Morality in the Stock Market

Honesty isn’t something you put on and take off as you do when changing a pair of dirty socks; it’s a way of life. In every decision that’s made, there are choices to be made, and investing with the intent to make money is no less honorable than the intention that prompted it. It’s no crime to make money but cheating to make money is not only a crime, it’s sinful.

In fact ethics is so much a part of a good wholesome business the International Labour Organisation (ILO), found it necessary to implement worldwide rules governing those who do business in other countries. Designed for international trading yet national, statewide and local communities will find its directives useful. Its purpose is to ensure that larger more developed countries, doing business in lesser developed countries, will not take unfair advantage of those less fortunate.

An ethical person will be ethical in business

According to the code of ethical trade, an honest business person will only hire those who “freely chose” to work, “no forced or involuntary prison labour”; no money deposits or identity papers are left with the employer; workers have the right to bargain collectively, join trade unions; no discrimination against worker representatives; working conditions are safe and workers will be trained in education and health practices; child labor is out; living wages are paid. 

Ethics in the stock market

Ethics creates wholesomeness in buying and selling stocks. It’s what makes good companies great. Shareholders who’ve invested in these companies enjoy dependable and stable dividends year after year. With them there may not be any skyrocketing out of sight money making ventures, but it’s the steadiness and reliability and a respect for their customers that keep them in business.

For those who need to learn how to trade stocks ethically, and especially for youth who want to learn the game of ethical trading, there’s a stock market game that’s available. This is a good tool to teach ethics! Most likely these computerized games have built in ways and means of cheating the system, or at least some bright and potentially entrepreneurial and technologically spirited youth might devise their own ways.

This type of game will teach potential investors how to resist that urge to get rich quick when the alternative is naughtiness or unethical practices. Hopefully this much needed financial tool—ethics— will get an upgrade among the young and pliable, if they can hone in on ways of cheating the system. Stock Simulator is free so teachers are urged to get involved!  They explain how it works:

“Our stock market Virtual Exchange allows you to practice buying and selling real stocks using imaginary money for the purpose of gaining experience with virtual trading. This is also known as paper trading or fantasy trading.”

The website mentioned above, Experts 123 explains more about how to trade ethically: Nothing could be simpler they say, ethical trading is “Ethical stock market investing, also called “socially responsible” investing, means investing in companies and funds that support ethical policies.” They elaborate further in their 7 ways toward more ethical investing:

1. Ask for “written reports” about who benefits by your investments in your mutual and retirement fund.

2. Before you invest in a company, research them.

3. Know the company’s ethical practices or lack of them.

4. “Read Multinational Monitor to find companies that engage in unethical activity.”

5. Let your financial advisor know the companies you want to avoid.

6. Promote those companies that are now to “support environmental issues, promote health or help people in other ways.

7. Check online for ethical investments from and  

And finally, ethical investing depends on ethical living; those who probably know that a company is not playing with a full deck but deals with them anyway, is also lacking in an ace or two. They erroneously think that as long as they don’t know for sure there’s any wrong doing, they are themselves blameless. Ethical investing does not work that way, nor does personal consciences.

To have been alerted by that small still voice, or that gut feeling, that something is not quite up to the code of ethics one professes to believe in, is to have been forewarned. Too many shades being pulled against knowing for sure the underlying truth erodes ethical investing.