NEW YORK (
) -- As an investor, you have got to leave your political and social convictions at the door. It took me a long time to learn this.
Here's a confession: I used to be a
socially conscious investor
. I'm no longer exactly sure what that means, after finding out that most socially responsible funds hold everything from
. Needless to say, prospectuses for "green" mutual funds no longer litter my desk.
Occupy Your Portfolio
I will be heading to San Francisco this weekend. I can only hope the city has cleared the Occupy protesters from downtown's Justin Herman Plaza.
Last time I visited, I spent a considerable amount of time observing the protesters only to discover they really were not protesting anything after all. Aside from a few marches down Market Street, they spent their time wandering, resting and living in a pool of filth that sanitation workers and the SFPD had to clean up and look after.
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For almost two years, when I was
Hanging Out in Skid Row, Los Angeles
, I saw the worst examples of poverty America has to offer. It's shocking to me that the Occupy "protesters" would effectively recreate this environment of squalor in their ultimately useless encampments.
They must be too dense to realize that this is not how Martin Luther King, Jr. or even more radical leaders, such as Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X, incited change. First and foremost, they made something of themselves so that they could use their money, fame, power and leverage to empower those around them and properly rattle the right cages.
They did not blame Wall Street. That's almost as pointless as blaming Canada.
If I was inclined to become an
protester, I would do one of two things: Waste my time fighting the movement itself so it could stand a chance of having an impact
move on with my life and try to make it better. Use the structures that are in place to improve your position in life; from there, you might actually be able to achieve something for somebody else.