Tobacco stocks: You got a problem with that?
By The Editors

Tobacco stocks are like the movie "Indecent Proposal": A million dollars to do something that some, perhaps even you, find morally objectionable. Worth it? As Redford's character says: "Think of it. A lifetime of security... for one night."

Tobacco stocks: You got a problem with that?


What're your principles worth?

Can you put a price on virtue?

Ask Demi Moore.

In 1993 Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson and Robert Redford starred in the blockbuster movie Indecent Proposal. 

You probably already know the plot:

  • Redford is a billionaire
  • Moore and Harrelson are young couple who are down on their luck and about to run out of money
  • Redford’s character offers them $1 million if he can spend one night with Demi Moore’s character.

As Redford’s character puts it:

A million dollars. The night would come and go but the money could last a lifetime. Think of it. A million dollars. A lifetime of security… for one night. 

What would you do?

The problem with this scenario is, there’s no answer that’s right for everyone.

You might be okay with this million-dollar scenario. I might not.

It turns out the same is true about tobacco stocks.

According to Motley Fool:

The tobacco industry produced some of the 20th century’s best performing stocks.

According to CNN, if you invested $1 in Altria in 1968, you would have had $6,638 in 2015. We did the math and determined that if you had invested $151 dollars in Altria in 1968 you would have had a million dollars in 2015.

With numbers like those, tobacco stocks start to feel like an Indecent Proposal. 

Because even if you think tobacco is dirty and evil, there’s always this:

Think of it. A million dollars. A lifetime of security…