Often it is really easy for us to turn a blind eye to what is happening in foreign countries. We simply get lost in the internal issues we see in our daily lives. Across the world, thousands of people are killed in armed conflicts annually.
However, just because we do not feel the ramifications of these conflicts, it does not mean we cannot have a positive impact. It is our responsibility as global citizens to invest responsibly and refuse to fund violence.
What Does It Mean to Invest In Peace?
Investing in peace can mean many things. From investing our time to learning about foreign and domestic affairs to using our wallets to invest in companies that work to end war and conflict, we can make a difference. At Invested Interests, we choose to primarily focus on the latter. However, we still believe that education is still a critical component in creating peace.
Investing in peace at Invested Interests means investing in companies that don’t support regimes or governments that promote violence and avoiding companies that are directly involved in armed conflicts. This is how we promote peace- with our wallets.
Why Should We Invest In Peace?
As we noted earlier, it is easy for us to turn a blind eye when it comes to foreign affairs. However, investing in peace is not limited to just foreign ordeals. Investing in peace means we, in the United States, can have a positive impact as well.
Americans tend to call out global violence without critically reflecting on the United States’ role in armed conflict. With the largest military in the world, the United States is very much an obstacle to peace. The proposed national defense budget for the 2022 fiscal year is $752.9 billion. This is $12.4 billion more than the proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year. The money goes towards research, government contracts, and more. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman are just a few of the corporations benefiting from the massive defense budget.
Additionally, investing in peace means supporting peace here within the United States. There is a great deal of conflict that occurs within our own borders. In 2019 alone, there were more than 38,300 deaths from guns in the United States. Additionally, there were an estimated 1,203,808 violent crimes in the United States in 2019. While it is essential that we support peace internationally, we also must ensure peace in our own neighborhoods as well.
How Do We Invest In Peace?
All in all, wars are expensive. Armed conflict is also expensive. Making a collective action to invest in peace is a huge step towards ending conflict across the world.
Voting with your wallet for peace can be a daily activity. By understanding how companies support the military-industrial complex or actively fund armed conflict, we as consumers can make more informed decisions about where we spend our money. However, there are many companies and businesses that have taken action against gun violence. You can find a list of them here.
Another way you can invest in peace is by researching specific conflicts and learning what companies have done to invest in or divest from those conflicts. Then, you can choose what is important to you and how you can either boycott or support those businesses. For instance, if you are passionate about ending the oppression of Palestine, check out resources for boycotting the Israeli occupation.
Additionally, you can invest in peace with your investment portfolio. At Invested Interests, we offer an incredible peace portfolio, which makes it easy for you to invest in peace. We can all invest in peace, we just have to choose to do so.
Why We Support Investing In Peace
We happen to have a really strong relationship with investing in peace. In fact, this is how we got our start. We do not often talk about our story, because we like to shine the spotlight on those who need it most. However, today our story and our topic of discussion go hand in hand.
The passion behind invested interests began in 2003 with news of the Darfur Genocide. During this crisis, the Janjaweed began slaughtering, raping, and torturing Darfuri men, women, and children in Western Sudan. To take a stand against these atrocities, the Sudan Divestment Task Force led universities, endowments, and other institutional investors to divest from companies supporting the regime.
Invested Interests worked with the Sudan Divestment Task Force to make their divestment list available through online tools and portfolios that helped individual investors avoid the targeted corporations. Divesting in specific companies, like Schlumberger and PetroChina, has had a significant impact in the region. And while human rights in Sudan remains a pressing issue, progress has been made since 2008.
If you are interested in starting your peace portfolio, we would love to help you out. As we previously noted, we happen to know a thing or two about investing in peace. Through ethical investing you will not only have the peace of mind that your money is going towards armed conflict, but you will know your investments are making an impact. Talk about a win-win situation.
To get started on your investment portfolio, reach out to us here. We would love to hear from you!