The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jun 2, 2008

Dharmic Finance

After a brief hiatus, I'm reading the Financial Times again. And what wondrous news does it report today? Why, nothing short of investing based on dharmic principles.

Christians and ethical humanists have been hitherto served with appropriate investment vehicles, notably indices of ethically-run companies. Greens and Muslims also have their beliefs appropriately treated. Until recently, however, that large bastion of humans that believes in karma, dharma (and possibly) yoga have been unappreciated and ignored. All that is set to change with the introduction by Dow Jones Indexes, in association with Dharma Investments), of five indices - a global one, and one each for the US, India, Japan, and the UK.

It's all deliciously arranged. What is a Dharmic investment? Why, Rishi Kanada has something to say on the matter.
That which leads to the attainment of Abhyudaya (prosperity in this world) and Nihsreyasa (total cessation of pain and attainment of eternal bliss hereafter) is Dharma.
Naturally, this means making a lot of money now - after death, who can know? All pain might be relieved. Or not. Luckily, the Hindu scriptures - unlike the Abrahamic ones - do not object to lucre and usury. And so the entire banking sector can safely be incorporated into the index.

Companies dealing with meat or alcohol are no-no. Pharmaceutics are eschewed owing to their treatment of animals. Defence-related corporations are given the old heave-ho. But outfits that serve to improve life and its quality in these three dimensions are welcome.

Cleverly, the authors of this set of indices also point out that - had they created it and invested in it at the end of 2002 - it would have returned 115.01%, handily outperforming the 106.62% of the Dow Jones World Index. (We dare not ask what the returns would have been adjusted for risk.)

So why not go forth, folks, and invest?* Rest assured that a band of clerics (who, though?) have certified these indices in accordance with Hinduism. You may, of course, discount the knowledge that these clerics have been paid nicely for their imprimatur. After all, as the sages have it, Shubh Labh. May Lakshmi smile on you.

* Please include me out.


Shefaly said...


Basab wrote about this some months ago. Someone wondered why Reliance firms are not included...

Read on. I have found the hard way that Lakshmi and Saraswati rarely reside in the same brain. I need to make choices..

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