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Attention-hungry Hogg’s ‘big’ announcement backfires as he shows his age, again

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Parkland student David Hogg’s attempt to launch another anti-gun boycott Tuesday raised some eyebrows but, so far, not much else.

The Florida teen, who has thrust himself into the spotlight for his vocal stand against guns since the mass shooting at his high school in February, called for a boycott of Vanguard and BlackRock, two of the world’s biggest investors in gunmakers.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“If you use them, feel free to let them know,” the teen activist tweeted Tuesday, adding “#BoycottVanguard #BoycottBlackrock.”

Hogg also tweeted a table showing other investment companies with the number and value of shares they hold.

BlackRock and Vanguard are not as well known and recognizable as Hogg’s last target, Fox News host Laura Ingraham who was subjected to a boycott launched by the teen when his feelings were hurt by her comment about his college application rejections.

The attention-hungry Hogg even teased his latest boycott announcement ahead of Tuesday’s tweets, prompting a well-deserved jab from his conservative classmate, Kyle Kashuv who bestowed the new title of “Boycott Man” on the high school senior.

But Ingraham’s boycott boomeranged as advertisers returned and ratings climbed for “The Ingraham Angle” which saw its highest ratings ever after the boycott. But, while Wall Street firms may be pressured by customers demanding action in the gun debate, it is not clear what Hogg’s call for a boycott against BlackRock and Vanguard would look like. It may bode well for the companies instead.

According to Yahoo Finance:

BlackRock, Invesco (IVZ) and Vanguard are the top three institutional holders of American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), the parent company of Smith & Wesson Corp., one of the world’s largest gun manufacturers. BlackRock and Vanguard are also the largest holders of gunmaker Sturm Ruger (RGR).

Many of these funds are passively managed, which means companies like American Outdoor Brands and Sturm Ruger are in their portfolios because they are part of major stock market indexes.

Earlier this month, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, announced that it would offer two new exchange-traded funds and new index-tracking products for pensions and 401(k) plans that exclude stocks of gunmakers and large gun retailers. This was in response to the mounting pressure from customers urging Wall Street to take a stand on the gun debate.

 

“Vanguard is taking action, meeting with the leaders of gun manufacturers and distributors. We want to know how they will mitigate the risks that their products pose and how they plan to help prevent such tragedies from happening again,” a Vanguard spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.”We believe that boards and managements of gun manufacturers should disclose and reduce the risks associated with gun violence and the ongoing national debate on gun safety and control. We believe that when a business poses a risk to society, it can also pose a risk to investors,”

Hogg may be facing an uphill battle with his latest boycott against the financial titans which has so far been met with a lack of enthusiasm.

Frieda Powers

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