The recent rise of Bitcoin has highlighted the seamier side of investing. With certain investments, you're implicitly rooting for ugly things. With Bitcoin, for instance, you're on the side of the drug cartels which want to be able to make large cash-equivalent transactions without banks involved. You're on the side of corrupt dictators who want to keep their ill-gotten gains when they flee their countries. And you're on the side of anyone who doesn't want to pay taxes.
Very few investors would admit to this publicly, but they're effectively hoping for the cartels and dictators to thrive and provide a demand for Bitcoin.
If you invest in cigarette companies, like Philip Morris, you essentially want more people to become addicted to cigarettes. As Warren Buffett said about Philip Morris back in the 80's, "It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's fantastic brand loyalty." (He later declined to invest because he didn't want the bad publicity; but he was right in his analysis.)
If you invest in a defense company, like Raytheon or Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics, you're rooting for war, never mind the collateral destruction. You've become part of the military industrial complex. (Most of us associate that phrase with the student protests of the 1960's, but the man who coined that phrase was actually President Eisenhower, who knew whereof he spoke.)
But it's not just the cigarette and defense companies -- the traditional villains -- whose investors root against humanity.
If you invest in an oil company, you're rooting for the price of oil to go up. If that means war breaking out in, say, Nigeria or Iran or Saudi Arabia, so be it. The more destruction, the more money you make (assuming your company doesn't have wells there).
Either way, you're certainly hoping that there's a lot of demand for oil -- even if that means more pollution.
If you invest in a biotech, you're basically rooting for more people to get whichever disease your company can cure. And, you don't want their drug to be so effective that it can completely cure the disease, but to be something patients need to rely on for the rest of their lives.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston this past August, 35 people lost their lives. But the flooding also damaged a lot of cars, which needed to be replaced -- and GM stock went up!
If you invest in a leveraged volatility index like UVXY, or a short ETF like SDS, you want the stock market to take a big fall -- meaning, you want a lot of people to lose money, since that's what would cause your stock would go up.
In fact, any time you invest in any company, you're essentially rooting for its rivals to fail, even if that means that their employees lose their jobs and their investors lose their money.
This might present a moral quandary for some people.
(It doesn't seem to for me.)