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internal financial conflict

apprehensive, by the way, because i’m off this afternoon to get my first non-cathy-rafanello new york haircut. i was so lucky to have her cut my hair all these years, and now she can’t because of carpal tunnel and all, and damn am i worried.

anyway, i’m thinking this morning about money, and how i make it, and how it makes me.

i’m very lucky to have a job at a great company (time inc., a division of time warner) with great benefits which includes a 401k with a very nice match that’s not even in company stock. how good is that?

and i contribute quite a bit to my 401k. you should too, if you have one. you should at least contribute enough to get the full match that your employer gives you. if you don’t, you are leaving free money on the table. how stupid is that?

but, of course, everything comes with a price. and for me, the price is my feeling of well-being and, for lack of a less new-age term, my “karmic balance.” here’s my problem. i spend personal time figuring out which companies to spend money with, and which companies not to spend money with. it’s my money, and i want it to talk. so i didn’t eat at cracker barrel until they changed their anti-gay hiring policies, at which time i started eating their to show my support. or, i used to only get my gas at mobil, until they merged with exxon and ditched their partner benefits. and now on the rare occasions i buy gas, i won’t go to mobil. how honorable is that?

but in my 401k, i have my money invested in funds that invest in all these horrible companies. tobacco, gambling, environmental rapists, defense contractors, you name it, and my 401k money is in it. how hypocritical is that?

now, i have pretty good 401k fund choices, and one of them is a fund that does social screening. so, although i’m sure that fund would still invest in some company i thought objectionable, at least if i put my money there it would not be quite as horrible. but it’s only one fund, and it’s not very diversified, and i wouldn’t make as much money as i do now having my money split up among lots of funds with questionable investments, all of which of course make lots more money than those socially responsible investments, in general anyway. and i have to, in the end, make sure that kirk and i have enough to retire on. how sensible is that?

don’t answer that.

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