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Woke Companies and Fund Families

Is there any escape, or partial escape from the wokeness?

What companies do you know of that don't take sides on political social and moral issues?

Also, which of the fund families do you think is least woke?

Comments

  • Thanks for trying, but that's just a fund of gambling, alcohol, and tobacco companies -- the "sin" stocks. It's not really relevant to my inquiry.
  • You asked for companies that aren't "woke." They are the least woke companies.
  • "Woke" generally means having a strong emphasis on (what they call) social justice, inclusiveness, diversity, "climate justice", "anti-racism", opposition to "white privilige", LGBTQIA+ "Pride", etc.

    I think the largest big company that hasn't bought into all this is probably Berkshire Hathaway.
  • edited June 2
    dryflower said:

    Is there any escape, or partial escape from the wokeness?

    What companies do you know of that don't take sides on political social and moral issues?

    Also, which of the fund families do you think is least woke?

    Not every company makes explicit public statements of policy but are there really any companies that don’t have a position on public issues?

    Companies take positions all the time on economic issues which have political, social, and moral consequences.

    Even if they don’t make public declarations, companies show where they stand (and always have) by their actions and policies.

    I think you’re looking for a unicorn - though it sounds like you’re not looking for companies that don’t take positions but companies that don’t take a certain position.
  • Perhaps Philip Morris or Altria is less woke!
  • @MrRuffles It's not just one specific position, but your point is well-taken.

    Warren Buffett has said that if you look hard enough at any company, you're going to find some things you don't like about it.

    I would just prefer it if I had to look a little harder.

  • carew388 said:

    Perhaps Philip Morris or Altria is less woke!

    I checked the websites for both companies.

    Nope!
  • Are you saying you want companies that don't apply fundamental anti-discrimination laws: https://ftc.gov/site-information/no-fear-act/protections-against-discrimination What exactly are you seeking? For most companies that's all "woke" really means.
  • Actually, I’d rather if I didn’t have to look harder to see where companies stand.

    Instead of hiding behind lobbyists, trade associations, and bland statements of noncommittal, companies should be more, not less, transparent. Even if I don’t agree with their position, I’d admire their forthrightness.
  • @MrRuffles - to your statement "Even if they don’t make public declarations, companies show where they stand (and always have) by their actions and policies" I think that you might add political party/candidate donations. Money speaks louder than the other issues. For the most part companies seem to support those things which add to their bottom lines although recently actions taken for example in the case of the all-star game seem to go against that premise.

  • Might be a good thread for Other Investing or Off-Topic imho
  • Are you saying you want companies that don't apply fundamental anti-discrimination laws: https://ftc.gov/site-information/no-fear-act/protections-against-discrimination What exactly are you seeking? For most companies that's all "woke" really means.

    I disagree. I'm all for non-discrimination but this quickly morphs into quotas, pandering, virtue signaling, and advocacy for all of the Alphabet People. Should I really feel better about a company because board seats are occupied by homosexuals, transsexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, non-binary persons, and queers?

  • edited June 2
    @dryflower -- you are highly unlikely to find such a fund or fund family.

    Wokeness, if nothing else, is a major ingredient in all branding today.
  • I did run into an ETF, the American conservative Values Fund ACVF but looking at their holdings, I don't think they avoid wokeness very well.

    @Shostakovich, I believe you are right. Especially as to mutual funds.

    Some smaller companies may avoid it more, and I do think maybe BRK.

    Overall, do you think it's good for business? I'm skeptical that it is.
  • edited June 3
    I’m an equal opportunity cynic. Overall I do think it will be good for business. As to magnitude and duration of impact I have no clue.
  • my god is this an amusing thread

    >> I'm all for non-discrimination but this quickly morphs into quotas, pandering, virtue signaling, and advocacy for all of the Alphabet People. Should I really feel better about a company because board seats are occupied by homosexuals, transsexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, non-binary persons, and queers?

    a perfect summary of anti-woke weakness, or maybe it's weak anti-wokeness, summarized by the modern motto I'm all for non-discrimination but
  • @davidmoran: +1. That's funny.
    (And WASP is an "alphabet people.")
    ISTM that making sure everybody has a place at the table is good for the economy.
  • Don’t let politics guide your investments, although it’s admirable to have a moral compass. One of my best performing funds, PRBLX, could be described as “woke,” and that hasn’t hurt its returns. In fact, all of the Parnassus funds have excellent risk adjusted returns and the same is true for other “woke” fund families.
  • Tarwheel said:

    Don’t let politics guide your investments, although it’s admirable to have a moral compass. One of my best performing funds, PRBLX, could be described as “woke,” and that hasn’t hurt its returns. In fact, all of the Parnassus funds have excellent risk adjusted returns and the same is true for other “woke” fund families.

    I have that fund also. I'm actually pretty cynical about these things. I'm happy to make money from things i don't agree with, within reason. Is all this stuff really good for business? I don't think so, but I hope I'm wrong.

