When choosing to build a stock portfolio via ethical investing, there are a number of factors to take into account. Do you take a hard line approach and refuse to invest in any company that doesn’t meet your standards? Do you use ethics as more of a guideline, joining financial prosperity as a decision making factor without replacing it outright? When dealing with matters as important as our financial security and personal code of conduct, one must take a reasoned approach. Those who don’t subscribe to the method of ethical investing would likely point out that by only investing in certain companies, you are inherently, and unnecessarily limiting the pool of stock options at your disposal. To which the ethical investor would say, yes, that is exactly the point. In reality, the divide is not quite so pronounced, as the difference between ethical investors and those who care only for profits is more shades of grey than it is a clear gap. In either case there is a focus on making the most out of one’s investment. Ethical investors would not have a sustainable portfolio for long if they paid no attention to the financial viability of their stock options. It is more a case of narrowing the list of potential investments according to how a firm has performed on moral grounds, and then casting a shrewd financial eye over the remaining options. The notion of the investor who cares not for material things is clearly a misnomer; why invest at all if not to profit? The difference is that ethical investors are looking to invest in firms which have a long term strategy for prosperity in a world which is becoming increasingly aware of its own fragility. In this way, the ethical investor and the ruthless number cruncher are one in the same; it is simply a case of adapt or die. Of course there are also those investors who would be more than willing to forgo an increase in revenue in favour of having their own piece of mind. However they too would still be acutely aware of any financial leaks in their portfolio. The reality is that sustainable, socially conscious firms and the financial juggernauts out there are fast becoming one in the same. Not only are morally righteous companies prospering on the back of the goodwill generated by their business model, but the multi-nationals who have traditionally been unconcerned with such things have experienced recent reform. Consumers as a whole now demand a certain standard of citizenship from businesses, led of course by the ethical investor towards a uniquely profitable future.