[COFFEE] Goal of work/investing: personal gain or added value?

Although I like the way you think I just don’t believe that this statement is true on a large scale. Sure you should act as you’d like others to act, but nevertheless… I am in the game for the money and I don’t really care how it is made - If I’d know that I would run a company.
Just to clarify: I don’t own Russian stocks and don’t plan to buy them either, because I only invest in bread world ETFs - not country or region specific ones.

If I could FIRE 5 years earlier because of Russian stocks I would absolutely do it.


I will have to skip lunch today.

Really? That much disgusted?
Idk about you, but there are companies - even in Switzerland which don’t necessarily add to humanity as a whole and destroy more than they build up, but I guess it’s personal preference if one overlooks that and sleeps better or just accepts the fact that the world isn’t a unicorn rainbow paradise.
Russia isn’t the worst regime by far with which we trade. The whole Arabian peninsula and China are Russia squared when it comes to people oppression etc… I am fine with that and most of the world economy is as well.

But I guess that you exclude those countries as well, if this is such a big concern. This whole “we need to teach the world how they have to live” mindset is very western and imho not desirable.


I think he was referring to economic principle “there are no free lunches”, not that he is disgusted by your stance. He will skip the lunch, because it’s not free. It entails a big risk.

It’s not like any of our investments will have the slight impact on this, so if this all turns out ok, this is a great opportunity to invest in Russia. It’s just a big if right now.


Yes, there are also jobs like this. A lot of work is being done as an arms race of sorts. A prisoner’s dilemma. Like marketing/advertising. You’re spamming audience with your message so that it wins over the message of the competition. This provides no net value, only takes away from others.

You may think the same way about investing: i’ll just outsmart other investors, buy low due to panic, sell high and get rich. It would be much better if we didn’t follow this mindset, and instead focused on adding value to the World.

I think it’s very fulfilling if you can add value with your work and with your investments. I believe it’s the right thing to do. Even if it might not prove to be the best outcome for an individual, it is the best net outcome.


Does anyone know of an ETF which invests only in countries which are fully neutral and have never participated (directly or indirectly) in aggression towards other countries or against their own people, minorities, etc? That is the kind of ETF I would sacrifice returns to invest in.


I doubt that any such ETF exists. For any country on this planet, you can find data which will not fit your definition. Yes, Switzerland as well (think Swiss soldiers few hundred years back, doing business with all sides during WWII etc)


Not even 100 years back if you count WW2

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Could be an interesting venture: A peace ETF :slightly_smiling_face:. I don’t think doing business with all sides would be an issue for me, as that is not agression. Taking one side may be the disqualifier (for me, at least), although even there, there could be some leeway since in many cases it is forced. You could use a certain timeframe (i.e. 30 years) or only count actions of the modern country under its current constitution. I think there would be quite a few qualifiers.

The problem I see with this approach is that you are excluding the largest stock market in the world: US.
Add some more criteria like not delivering weapons to war zones, and your list just gets longer.

This is your definition then, but it from my perspective it wouldn’t match with a “peace ETF”. The criteria is selected by the company who sets up the ETF, similar to the ESG ETFs.

Yes. As with ESG products there would be different variations. But I think there could be a market. I find it generally interesting to consider whether aggression or peace are more profitable over the long term. If there had been a neutral country ETF in the 1930s, those who invested in it would likely have earned higher returns over the long term than those who invested in the booming aggression-based German economy, for example. On the other hand, the US stock market is a good argument to the contrary. I’d have to collect and analyse real historical data to get conclusive figures.

Sound decision mate. Was probably made out of Russian wheat anyway!

Don’t forget to also liquidate all your VT and close your bank/brokerage accounts.


You don’t notice the subtle difference between having a small portion of Russian stocks in your portfolio because they are in a world index (and who knows for how long) and deciding to speculate heavily (such that one could “FIRE 5 years earlier”) on the rebound of an economy whose government has just invaded a country literally 1000Km from here?

That’s a good reason why not to hold VT but rather a combination of various ETFs, besides that you get an even lower TER when holding VTI, VEA and VWO for example.

I had to review only 11% of my total allocation, which contained an even smaller percentage of Russian stocks. For the time being, I just sold that 11% and now I’m 100% Russia free :slight_smile:

Maybe I will stick with that approach and increase other positions or I will replace the 11% with something else, or I’ll wait until Russia gets removed from the indices. Haven’t decided yet.

No actually I don’t, because you and the moral police just made it up!

If you still believe in good and evil like life is a Marvel comic, grow up!

Good pointing out it’s only 1’000 Km from here like it should matter, or past that border of yours anything goes? Did you also boycott the West when they leveled Lybia, Afghanistan and Irak and god knows how many other regions, killing directly and indirectly thousands of innocents?


There is clearly good, bad, and worse in the world. What Russia is doing is clearly on the worst part of the spectrum, at least in recent history in Europe.

Of course I feel more for a conflict in Europe (which can possibly spread here and in our neighbours countries) than in some other remote part of the world (where perhaps there is no stocks to boycott anyway), why do you find that strange?

And don’t talk about other conflicts, I boycott what I want depending on the occasion.


I don’t let my personal beliefs interfere with my money… That’s how Switzerland did it and that’s why they got rich.
Kind of mad they adapted EU sanctions because that would have been a great way to get some juicy Russian oligarch capital…

@Giff That’s just double standards imho. The US invaded tons of countries so did Russia the only difference I see is that one of them are allied with us. But the west had
always had this arrogance to teach people how to live (even if they didn’t ask)

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I think these recent events could give a big boost to politics- moral- and worldview-based investing. This has already been on the rise for the past decade. Aside from the now widespread ESG and gender equality products, we have also seen the emergence of conservative and liberal ETFs, and even Catholic and Muslim ETFs, but these have been very niche until now.

We are now seeing a division into three investment camps:

  • Investors divesting from Russia on moral grounds
  • Investors divesting from Russia to minimize risk
  • Investors who remain politically/morally agnostic

The first camp, at least, presents a brand new market. And the logic could be extended to many other countries and use cases as well (i.e. human rights, consumption of resources, etc.)

I have a hunch that a fourth camp will emerge that will be bullish on Russia, possibly also for moral/political reasons, but this group is already served by existing ETFs.

It will be interesting to see whether the trends caused by this conflict will result in new politics-based investment products.

Boy you’re in for a big awakening when you’ll realize that your entire system of beliefs is built upon evil, lies, killings, corruption, self-interest, greed, etc. There’s no border, no race and no citizenship for that.

But I agree with you on one thing: you do what you want and everyone else is ought to do the same! If you would rather invest into Amazon and Chevron and let me buying Lukoil at $8 while crude is at $110, fine with me!

Please, elaborate. What was made up? I have a hard time following this train of thoughts.

It’s not about Good and Evil, it’s about our values (which might differ) and what world we want to live in. I have no problem taking a stance toward what I believe to be a world in which I want to live. I have no problem either with other people taking a different stance toward a different world they want to live in. Democracy allows us to resolve these kinds of conflicts peacefully, through discourse, convincing and voting. Other countries/regimes/regions have to resort to other, less peaceful means.

I am grateful for having the opportunity to work through differences without violence, and am willing to take a stance, including an economic one, for it to stay that way. Much like the West’s current answer to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, I would also like to emphase that this is not a display of weakness and that I am also fully willing to resort to other means if the possibility for me to resolve things democratically is threatened by the use of said means… To push the Marvel analogy a bit further, one should not assume that good is dumb, or good is nice.