Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
Post Reply
nyclon
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:30 pm

Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by nyclon » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:06 pm

Summary:
1. Extending our lineup of ESG ETFs with two new funds that include screens to exclude civilian firearms
2. Offering a new line of products that are exclusively firearm-free available to certain institutional investors, including qualified U.S. pension plans such as 401(k) plans. Based on client demand, BlackRock will offer five new strategies seeking to track broad market indexes: S&P 500, Russell 1000, Russell 2000, Russell 3000 and MSCI World ex-US that exclude all producers and large retailers of civilian firearms.
3. For existing broad market ESG equity and bond index ETFs, changing their underlying index to indexes which include explicit screens for civilian firearms manufacturers and large retailers
4. Making our flagship iShares ESG ETFs, DSI and SUSA more accessible to investors by reducing the net expense ratio from 50 basis points (bps) to 25bps

Full text here:
https://www.ishares.com/us/literature/p ... -april.pdf

User avatar
TxAg
Posts: 1316
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:09 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by TxAg » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:08 pm

Timely sales gimmick?

nyclon
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:30 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by nyclon » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:09 pm

TxAg wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:08 pm
Timely sales gimmick?
Yes and no; institutional investors are not as susceptible to marketing tactics.

User avatar
pokebowl
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:22 pm
Location: The Orion Spur of the Milky Way galaxy.

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by pokebowl » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:49 pm

First it was tobacco. Then fossil fuels. Now guns. Without getting too sarcastic and on a soap box, I see no issues with giving investors choices as long as these types of products stay within the realm of secondary offerings and not forced upon larger default funds. At the end of the day I want my brokerage to simply manage my money as a neutral custodian immune to whatever is currently socially in vogue. :wink:
There is nothing more expensive than something offered for free.

User avatar
JoMoney
Posts: 6275
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by JoMoney » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:00 pm

Bloomberg: Gun-Free ETFs Are Everywhere But No One's Buying
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... mid-outcry

... The data are a sobering reminder about how, for all the clamoring for Wall Street to take on a bigger role as moral arbiter, ordinary investors just don’t seem to vote with their portfolios. And while it’s the asset management behemoths like BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group, whose mutual and exchange-traded funds make them the largest stakeholders in the firearm manufacturers that bear the brunt of public criticism, investors don’t need the fund companies to take action for them. ...
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

asset_chaos
Posts: 1405
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:13 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by asset_chaos » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:26 pm

TxAg wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:08 pm
Timely sales gimmick?
Bingo. Any investment thesis based on the latest news headlines is unlikely to be---or to ever become---a necessary investment. Although, at least the fee reduction is a better deal for those inclined to invest this way.
Regards, | | Guy

Güero
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:23 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Güero » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:42 pm

nyclon wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:09 pm

...institutional investors are not as susceptible to marketing tactics.
Hahaha!

User avatar
fortyofforty
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by fortyofforty » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:52 am

Is this called the "Bandwagon Fund"?

Let's see.

Oil and gas companies.
Defense contractors.
Tobacco companies.
Alcohol-related companies.
Firearm-related companies.

Anti-gun investing is simply the "cause du jour" and nothing more than pandering.

I sincerely hope I am not forced into this issue by virtue of my investments, and coerced into backing one side over the other.
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell | There are many roads to doublin'. | Original Vanguard Diehard

3funder
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:35 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by 3funder » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:47 pm

fortyofforty wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:52 am
Is this called the "Bandwagon Fund"?

Let's see.

Oil and gas companies.
Defense contractors.
Tobacco companies.
Alcohol-related companies.
Firearm-related companies.

Anti-gun investing is simply the "cause du jour" and nothing more than pandering.

I sincerely hope I am not forced into this issue by virtue of my investments, and coerced into backing one side over the other.
+1. I'm all for gun control and have no patience for arguments to the contrary; however, let's be realistic. If a company is publicly traded, I'm going to own a very small slice of it via index funds, and I'm going to like it.

marstaton4
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:52 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by marstaton4 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:53 pm

I don't think it has to be a gimmick for whoever may be purchasing these funds.

Certain investors may have had loved ones killed or harmed by tobacco, alcohol, guns or any other product that some companies may stand to profit from. Or really whatever their reasoning is. If they're willing to pay for it what's the problem?

Valuethinker
Posts: 36648
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:59 pm

fortyofforty wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:52 am
Is this called the "Bandwagon Fund"?

Let's see.

Oil and gas companies.
Defense contractors.
Tobacco companies.
Alcohol-related companies.
Firearm-related companies.

