Suppose that I am an environmentalist and I trade lots of green energy stocks and ETFs and I refuse to trade any that are based on coal and oil. By doing so, am I contributing to the success of the alternative energy industry? Am I hurting the coal and oil industry?
I realize that when you buy shares of a company's IPO that the money goes to the company. However, as long as there wasn't a big boycott, others would still buy them if you didn't. Also, when you buy/sell stock in a company, most of the time it's to other people and not the company itself, right?
If you didn't buy a company's undervalued stock because it's against your views, are you really withholding support for that company or are you just giving free money to another trader?
More broadly, does it make sense to trade based on social views like this?