Author Topic: Is It Worth Harming People To Get Filthy Rich? JUUL Altria Case Study  (Read 14354 times)

Sam

  • Shogun, Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 600
  • Karma: +99/-6
  • Always curious
Hi Folks,

What are your thoughts on creating a product like JUUL, a vaping nicotine company to get rich?

Altria Group (MO) has invested $12.8B in JUUL Labs, representing a 35% stake in the company. They valued JUUL at $38 billion, which is almost 2.4x the $16B valuation JUUL received in July 2018, a little under 6 months ago. The total monetary amount of the investment represents $1.3 million per JUUL employee and is more than 25 times JUUL's revenue for 2018.

Their employees also got on average a $1.2M bonus from Altria.

Is it worth creating a harmful and addictive product to get rich? If so, what are some tips on how such people sleep well at night knowing teenagers and younger are getting hooked on this drug?

Thanks,

Sam
Regards,

Sam

IzzyEsq

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +8/-0
Re: Is It Worth Harming People To Get Filthy Rich? JUUL Altria Case Study
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 11:33:54 AM »
Altria (aka Philip Morris) is a past master at making money off of selling people harmful and addictive products.  They sleep well because they sleep on piles and piles of money, all while chanting soothing libertarian mantras to themselves like "people should be free to choose."  Except it isn't free, and once you're addicted, it isn't a choice.  There is a reason it takes court orders to get them to tell the truth -- this webpage would be funny if were a parody, but it's not:  http://www.altria.com/About-Altria/our-companies/philipmorrisusa/Pages/default.aspx
All the best,
Brenda

chitown-2020

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: +8/-0
Re: Is It Worth Harming People To Get Filthy Rich? JUUL Altria Case Study
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2019, 11:40:06 AM »
I think this is the question of the age  -- and for capitalism in general.   Personally, I couldn't directly be involved in this company because I don't believe in its mission and purpose.   But if I look at my portfolio, across broadly diversified funds, etc. I know that I've invested in things like Facebook and Twitter that have less clear cut positive/negative benefits to society (and of course perceptions of them are changing over time as well).    Also there are plenty of pharma companies in our portfolios that have rushed drugs to market that now have black box warnings or have been withdrawn due to adverse affects.   I've even worked for some companies in the past who have done this.    So its really hard when the profit motive is so great to see any portfolio as pure and moral.

As investors, I do think we have to do the best we can to 'do well, while doing good'.   Which is to have some line across which we will not go...   curious to know how others think about it.   I think everyone has to choose whether that matters or not for themselves.

Eric

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Karma: +17/-0
Re: Is It Worth Harming People To Get Filthy Rich? JUUL Altria Case Study
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2019, 06:00:56 PM »
Did the makers create JUUL solely to get rich, or do they perhaps enjoy vaping?

Most, if not all the tobacco execs I've met smoke.

There has to be an ethical line drawn somewhere but where? Cloning humans - part of the line I won't cross...

But think about the alcohol industry, some harm, some enjoyment, some good.

What about the fashion industry and media's impact on youth self esteem? What about any manufacturing industry with an environmental impact? What about military suppliers? Handgun makers? What about social media companies and negative psychological imoacts? Print media killing trees?

Where is the line drawn?

If you chose not to participate, would someone else just do it? (Negating the impact of your abstinence)

Seems more like an ethics question with no clear answer.


Sam

  • Shogun, Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 600
  • Karma: +99/-6
  • Always curious
Re: Is It Worth Harming People To Get Filthy Rich? JUUL Altria Case Study
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 06:51:05 AM »
Did the makers create JUUL solely to get rich, or do they perhaps enjoy vaping?

Most, if not all the tobacco execs I've met smoke.

There has to be an ethical line drawn somewhere but where? Cloning humans - part of the line I won't cross...

But think about the alcohol industry, some harm, some enjoyment, some good.

What about the fashion industry and media's impact on youth self esteem? What about any manufacturing industry with an environmental impact? What about military suppliers? Handgun makers? What about social media companies and negative psychological imoacts? Print media killing trees?

Where is the line drawn?

If you chose not to participate, would someone else just do it? (Negating the impact of your abstinence)

Seems more like an ethics question with no clear answer.

Good thoughts. Hard to draw the definitive line.

One of the reasons why I like running FS is b/c it's free and I see people gain knowledge and improve their financial lives over the years. That feels good, so it's much easier for me to keep on going.
Regards,

Sam

CallieSF

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +3/-0
Re: Is It Worth Harming People To Get Filthy Rich? JUUL Altria Case Study
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2019, 03:11:22 PM »
Absolutely not. I walked away from many lucrative opportunities in the Pharma industry if I learned that a product might do harm to a patient/consumer. I switched to biotech as the science was far more interesting and progressive. In the end, I made my money with right choices, hard-earned promotions, sound investment decisions, a disciplined budget, and loved every day of my career until I engineered my layoff when an unfavorable big pharma company took over. Recently, I saw a teen vaping JUUL, and after a short conversation developed a strong dislike for the company despite the initial platform to 'help' people. There is a funny thing in life called Karma, and many people I know who have knowingly (key word here) succeeded financially from the pain and suffering of others has had to deal with that eventually. It is never worth it. As they say, "It all comes out in the wash."

TravelGirl

  • Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: Is It Worth Harming People To Get Filthy Rich? JUUL Altria Case Study
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 12:03:45 PM »
I've always stayed away from investing in anything I didn't believe in or wouldn't use as a product myself.  I feel like by investing you are saying it is ok and support it.  There are so many other options out there that I am comfortable with and I like my sleep at night  ;D