By Low Budget Dividend Investing
  • SNPE offers investors an opportunity to gain broad market exposure while avoiding companies involved in industries such as tobacco and weapons.
  • SNPE offers returns quite similar to those offered by SPY.
  • SNPE is rather highly concentrated in the technology sector, which may put off some investors.
When I first began investing a few years ago, I couldn’t avoid the unsolicited advice that I should invest in ETFs tracking the major indices rather than try my luck at purchasing individual stocks.
You won’t beat the market, I was told. Warren Buffett suggests you start investing by buying an ETF that tracks the S&P, those ubiquitous armchair financial advisers warned. And, the more I looked into investing, the more I found that taking the index-tracking ETF approach sounded very, very sensible.
But there was one problem: when I started looking into ETFs like SPY, I kept seeing the stocks of companies I had no interest in owning. It wasn’t just that some companies like General Electric (GE) or Macy’s (M) struck me as dead weight, though. No, there was some part of me that recoiled at the idea of making money off of companies whose businesses I found conflicted with my personal values. In my case, it was the thought of Altria (MO) or Philip Morris (PM) residing in my portfolio that kept me from investing in SPY, despite the fact that I really liked the idea of “buying the market.”
So, I poked around the ETF universe and found a few socially responsible funds, but none that seemed to provide the sort of broad market exposure I sought. I started buying individual stocks instead and, to be honest, I have been quite satisfied with my returns. Nonetheless, I have never quite stopped believing that an index-tracking, broad…