This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers, click the "Reprints" link at the top of any article.
From the September 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!
Staying True to Yourself
When you are an employee of a big company, it's not just the business practices or corporate culture that may conflict with what you want to do or feel is the right thing. Sometimes you might have problems with where the company decides to spend its discretionary cash. When you run your own business, you get to decide what social or charitable organizations you will support. That's not the case with a big company. During my time at a large bank, I learned it supported monetarily an organization which held views diametrically opposed to my values. Of course, the bank was not going to change how it spent its money, and I had an ongoing ethical problem knowing that my efforts were indirectly funding activities that I opposed. The importance of this point to you will obviously depend on your particular set of values and beliefs, but it's something to keep in mind.