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Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA has been a frequent guest on Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News, has been quoted in Barron’s Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post and is a frequent contributor to Forbes Moneybuilder, GuruFocus, MarketWatch and InvestorPlace.com.

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7 High-Yield Dividend Sin Stocks

Date: Sunday, February 23, 2020 8:35 PM EDT

The following originally appeared on Kiplinger’s as 7 Dividend-Rich Sin Stocks to Buy Now.

Pop culture has always loved the bad boy. From James Dean’s Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause to Harrison Ford’s Han Solo of Star Wars fame, everyone roots for the lovable rogue. But that’s generally not true in the stock market, where “sin stocks” or “vice stocks” often get the stink eye.

Investors, and particularly large institutional investors, have reputations to manage. Pensions and endowments, in particular, increasingly have environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) mandates that prohibit them from investing in industries that are politically incorrect or deemed to be socially harmful.

In the past, this has generally meant vice stocks such as tobacco, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and even defense companies. (No one in polite company wants to be branded as a merchant of death.) But today, the net is cast a little wider. Oil and gas stocks are now personae non gratae in many ESG-compliant portfolios, as are opioid-producing pharmaceuticals. Companies with a lack of diversity on their boards of directors are also often singled out.

Of course, if we take this to an extreme, nearly any industry could find itself blacklisted. Coca-Cola (KO) and PepsiCo (PEP) contribute to the obesity epidemic. Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) have become mediums for hate speech, and Alphabet (GOOGL) tracks a scary amount of data on its users that could be used for nefarious purposes.

The point here is not to justify bad behavior by companies or knock the idea of socially responsible investing, however. If you find a company’s products or business practices objectionable, there’s nothing wrong with excluding it from your portfolio. But a sin stock that one person finds objectionable might be personally fine to another. Some of the best stocks of the past decade included companies that glued people to their sofas and stuffed them with carbs.

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