Anti-gun investing is simply the "cause du jour" and nothing more than pandering.

I sincerely hope I am not forced into this issue by virtue of my investments, and coerced into backing one side over the other.
In my experience European investors worry about tobacco, firearms, defense & fossil fuel companies.

Americans tend to worry more about pornography & gambling (although depending on investor, they do worry about some of the others, above).

Norway has one of the largest state Sovereign Wealth Funds. Owns about 2.5% of every listed company in Europe, 1.5% of every listed co in the world. Norway itself is a major oil and gas producer. They have decided that no utilities or mining companies whose revenues are more than 30% dependent on coal will be in the portfolio. I believe there are future plans to restrict investment in other companies that are fossil fuel producers.

Valuethinker
Posts: 36648
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:00 pm

nyclon wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:09 pm
TxAg wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:08 pm
Timely sales gimmick?
Yes and no; institutional investors are not as susceptible to marketing tactics.
They can be faddish.

However it's likely these products have been created *because* institutional investors have wanted them. For example teachers' pension funds might be an example. So the push-pull is different.

User avatar
JoMoney
Posts: 6275
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by JoMoney » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:03 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:59 pm
...I believe there are future plans to restrict investment in other companies that are fossil fuel producers.
There's a certain amount of irony in that given the source of the contributions to the fund is from Norwegian petroleum.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

BrooklynInvest
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:23 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by BrooklynInvest » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:09 pm

Anti-gun investing is simply the "cause du jour" and nothing more than pandering.
I completely and utterly disagree. I believe in indexing, but acknowledge that "buy the market" principles and my personal values are sometimes in conflict. Gun-free funds will help me better align. If it costs me, I'm good with that.

Captain kangaroo
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:45 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Captain kangaroo » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:10 pm

Coca cola gives people diabetes.

Google, Facebook steal your information and invade your privacy.

Johnson and Johnson has abused animals with product testing.

Wal mart has crushed small businesses.

You can spin any company as being evil.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 37051
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by nisiprius » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:44 pm

The news is really nothing more than a relatively small change in the screening criteria for BlackRock's existing ESG ETFs, plus an announcement of a few more ESG ETFs.

I don't see that it matters much unless you truly agree with all of their other environmental, social and governance criteria, but really want to include civilian arms manufacturers.

These are not the total market minus guns. These are the market, first tilted toward ESG factors, then minus tobacco, minus "very severe business controversies," and also minus "controversial weapons." MSCI USA Small Cap Extended ESG Focus Index
MSCI ESG Focus Index is constructed by selecting constituents from its underlying parent index through an optimization process that aims to maximize exposure to ESG factors for a target tracking error budget under certain constraints. In order that market cap coverage of the index is higher than would otherwise be the case, the predicted tracking error bound is set to 50bps and the minimum constituent weight is set to 5bps. Tobacco and Controversial Weapons companies are excluded from the index. Securities of companies involved in very severe business controversies are not eligible for inclusion. Other exclusions include where companies do not have the controversy score or IVA rating or ESG score. Constituents are selected to maximize exposure to higher ESG IVA scores, subject to maintaining risk and return characteristics similar to the parent index. ESG IVA scores are normalized and factored into the optimization process.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

UpperNwGuy
Posts: 1238
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:04 pm

nyclon wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:06 pm
Summary:
1. Extending our lineup of ESG ETFs with two new funds that include screens to exclude civilian firearms
2. Offering a new line of products that are exclusively firearm-free available to certain institutional investors, including qualified U.S. pension plans such as 401(k) plans. Based on client demand, BlackRock will offer five new strategies seeking to track broad market indexes: S&P 500, Russell 1000, Russell 2000, Russell 3000 and MSCI World ex-US that exclude all producers and large retailers of civilian firearms.
3. For existing broad market ESG equity and bond index ETFs, changing their underlying index to indexes which include explicit screens for civilian firearms manufacturers and large retailers
4. Making our flagship iShares ESG ETFs, DSI and SUSA more accessible to investors by reducing the net expense ratio from 50 basis points (bps) to 25bps

Full text here:
https://www.ishares.com/us/literature/p ... -april.pdf
I applaud Blackrock for giving investors this opportunity. Choices are good.

Crushtheturtle
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:29 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Crushtheturtle » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:13 pm

Partisan nonsense.

User avatar
fortyofforty
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by fortyofforty » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:36 pm

marstaton4 wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:53 pm
I don't think it has to be a gimmick for whoever may be purchasing these funds.

