If You Find Tobacco Stocks Unethical, You Should Buy Tobacco Stocks

Something worth thinking about is the nature of second and third order effects and how the consequences of certain actions can be much different than what we actually intend.

Take something like tobacco investing. If you read any well-circulated article that discusses Altria, Philip Morris International, Reynolds American, or Lorillard as a potential investment, the comment stream generally veers away from the economics of tobacco investing towards the morality of tobacco investing.

You don’t have to go too far to find someone saying: “I don’t invest in tobacco stocks for moral reasons”, and the statement is usually wrapped up in a tone of smugness and moral superiority.

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Why You Should Follow Pete At Mr. Money Mustache

Every now and then, I come across a blog that is fresh, original, witty, and worth following religiously. A recent website that caught my eye is www.mrmoneymustache.com run by a guy named Pete in Colorado (I believe he doesn’t include his last name out of safety concerns).

First of all, Pete understands that time is worth something. A lot of people that discuss frugality/personal finance discount the importance of our time when advocating a particular technique. I don’t want to spend three hours brewing my own toothpaste that might save me $3.50 per month. First of all, I don’t have the confidence that I’m going to come up with anything that is effective on my teeth as Colgate or Crest, but more importantly, my time is worth more than that. I’d make more money in the here and now if I spent that time writing finance articles than making my own toothpaste. Or, if I spent that toothpaste time studying law, I’d probably be able to command a higher salary years from now thanks to that knowledge acquired.

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