Environment can have an major
impact on your portfolio
A few days ago, a
U.S. corporation was
charged with selling
products that allegedly
contaminate, rather than
purity, drinking water as
S a result of cancer-caus-
ing filters. The critical
|issues raised here have
implications that go far
Sylvia beyond the initial finan-
Porter cial, social and economic
objectives. The lives of
all of us are deeply in-
Pollution is expensive. There are more.
than $100 billion in lawsuits outstanding
against polluters, and that total will grow.
You should be looking at the effects of the
environment on your investment strategy.
Some industries could take a real beating,
others will benefit as environmental issues
heat up. Among the companies that are likely
to feel the impact of environmental problems
The chemical and petroleum indus-
tries. A single oil spill can result in millions of
dollars in liability. Companies can be held
liable for unforeseen effects of their prod-
ucts, which can produce gigantic settlements
and enormous clean-up bills.
The insurance industry. While it is now
difficult and expensive to get liability insur-
ance against environmental accidents, com-
panies already hold billions of dollars in such
Agribusiness. Modern pesticides and
fertilizers have maximized farm productivity,
but in more and more cases they're found to
be harmful when they wash into streams and
Real estate. The recent announcement
that all homes should be tested for radon sim-
ply underlines the problem. People who
bought homes in Howard Beach, Mo., 15
years ago, only to find out that the town had a
serious pollution problem have learned a ter-
rible lesson. Surprising and sudden develop-
ments can reduce property values to virtually
nothing almost overnight.
But some industries are likely to thrive as
a result of the mess we've made. Among
Recycling companies. Aluminum cans
have been recycled for some time, as has
paper. Paper recycling is especially likely to
become more profitable in coming years be-
cause acid rain pollution has reduced pulp-
wood crops, driving up the cost of paper.
Waste disposal companies. This can be
a mine field for investors, because many such
companies have been laced with corruption.
Medical waste disposal, much in the news
lately, Is slated to surge in growth.
Environmental clean-up companies. As-
bestos removal alone is expected to become a
multibillion dollar business by 1990. Compa-
nies that handle oil spills and removal of con-
taminated soil fall into this area also.
Garbage disposal companies. We're
producing a lot of trash and don't know what
to do with t. Companies that came up with
solutions will face an almst-unllmited de-
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