Certain investors may have had loved ones killed or harmed by tobacco, alcohol, guns or any other product that some companies may stand to profit from. Or really whatever their reasoning is. If they're willing to pay for it what's the problem?
No problem. But is there a problem if I point out the history of "socially conscious investing fads"? I've seen it for decades. We are constantly lectured to about how this company is evil or that product is bad. There is always a counter point, which is obvious to those who think a bit more deeply about the issues.
BrooklynInvest wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:09 pm
Anti-gun investing is simply the "cause du jour" and nothing more than pandering.
I completely and utterly disagree. I believe in indexing, but acknowledge that "buy the market" principles and my personal values are sometimes in conflict. Gun-free funds will help me better align. If it costs me, I'm good with that.
Which is sort of the point. Blackrock will sell you and anyone else willing to pay (especially more) for it, whatever it is able to sell.
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell | There are many roads to doublin'. | Original Vanguard Diehard

Shallowpockets
Posts: 756
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:26 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Shallowpockets » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:42 pm

I am waiting for an opiod free fund.

Valuethinker
Posts: 36648
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:43 pm

JoMoney wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:03 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:59 pm
...I believe there are future plans to restrict investment in other companies that are fossil fuel producers.
There's a certain amount of irony in that given the source of the contributions to the fund is from Norwegian petroleum.
As I explain, not at all.

They've taken a view they are overexposed-- if you look at the source of Norway's wealth, then that's correlated w their fossil fuel investments. Thus cutting diversification.

The Norwegian State Fund is more or less run on perfect Boglehead lines. No alternative investments-- no Private Equity, no Hedge Funds. No active managers. Just a global index fund advised by a panel of experts. However that still does force them into the governance debate (executive pay, takeovers etc.).

Valuethinker
Posts: 36648
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:50 pm

fortyofforty wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:36 pm
marstaton4 wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:53 pm
I don't think it has to be a gimmick for whoever may be purchasing these funds.

Certain investors may have had loved ones killed or harmed by tobacco, alcohol, guns or any other product that some companies may stand to profit from. Or really whatever their reasoning is. If they're willing to pay for it what's the problem?
No problem. But is there a problem if I point out the history of "socially conscious investing fads"? I've seen it for decades. We are constantly lectured to about how this company is evil or that product is bad. There is always a counter point, which is obvious to those who think a bit more deeply about the issues.
I doubt you have seen it for decades? ESG investing hasn't been around for decades, generally?

An exception is anti-apartheid (South Africa). And that, by and large, is held to have worked. Maybe it's the exception that proves the rule, but there is plenty of evidence the divestment movement was part of what moved South African business to lobby government to end apartheid, and the movement of consensus among white South Africans that allowed Botha to do the deal with Nelson Mandela.

That, and the sports embargo. That really hurt them, in a sports-mad culture. Being blocked out of cricket and rugby, internationally, as well as athletics.
BrooklynInvest wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:09 pm
Anti-gun investing is simply the "cause du jour" and nothing more than pandering.
I completely and utterly disagree. I believe in indexing, but acknowledge that "buy the market" principles and my personal values are sometimes in conflict. Gun-free funds will help me better align. If it costs me, I'm good with that.
Which is sort of the point. Blackrock will sell you and anyone else willing to pay (especially more) for it, whatever it is able to sell.
I suspect it's client pull. They will have customers who asked for this.

If the strategy cannot attract enough funds, it will die. In that sense, capitalism will continue to work its work ;-).

drk
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by drk » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:52 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:43 pm
JoMoney wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:03 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:59 pm
...I believe there are future plans to restrict investment in other companies that are fossil fuel producers.
There's a certain amount of irony in that given the source of the contributions to the fund is from Norwegian petroleum.
As I explain, not at all.

They've taken a view they are overexposed-- if you look at the source of Norway's wealth, then that's correlated w their fossil fuel investments. Thus cutting diversification.

The Norwegian State Fund is more or less run on perfect Boglehead lines. No alternative investments-- no Private Equity, no Hedge Funds. No active managers. Just a global index fund advised by a panel of experts. However that still does force them into the governance debate (executive pay, takeovers etc.).
Right. This seems like the same reasoning behind selling RSUs as soon as they vest.

Valuethinker
Posts: 36648
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:52 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:42 pm
I am waiting for an opiod free fund.
Purdue Pharma is not listed-- owned by the Sacker Family, privately. So the question does not come up.

Not sure what other companies are involved in that business?

