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May 22, 2024

Don’t Let America’s Biggest Money Managers Play Politics With Your Pension

Are they injecting their own political biases into the way your money is invested? That’s a violation of their fiduciary duty to you as a client.

Are you paying attention to what the money managers who you’ve entrusted with your lifetime savings are actually doing with your money? Are they investing to get the best possible return they can — so that you will be able to retire comfortably and perhaps buy a vacation home or leave an estate for your children and grandkids? Or are they injecting their own political biases into the way your money is invested?

Too often of late, they are doing the latter. They are playing politics with your pension. And that’s a violation of their fiduciary duty to you as a client. This scam may be costing you tens of thousands of dollars of retirement income. Or more.

I’m referring to the latest fad on Wall Street called “ESG investing.” ESG investing secretly directs Americans’ personal savings (without our knowledge or explicit approval) into investments that are “green,” or otherwise “socially conscious.”

The scheme works like this: Left-wing activists invade corporate shareholder meetings at companies like Walmart or Exxon and demand votes on hostile shareholder resolutions like requiring racial quotas in hiring or advancing radical climate change priorities, such as divesting in oil and gas companies (even though these have been some of the top-performing Fortune 100 companies).

Many studies have shown that adopting these onerous ESG mandates REDUCES a company’s returns to the shareholders — i.e., you and I and the 125 million other Americans who have pension money invested in the stock market.

Our new study at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity has graded more than 100 of the largest money management funds — from Fidelity to Blackrock to Morgan Stanley. In some ways, these money managers run Wall Street and the world economy. They have tens of trillions of dollars under management.

Here are the firms that rank worst and got an “F” grade:

Guggenheim Funds: “F”
Mutual of America Funds: “F”
Morgan Stanley Funds: “F”
BNP Paribas Asset: “F”

Our report found these firms and many more may be violating their fiduciary duty to get the best return for their clients by voting for radical leftist resolutions often without their consent. One way to protect yourself from this sinister corporate malfeasance is to move your money elsewhere.

I’m happy to report that there are three major money management firms that don’t play the ESG game at all, and they received “A” grades on our report card — Dimensional Investment Funds, Vanguard (Vanguard was a big proponent of ESG and has now backed away) and T. Rowe Price.

There is some good news on the ESG front: The CTUP study finds that in the last year or so, ESG investing is on the decline. That’s because conservatives are beginning to withdraw their money from firms that are secretly harvesting their votes in favor of policies that are out of step with their own values or diminish the performance of the funds holding their savings.

If investors WANT to invest in advertised ESG funds, they have every right to do so. It’s their money after all. But imposing costly ESG policies on investors without their explicit consent can’t be tolerated.

If enough Americans vote with their dollars and tell their brokers to cease and desist, this shareholder revolt can end the scourge of ESG once and for all.


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