  • edited June 3
    I think what the anti-woke investment crowd want most is a Time Machine Fund to return to the 1950s or a White Supremacy ETF. “Woke” has become one of those nebulous culture war terms the right uses to attack the left without actually committing to any real public policy to help the American people:
    https://google.com/amp/s/nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2021/03/is-anti-wokeness-the-new-ideology-of-the-republican-party.html
    It’s a term that folks like Tucker Carlson—not the most enlightened source of investment advice—are obsessed with.
  • Nah Lewis...the anti-woke are just fed up with this faux social justice theme...what folks are really saying when they are against all the "wokeness" is they are against socialism, lawlessness, marxism and are for consitutional freedom and liberty.

    Maybe I'm naive to a point but I do believe most folks while having some biases are not "racist", "white supremacists" and are for equality of opportunity...

    To quote Roger Kimball...the pursuit of “equity” entails the imposition of inequitable treatment. What began as a presidential Executive Order in 1961 directing government contractors to take “affirmative action” to ensure that people be hired “without regard” for race, creed, color, and so on soon resulted in the creation of vast bureaucracies dedicated to discovering, hiring, and advancing people chiefly on the basis of those very qualities. And... Wokeness, like the Marxism it draws sustenance from, is an exclusionary cult.

    Folks are fed up with the media emphasis on this week's designated victim group...like FB, Tweety leadership and employees get to decide on the narrative and how we should think...regardless of the facts...legal public brainwashing....F them.

    Let's take Nike, so woke, so just (not), supporting disrespecting the United States flag...yet can you say slave labor, can you say kowtowing towards an authorarian CCP regime? Selling crappy overpriced shoes to the public (I wear New Balance, some of which are made in the USA)

    Just do what I do...companies get woke, I stop buying from them, don't invest in them, like my own ESG fund based on my prinicples not what some snowflake thinks I should do...no big deal.

    @davidmoran, I too find this thread hilarious...for it's anti, anti-woke weakness...good stuff!

    Best Regards,

    Baseball Fan
  • @BF - right, Facebook and Twitter are the problem deciding the narrative and all like that but the Heritage and Koch Foundations are spot on. Gimmee a break will ya.
  • edited June 3
    @Baseball_Fan You clearly don't know what Marxism is if you believe any multinational corporation like Nike could support it. Wokeness or pretending to be "woke" has benefited Nike's bottom line: https://theguardian.com/media/2019/may/23/woke-washing-brands-cashing-in-on-culture-wars-owen-jones
    To be fair, there are far more egregious examples than M&S. Earlier this year, Nike’s profits soared to $6bn after its Kaepernick ad. The company then launched a campaign fronted by Serena Williams that challenged attitudes towards women. “If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic. If we want to play against men, we’re nuts,” she says over footage of female athletes campaigning for equal pay or demanding to play in exclusively male leagues. All very noble, but with the Nike-sponsored runner Alysia Montaño condemning the company this week for not providing her paid maternity leave, the firm might want to look at whether it is treating its own female athletes with basic rights first.
    These companies are using the cultural moment we're in for capitalist ends, not Marxist ones. This tactic will work for some and fail for others. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with socialism or Marxism.

    The funny thing is you and Dryflower claim to be cynical about wokeness, but aren't cynical enough to recognize an advertising ploy when you see one. This ploy is coming from the companies ostensibly supporting wokeness and from the Republican politicos ostensibly attacking it when neither truly cares about the gender/racial equality activists on the ground are fighting for. Wokeness or Anti-Wokeness are spurious means to an end--to generate more money for the companies supporting it and more votes for the do-nothing GOP politicos opposing it. From both perspectives their positions can cynically make sense. A multinational like Nike needs to be woke because it is striving to attract a diverse customer base in the global economy, to broaden its base of consumers. Appealing just to white hetero Christian males won't work for them as a corporate strategy especially because many of the best athletes are not white and some of the most exciting interesting ones today are female. I forgot the exact date but most demographers project the U.S. will be a non-white majority country by a certain year. To only appeal to a white audience then is toxic to a company like Nike's future growth. Meanwhile, being anti-woke is a cheap easy way to gin up votes for Republicans. It doesn't require them to build any roads or bridges or solve any actual problems that cost money.
  • @LewisBrahm -- You share my deep suspicion of the rapid institutional isomorphism and brand-refresh extravaganza as a money grab.

    For the record, however, one doesn't have to be a right-wing nutjob longing for some halcyon depiction of the 1950's to have broader suspicions of many slices of the current zeitgeist.
  • edited June 3
    Somehow I thought a combination of the recent Florida house appraisal story, this sort of legislative history (https://www.npr.org/2017/05/03/526655831/a-forgotten-history-of-how-the-u-s-government-segregated-america), and the new delving of the Tulsa massacre might clarify to whites offended by the word 'racist' what 'systemic racism' means.
  • @davidrmoran - remember your audience.
  • +1 Lewis. 1950 is too recent for the anti-woke crowd-They want to go back to 1850. And the White Supremacy ETF symbol(avoiding some inflammatory choices) is WASP !
  • Mark said:

    @davidrmoran - remember your audience.

    k, sure, but I have known acquaintances close to the opposite of progtards like me whose conscience has been shocked and eyes opened by those three reports (which is why I chose them).
  • @davidr - fair enough.
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