The opiod problem is less chronic outside of the USA (although undoubtedly present). So there may not be that kind of pressure from international investors.

User avatar
samsoes
Posts: 894
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am
Location: Northeast Rat Race

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by samsoes » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:52 pm

pokebowl wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:49 pm
First it was tobacco. Then fossil fuels. Now guns. Without getting too sarcastic and on a soap box, I see no issues with giving investors choices as long as these types of products stay within the realm of secondary offerings and not forced upon larger default funds. At the end of the day I want my brokerage to simply manage my money as a neutral custodian immune to whatever is currently socially in vogue. :wink:

I'd like my brokerage to manage my money as a neutral custodian immune to whatever is currently socially in vogue at the beginning and during the day as well, even after hours.
Last edited by samsoes on Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

Valuethinker
Posts: 36648
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:52 pm

drk wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:52 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:43 pm
JoMoney wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:03 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:59 pm
...I believe there are future plans to restrict investment in other companies that are fossil fuel producers.
There's a certain amount of irony in that given the source of the contributions to the fund is from Norwegian petroleum.
As I explain, not at all.

They've taken a view they are overexposed-- if you look at the source of Norway's wealth, then that's correlated w their fossil fuel investments. Thus cutting diversification.

The Norwegian State Fund is more or less run on perfect Boglehead lines. No alternative investments-- no Private Equity, no Hedge Funds. No active managers. Just a global index fund advised by a panel of experts. However that still does force them into the governance debate (executive pay, takeovers etc.).
Right. This seems like the same reasoning behind selling RSUs as soon as they vest.
I am not sure of the analogy? They can't sell if they are an index fund.

Valuethinker
Posts: 36648
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:54 pm

samsoes wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:52 pm
pokebowl wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:49 pm
First it was tobacco. Then fossil fuels. Now guns. Without getting too sarcastic and on a soap box, I see no issues with giving investors choices as long as these types of products stay within the realm of secondary offerings and not forced upon larger default funds. At the end of the day I want my brokerage to simply manage my money as a neutral custodian immune to whatever is currently socially in vogue. :wink:

I'd like my brokerage to manage my money as a neutral custodian immune to whatever is currently socially in vogue at the beginning and during the day as well, even after hours.
Apartheid. It happened with apartheid. Something became unacceptable to the global community, and that changed how investment was done.

AIDS drugs in emerging markets have been another, perhaps.

Investors cannot stay totally insulated from the broader societal debates. No matter how much they wish to. There's no unbreachable firewall there.

Money comes with its own morality. In a civilization where money is effectively power, money is not isolated from the consequences of that power.

Zuckerberg has been finding that out these past few weeks ;-).
Last edited by Valuethinker on Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

drk
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by drk » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:02 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:52 pm
drk wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:52 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:43 pm
JoMoney wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:03 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:59 pm
...I believe there are future plans to restrict investment in other companies that are fossil fuel producers.
There's a certain amount of irony in that given the source of the contributions to the fund is from Norwegian petroleum.
As I explain, not at all.

They've taken a view they are overexposed-- if you look at the source of Norway's wealth, then that's correlated w their fossil fuel investments. Thus cutting diversification.

The Norwegian State Fund is more or less run on perfect Boglehead lines. No alternative investments-- no Private Equity, no Hedge Funds. No active managers. Just a global index fund advised by a panel of experts. However that still does force them into the governance debate (executive pay, takeovers etc.).
Right. This seems like the same reasoning behind selling RSUs as soon as they vest.
I am not sure of the analogy? They can't sell if they are an index fund.
Sorry for being unclear. I meant that reducing the sovereign wealth fund's fossil-fuel exposure to account for the fact that its income comes from fossil fuels is similar to selling RSUs upon vesting for someone who is compensated with company stock. There is no irony or hypocrisy there. It is a logical way to decrease concentrated risk.

beth65
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 1:51 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by beth65 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:03 pm

I’m pro 2A, but I have no problem with portfolios removing stocks that may not be socially responsible. There has been an increasing trend to support companies that are socially responsible. I see this as no different from that. Most people don’t want to eschew a profitable company or part of a fund that is not socially responsible, preventing the emergence of better technologies or detrimental to our health, but many would prefer to profit from socially responsible companies. If they have options, they might choose to invest in funds holding shares of companies more in-line with social conscious or that do not harm society. Options provide more freedom of choice.

