Although socially responsible investing (SRI) has gained steam in recent years, the real money over the long term has been made in sin. Alcohol, gambling, and even weapons stocks have managed to produce market-beating returns over multiple decades. The best returns of all belong to the sin stocks in the tobacco industry.
An addictive product leads itself to some pretty steady cash flows and, ultimately, big dividends for its investors. And while sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products have been declining in North America, big tobacco still has plenty of avenues for growth left in the tank.
For those investors looking for high yields, they may want to get off their high horse, skip the SRI, and plow some big-time bucks into big tobacco.