have no choice other than to starve and freeze in the dark.

Do you have an electric car perhaps? The tires and the road are still made of oil. You plug it in to charge it in Alberta? Mostly natural gas and coal makes that power. What’s the paint made out of? Petrochemicals, and nasty ones at that. How do they smelt the steel? Coal. How do they mine the lithium for the batteries? Diesel powered heavy equipment, and it’s a nasty process worse than gold mining and by far worse than oil sands. They don’t just go to a spot in Africa and find all these lithium batteries lying around. They have to move and crush tons of rock and treat it all with very toxic chemicals.

Do some research before you try and save the world. If there were an easy answer we probably would have figured it out by now.

#48 Gordon on 03.24.19 at 12:57 am

Agreed, money pits. I made that mistake once, decades ago, in water, blue gold. It turned out to be a crap stain on my screen, never again. Of course there’s a story behind all these issues. Boom Bust Echo, Dr Footes insight into aging made it seem likely that boomers would all transition in condos. Turns out the turned to HELOCS instead and bought a bigger SFD. It proves that betting on dreams is stupid investing, but chicks like you because you ‘have good heart’s. Conclusion , talk up the Green Line for social points but invest like a Rothschild. Your wee-wee doesn’t mind if you’re still hypocrite once in a while.

Climate change, another false assumption driven by nothing but fancy propaganda and emotion. Al Gore knows it, he invented the internet remember, smart guy. He’s also a hedge fund mechanic who front runs green sticks with an inside track on subsidies. He straddles energy whenever a major campaign is about to be shown on TV. Like I said , smart guy. That’s the real inconvieniant truth friends. Gore and those like him are today’s version of the carpet baggers, one sided players running a fixed game. If you disagree, you’ve likely drank too much bathwater and haven’t done any research on your own time. Tell me which media you watch most and I’ll tell you your political opinions. No magic there, just the power of propaganda and tribalism.

Conclusion: buy good companies that pay dividends. Buy growth sticks that show expansion on the balance sheet, not the broadsheet. You’ll be a winner ‘almost’ Everytime.

#49 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.24.19 at 8:55 am

Annnnnd 3 years after the referendum, and 1.5 years of fruitless back room talks…..as the Brexit countdown continues……to its squalid, messy conclusion possibly next week.

We have squabbling, self serving, navel gazing, backstabbing parliamentarians showing their true inability to compromise, negotiate or reach any form of consensus….

I’d give the Brexit deal a 95/5 chance of crashing out without any deal at all…. or a terrible deal forced upon England by the EU that now holds all the cards………………tick tock

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu/brexit-up-in-the-air-as-may-faces-possible-plot-parliament-tries-to-grab-control-idUSKCN1R40DJ

I hope the Brits have enough perishable medicine to get them through the next 3 – 6 months of uncertainty……

Jeremy Corbyn for PM !
Hurrah!
Communism on the Thames will have arrived at last….

#50 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.24.19 at 8:58 am

@#46 Solar
“Thousands of my dollars went up in smoke with that one.
I am never buying solar corps ever again.”

*****

You got “burned” by solar.
Ironic , don’t you think?

#51 Dissident on 03.24.19 at 10:36 am

Yeah, just make sure it’s not Theranos or Valeant you’re investing in.

That’s why I generally stay away from health care space.

Usually only benefits the insiders who really know what’s going on behind the scenes.

#52 ILikeSarah on 03.24.19 at 11:01 am

Years ago I read a commentary that goes something like this.

Companies that will seek maximum profit will do better than companies that give up profit to be nice.
Nice people who invest in nice companies will become less wealthy and influential than people who don’t care how nice the company is.
The world will then be controlled more and more by people who don’t care about companies being nice over profit.

#53 ImGonnaBeSick on 03.24.19 at 11:09 am

I would say your best bet investing in renewables is the big O&G companies… They are energy companies first and will put the money into renewables as it starts to make sense… May not sit well with you dirty hippies though.

Garth, Doug, Ryan – would you be able to give an opinion on the ALDA that was proposed? Sounds like Bill and Justin trying to steal our retirement money to me…

#54 joblo on 03.24.19 at 12:11 pm

‘Two people can experience the same event differently’:
ah, ah, returns.

Lieberals theme 2019

#55 The Royal Flush Exposed on 03.24.19 at 12:21 pm

I remember the day when I had a tear or two having to say farewell to the past. It broke my heart forking over $100 emptying out my wallet. I was surrounded by young quiet women on that night taking my seat at 7:30 PM with the crowd. The silence was deafening until she came of stage singing, “If I Could Turn Back Time”. The women beside me went wild on me, and Sarah takes a backseat to the real Diva whose name was Cher forever to be remembered.

#56 Eco Capitalist on 03.24.19 at 12:31 pm

It won’t make you a pile o’ money, but solar did have one worthwhile investment in this province (relative to what a GIC offered): solarbonds.ca

Those FIT contracts guaranteed them a revenue stream. I saw it as getting some of my tax dollars back. :-)

#57 IHCTD9 on 03.24.19 at 12:43 pm

expat on 03.23.19 at 4:19 pm
With all the waste in charities we never donate to a charity that doesn’t touch our community.

Too many cheques went out over the years only to get phone calls every month for more and yet nothing was ever cured.

The charity business, becuase that is what it is, is the only business that produces nothing but invoices.
——

Yep, it’s a big business 100%. I see them at work shaking down the owner. Some of them have the gall to walk in and ask for a hundred grand with a straight face.

I know a dude whose wife is a fundraiser for a household hame charity, that’s all she does, and she makes over a hundred grand per year. Even the Police and Fire Departments are out fundraising ffs.

The marketing agencies and employees take all the money, it’s pretty obvious with a quick look at what’s going on.

There will likely come a day when my giving will be done directly to those who I think are doing good work, and who are absolutely NOT shaking down folks for money.

#58 The Fat Lady on 03.24.19 at 1:05 pm

TREE HUGGER???

#59 Doug Rowat on 03.24.19 at 4:09 pm

#51 Dissident on 03.24.19 at 10:36 am
Yeah, just make sure it’s not Theranos or Valeant you’re investing in.

That’s why I generally stay away from health care space.

Usually only benefits the insiders who really know what’s going on behind the scenes.

—-

The US health care sector has benefited investors just fine with double-digit gains over the long term.

—Doug

#60 old prospector on 03.24.19 at 7:03 pm

#38 crooked and #47 nonplussed
Check out E3 energy, new process for extracting lithium from deep aquifers, in Alberta, using existing oil-field infrastructure, powered by geo-thermal energy (from the heat energy of the aquifer), using a porous filtration process. Efficient extraction of lithium. No waste – Post-processing, the liquid is returned to the aquifer (minus the lithium).
An Alberta process being developed in Alberta for use in Alberta. No tons of ore being extracted, no fossil fuels. Economic diversification. Good post-fossil fuel jobs right in the heart of the oilpatch. Let’s hope it work out.
(disclosure – I have no money invested nor working interest with this outfit, don’t even know if it’ll pan out, I just read about it and passing it along)

#61 acdel on 03.24.19 at 7:42 pm

Hey Doug, you can always listen to Garth’s favorite singer “Adel” or something like that! I can see him cringing as I write this. :)

#62 Leanne on 03.25.19 at 6:21 am

Doug/Garth,

What would you suggest to an investor who badly wants to do some good in the world, or at least avoid helping morally corrupt companies? I would never buy products or services from some companies, but it makes me sick to think that these same companies may have tens of thosands of dollars from me through broad based ETFs that I hold… Thanks for any thoughts here!