Things Are Good: How a Better World Can Come from Supply Chain Management

The Canadian organization Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE) just released a report on how supply chain management can help promote and enforce human rights. Some countries legally require companies to report the status of human rights and any liabilities that may stem from neglect or worse. Canada, however, does not. SHARE has looked ...

Things Are Good: Now is the Time to Sell Stocks in Fossil Fuels

Most everyone knows that fossil fuel energy is on its way out and renewable energy usage is accelerating. This means that air quality will improve and energy will become cheaper, all good things. Yet, there’s a large group of companies that don’t see the obvious. Enter the divestment campaign. Divestment campaigns have been around for ...

Things Are Good: Young Investors Care More About Using Money for Good

It turns out that people born after 1980 care more about investing in companies that make the world better than investing in companies that don’t. Traditionally investors were told to only care about one thing: profit. Younger investors have seen that way of thinking not work out given the ongoing lame economic performance of that ...

Things Are Good: Investors: Good Economics is Taking Action on Climate Change

It’s no secret that carbon trade, carbon caps, and various other policy tools improve economies and diminish negative environmental impacts caused by economic activity. Yet, the myth that having a sustainable economy isn’t possible with a growing economy. Environmentalists have been arguing for better policy and enforcement for decades, and now global investors are also ...

Things Are Good: Why Investors Care About Sustainability

For long term investors sustainability is an obvious concern, but for some investors who look only for profits in the next quarter sustainability can be forgotten. The tide is starting to turn as companies that don’t have sustainable practices in place are being beaten by more efficient operations. The Guardian has outlined why poor investors ...

Things Are Good: When Investing, Millennials Care More Than Previous Generations

Millennials are savvy investors who care about the planet and social justice. Previous generations have treated their investments as risky and didn’t care about the environment or other important issues. Some financial advisors are shocked to find out that not only are young investors interested in creating a better world, but that they are risk-adverse ...

Eclectic Lip: December: a podcast premiere

The nice folks at http://www.thisweekinenergy.tv/ (TWiE) invited me to guest on their podcast on their late November episode, Good News, Bad News, Ugly News. While most of their guests are leading experts in their fields, and I’m just a talkative and reasonably-knowledgeable former fuel cell engineer, I heeded Gore Vidal’s wisdom and agreed. 🙂 It ...

Melissa Fong: Why Bitcoins aren’t going anywhere: Drugs and Coffee

Bitcoin is going nowhere. I promise you that it won’t and I’m positive that I won’t be eating my words at a later date. I’m going to tell you why: 1) Drugs and 2) Coffee:….

Eclectic Lip: Very amateur investing, yellow-tinted glasses edition

(originally written Oct 2, 2011.  Part of Great Upload of 2013.) I find it amusing that, while many of my fellow Vancouverites are attending places of worship this Sunday morning, I’m taking a break from work to muse about money, that root of all kinds of evil.  🙂 Right now, the stock market is a ...

Eclectic Lip: The Black Swan’s Thanksgiving Turkey

(originally written Nov 24, 2011.  Part of Great Upload of 2013.) It came to my attention that Naseem Nicholas Taleb, who authored The Black Swan (surprisingly, not about a ballet dancer, but about financial crises) discussed other avians in his book, among them the Thanksgiving turkey.  Per the Wikipedia page, he seems to’ve co-opted the ...

Eclectic Lip: The world (of investing) according to Dante

(originally written Oct 21, 2011.  Part of Great Upload of 2013.) It seems like the financial markets will have an “upwards bias” for the next few months, despite the circling-the-drain quality of the macroeconomic picture, which inspired this magazine cover from the Oct 1 issue of The Economist magazine. If there’s anything I’ve learned over ...

Eclectic Lip: Sniffs from a Schiff…

(Originally written March 7, 2012.  Part of Great Upload of 2013.) A colleague once showed me a book by Peter Schiff, in which the author and investment-house CEO purported to explain how the US got into the muddle they’re in. Like so many textbooks I left it unread, but according to Wikipedia, Schiff believes a ...

Eclectic Lip: From housing to plumbing

(originally written Mar 4, 2012.  Part of Great Upload of 2013.) Readers (regular and irregular both) may know that about six years ago, I was quoted in MacLean’s saying Canadian housing was in a bubble.  So after six long years of looking very wrong, I was delighted to see the right-wing rag run a cover ...

Eclectic Lip: Goodness, the biggest bull market in history is about to begin — eventually! :)

(originally written May 8, 2012.  Part of my “Great Upload of 2013″) There was a great article in the Globe & Mail investment section about one John Maudlin’s predictions that after the stock market moves down for awhile, it will move up.  Which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is brilliant stuff — blindingly insightful.  Worth every ...

Eclectic Lip: Green byelection blues

Alas, the Green Party didn’t pick any seats up in the Nov 26 Canadian federal by-elections.  While their strong showings probably count as a real moral victory, I imagine at this stage they’d prefer amoral, real victories.  😉  As it turns out, Parliament’s composition is unchanged, “while my green heart gently weeps”.  Despite donating to ...

Eclectic Lip: Plug-in Prius payback period…

I’ll start with a preamble, expressing hope that the tragedies and suffering from Hurricane Sandy can be limited to a minimum.  And, recognizing that there are undoubtedly other tragedies I’m unaware of, whose victims are just as deserving of such hopes — I wish them the best as well. I’ll also note that the Red Cross ...

Eclectic Lip: The biology of phishing

Some nefarious group recently made a phishing attempt against me, trying to lure me into providing bank account information in response to an Official Looking email. Presumably, the combination of spam filters and alert consumers means phishing has a very, very low success rate.  Fortunately for criminals, email has virtually no incremental cost: you can send a ...