Milton Friedmans’s famous article “The Social Responsibility Of Business Is to Increase Its Profits,” promoted the idea that shareholder value was more important than actual long term fiscal stability, growth, quality products or employee satisfaction. There are many that have realized what a terrible idea this was, and has likely led to overvaluation of stocks. Many investors are also employees, and the extreme focus on shareholder value, sometimes at the expense of employee satisfaction, profits, product quality or salary increases keeping up with inflation may be a detriment to the investor personally even if it benefits their investments. We are all shareholders, and perhaps we should think a little more seriously about where we put our money. I am a strong believer in consumer-driven change and action, and the same goes for investments.

User avatar
fortyofforty
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by fortyofforty » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:08 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:50 pm
fortyofforty wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:36 pm
marstaton4 wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:53 pm
I don't think it has to be a gimmick for whoever may be purchasing these funds.

Certain investors may have had loved ones killed or harmed by tobacco, alcohol, guns or any other product that some companies may stand to profit from. Or really whatever their reasoning is. If they're willing to pay for it what's the problem?
No problem. But is there a problem if I point out the history of "socially conscious investing fads"? I've seen it for decades. We are constantly lectured to about how this company is evil or that product is bad. There is always a counter point, which is obvious to those who think a bit more deeply about the issues.
I doubt you have seen it for decades? ESG investing hasn't been around for decades, generally?

An exception is anti-apartheid (South Africa). And that, by and large, is held to have worked. Maybe it's the exception that proves the rule, but there is plenty of evidence the divestment movement was part of what moved South African business to lobby government to end apartheid, and the movement of consensus among white South Africans that allowed Botha to do the deal with Nelson Mandela.

That, and the sports embargo. That really hurt them, in a sports-mad culture. Being blocked out of cricket and rugby, internationally, as well as athletics.
BrooklynInvest wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:09 pm
Anti-gun investing is simply the "cause du jour" and nothing more than pandering.
I completely and utterly disagree. I believe in indexing, but acknowledge that "buy the market" principles and my personal values are sometimes in conflict. Gun-free funds will help me better align. If it costs me, I'm good with that.
Which is sort of the point. Blackrock will sell you and anyone else willing to pay (especially more) for it, whatever it is able to sell.
I suspect it's client pull. They will have customers who asked for this.

If the strategy cannot attract enough funds, it will die. In that sense, capitalism will continue to work its work ;-).
I've seen it consciously since the 1990s, so over 20 years. Hence, decades. The idea for offering such investment products seems to have started in the 1980s, although I didn't pay much attention to them in that decade.

True about free-market Capitalism, the life-saving economic system. :beer
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell | There are many roads to doublin'. | Original Vanguard Diehard

User avatar
samsoes
Posts: 894
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am
Location: Northeast Rat Race

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by samsoes » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:11 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:54 pm
Money comes with its own morality. In a civilization where money is effectively power, money is not isolated from the consequences of that power.

Jeff Zuckerberg has been finding that out these past few weeks ;-).
Who is Jeff Zuckerberg?

Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook.

Jeff Zucker runs CNN.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

Valuethinker
Posts: 36648
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:15 pm

samsoes wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:11 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:54 pm
Money comes with its own morality. In a civilization where money is effectively power, money is not isolated from the consequences of that power.

Jeff Zuckerberg has been finding that out these past few weeks ;-).
Who is Jeff Zuckerberg?

Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook.

Jeff Zucker runs CNN.
Brain fud ;-).

Mark not Jeff ;-).

acanthurus
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:02 am

Removed

Post by acanthurus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:34 pm

Removed
Last edited by acanthurus on Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
aspirit
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:52 am
Location: Bos/Mia-south

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by aspirit » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:50 pm

The financial industry continues to create and sell products faster than SEC regulators can fully understand them and their inherent risks. Market maker's make a tremendous amount of capital creating all types of new products to sell to customers demand.~
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations.

deikel
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Blackrock: new portfolios which remove exposure to civilian firearms

Post by deikel » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:52 pm

nyclon wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:06 pm
Summary:
1. Extending our lineup of ESG ETFs with two new funds that include screens to exclude civilian firearms
Emphasis is mine.....how is that any more socially conscious than including such companies, if you do not also exclude the military grade weapons ?

I think this type of 'stock picking' is just one way to justify actively managed fees in stock funds. I don't have a problem with such product offerings as long as they are openly describing what is in it and what is not (and clearly label the fees), but I don't see the sense in it and the particular stock to avoid (de jour) will change frequently and encourage buy/sell events....this is marketing to a large degree.

No interest and I would prefer my institution to stay clear of such things and stay in total market funds.
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

Post Reply