Summary of You May Be Accidentally Investing in Cigarette Companies

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You May Be Accidentally Investing in Cigarette Companies summary
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8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

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Recommendation

Are you happy to invest your retirement savings in companies whose products kill millions of people each year? Unbeknownst to you, you may already be doing just that. Big Tobacco’s lucrative stocks have made them popular choices in long-term investment portfolios all over the world – and your pension fund might be financing the industry. In a heartfelt speech, oncologist Bronwyn King lays out the ethical and economic case against investing in cigarette companies. getAbstract believes her impassioned plea may prompt you to take a closer look at your pension plan.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why investing in Big Tobacco is unethical and 
  • Why tobacco stocks are risky investments in the long term.
 

About the Speaker

Radiation oncologist Bronwyn King is the founder and CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios.

 

Summary

Oncologist Bronwyn King has witnessed the lethal effects of smoking cigarettes firsthand. At her first job working in a lung cancer unit, the survival rate among her patients, most of whom were smokers or ex-smokers, was almost zero. In 2017, tobacco-related illnesses claimed the lives of seven million people worldwide. In fact, forecasts predict that smoking will kill one billion people in the 21st century. King was shocked to learn that her superannuation fund invested a portion of her retirement savings in tobacco companies by default and that the entire global financial industry supports Big Tobacco. Convinced that investing in cigarettes is neither socially responsible nor financially sustainable, King began meeting with finance leaders worldwide to raise awareness. She advises portfolio managers to base investment decisions on three questions: Is the company’s product safe? Is there a UN treaty or convention that addresses the product’s adverse impact? Can investing in that company prompt it to change? Tobacco companies meet none of these criteria: Their products are unsafe, even if consumed in small amounts; 180 countries have ratified a UN tobacco treaty to curtail global tobacco usage; and even well-intentioned shareholders won’t convince tobacco companies to stop selling cigarettes.


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