Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams argues that you should invest in companies you hate because only the most unprincipled and rapacious firms make the greatest profits.
Moral bankruptcy is a great leading indicator of success, and the best ones can get you to balance your wallet on the end of your nose and bark like a seal, as you buy products that you utterly despise. Companies with the work ethic of a serial killer, like British Petroleum (BP) come to mind, but you can also add other firms to the list, like Goldman Sachs (GS), Citicorp (C), Pfizer (PFE), and Altria (MO).
Adams initially started investing in companies he loved, like Enron, WorldCom, and Webvan, and absolutely lost his shirt. Adams’ advice to BP is not to waste money on artificially sincere ad campaigns apologizing, but get us to hate them more. Bring on more dead bird pictures!
Who is Adams about to hate next? Apple (AAPL), because he irrationally craves their products, resents their emotional control over his entire family, can’t get ITunes to work, and is appalled by those aloof black turtlenecks that Steve Jobs used to wear.