A group of celebrities asked me to visit a website. What I found was alarming, to say the least.
Hey, it's your money.
After seeing this, I was curious, so I went to the website.
Lo and behold, it turns out my 401(k) — my hard-earned retirement savings — could be invested in publicly traded gun companies. And I'm not the only one.
There are over 51 million Americans with retirement portfolios that are probably invested in guns.
On the surface, that doesn't sound so bad, right? People should be able to invest in whatever they want. BUT...
- We have a right to know where our money is going.
- We should think twice before investing in companies that corrupt our democracy and endanger communities in the process.
- It's our money. And in a world where money *is* political power, it behooves us to wield it for the greater good.
As individual investors, we can pull our money out of guns. But asset-management firms need to start doing their part too.
Adam Kanzer, managing director of a social investment firm, writes:
"The largest asset managers in the world are backing a future that fails to address broad social harm. ... We should therefore not be surprised to see our children inherit a passive democracy that is unable or unwilling to protect them.
When trillions of dollars of capital unite against gun violence, companies and policymakers will listen. Institutional investors are not prevented by fiduciary duty from taking these actions; rather, fiduciary duty compels them to do so.
We don't need to finance violence in our communities in order to provide for our retirements. Now is the time for individuals to speak up and demand an approach to investment that is appropriate for children."