Would you bet your financial future on ESG?

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

It’s presumed that most folks selecting investment firms for their retirement plans base their decisions on an asset manager’s record of past positive returns.

However, there are some folks that would rather roll the dice and bet their savings based on an institution’s feel-good climate-change initiatives, diversity and other liberal woke blather.

These are the people, who in their retirement years, will be living in junior’s basement, while he and his wife are upstairs asking themselves: “I wonder what happened to pop’s 401K and IRA investments?”

There is little sympathy for folks that knowingly park their money in such schemes. They’ll read then weep over their blind stupidity when they receive future statements. It’s the people that never consented to such nonsense and unknowingly have their money tied up in these liberal sinkholes called environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) garbage that deserves sympathy, guidance, and protection.

For example, the Senate recently voted, 50-46, and the House, 216-204, to overturn a new Biden administration regulation that would allow retirement-plan managers to consider the ESG rubbish in their investment decisions. Biden boasts he’ll veto it, a decision that won’t be appreciated by retirement age voters who prefer making their own investment decisions, not having liberal government officials do it for them.

When handing over your cash to firms such as Black Rock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, claxons should sound a loud fiduciary warning asking: “Do their advisors follow a liberal agenda?” They’ve admitted that their ESG investments haven’t lived up to their promises, says the Wall Street Journal but continue to preach it’s still “a good idea in theory” as they rake in the suckers’ cash.

Really? Tell that to the old guy and his wife trying to get by only on social security because their investment fund is as worthless as a solar panel in the Artic or a windmill in Death Valley. They’d have been better off going to the track and betting their retirement wad on a 100-1 longshot or handing it over the fat-curly haired fraudster at FTX.

ESG fund managers shun oil and gas stocks which last year gained more than 60% while their tech stock darlings fell by more than 30% says the WSJ. If watching your portfolio tumble because you’ve been talked into investing in companies that are compliant with the Paris Agreement’s net-zero gas emissions makes you feel environmentally responsible, then by all means, go for it. You’ll probably also enjoy sadomasochism and I have some stuff in my attic that you may want to buy. Doesn’t an investment fund have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize their customers’ returns, not satisfy their own moral beliefs? Investing a client’s money in ESG when they don’t want it is morally wrong and professionally unethical. It should be a crime not a government dictated ruling.

Our confidence in Vanguard years ago has paid off handsomely. The decision to select that firm based on its past performance was confirmed recently when Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley announced that he has pulled his company out of the $59 trillion Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. Vanguard is the largest or second largest asset manager in the world. It got that big because it’s run by smart financial people with a history of solid returns.

Al Gore’s condemnation of CEO Buckley’s decision to pull out of the net-zero initiative by calling it “irresponsible and short-sighted” should be enough to convince potential investors to flock to Vanguard.

I’m no expert on investing. I’ve made some financial mistakes, but shoveling cash into a liberal environmental furnace is not one of them. I rely on financial and investment experts to guide me, not frenzied former vice presidents, crazed environmental activists and politicians influenced by lobbyists and donors.

I’m even more confident about Vanguard after hearing Mr. Buckley confirm, following the decision to withdraw from the Net Zero Asset nonsense, that “betting his clients’ money on politicians and regulators doing the ‘right’ thing is irresponsible.”

If the climate change fraudsters were really serious about reducing carbon footprints they’d condemn China and India and stop investing in those countries, the world’s two largest polluters, whose emissions are three times higher than the U.S.


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Dave Scott
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