The expression may have come up in one of your readings. Indeed, financial literature regularly addresses the theme of "Sin Stocks", understanding the actions of companies operating in unethical areas. This qualifier is particularly important because the recent rush towards "socially responsible" assets has made them pariahs among some managers. Let's dive into this unsavoury world together.
Did you know that? Betting on ethically incorrect sectors has long been a way to beat the stock market. In a study from the fall of 2019, UBS showed that a portfolio of stocks exposed to Tobacco, Alcohol and Gambling outperformed the MSCI World Index by an average of 4.9% per year from 1963 to the present day. Isn't that amazing? However, this trend has slowed considerably since 2010. It has even reversed since 2017 due to the disgrace of Tobacco and Gambling.
This thematic list explores companies operating in those "grey area" sectors, most of which do not fit well with so-called responsible investment (based on the principles of integrating Environmental, Social and Governance practices). It includes players in the Tobacco, Alcohol, Coal, Cannabis, Gambling, Nuclear and Weapons sectors. Given the sectors concerned, the list is dominated by stocks that are not very cyclical, with a balanced geographical distribution between Europe, the United States and the rest of the world (the Chinese stocks selected are limited to Hong Kong).
So are these stocks recommendable or not? It is up to you to decide whether you will use them as an investment base or as an exclusion list.