The "Ethics" of Ethical Investing

Journal of Business Ethics 43 (3):195 - 213 (2003)
There appears to be an implicit assumption by those connected with the ethical investment movement (e.g., ethical investment firms, individual investors, social investment organizations, academia, and the media), that ethical investment is in fact ethical. This paper will attempt to challenge the notion that the ethical mutual fund industry, as currently taking place, is acting in an ethical manner. Ethical issues such as the transparency of the funds and advertising are discussed. Ethical mutual fund screens such as tobacco, alcohol, gambling, and the military are preliminarily examined to better determine whether they can actually be defined as "ethical" screens as opposed to merely social, political, or religious screens. A code of ethics for ethical investment is constructed by which ethical mutual fund firms can be audited for ethical compliance.
Keywords ethical investment  ethical mutual funds  social investment
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