Economy

The shunned-stock hypothesis and why we should all invest in oil companies

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

(Mark Hulbert, an author and longtime investment columnist, is the founder of the Hulbert Financial Digest; his Hulbert Ratings audits investment newsletter returns.)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Callaway Climate Insights) — New research finds that many of us are avoiding climate-friendly companies that happen to be in a climate-unfriendly industry.

This guilt by association is unfortunate for any of a number of reasons. Since the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions comes from a handful of “dirty” industries, we arguably can do more to help the environment by investing in those industries’ cleaner companies. Regrettably, however, climate-friendly investors’ instinct is to avoid these industries altogether.

Climate-friendly investors need to become more discriminating, seeking out the cleanest companies within the dirtiest industries. We may have to hold our noses when doing so, since it can feel better to simply avoid those industries altogether. But we very well will do more for the climate by nevertheless doing that. . . .

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