"The Left is extremely vocal and I think we are the opposite and we’ve got to start by being more careful about what we buy, where we shop, what we invest in. At least for me, it had to start somewhere."
Bill Flaig, Founder and CEO, American Conservative Values ETF
American Conservative Values ETF, an exchange-traded fund founded late last year, works on a daily basis to steer conservative investors away from companies openly hostile to their values. Since launching the ETF, founders Bill Flaig and Tom Carter have consistently found that part of their job involves educating their investors on just where their money is going. Many investors, even conservatives, have no idea that some of their hard-earned money is going to corporations that sneer at traditional values.
“People make what seem like savvy investments everyday as they plan for retirement or are just looking to diversify their portfolios,” Mr. Flaig said. “Unfortunately, what they don’t realize is how much of every dollar they put into the S&P 500 Index goes to a company like Google or Lowe’s, companies that have become egregious offenders in terms of disdaining free speech or American Exceptionalism. That’s where we have a problem.”
Thankfully, ACVF is working to make more conservative investors aware of what could happen to their money and taking steps to keep it out of the hands of self-righteous, virtue-signaling corporations. Currently, ACVF has boycotted a handful of the worst offending companies of the S&P 500 Index. This list, which includes Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, and Bank of America, accounts for roughly 27 percent of the S&P 500 Index’s company weights.
"I think a lot of industries will start responding as conservatives get some momentum and familiarity with advocacy. It has to move the needle. We’re just too large to be ignored when half of every company’s customers and half of every company’s employees are in agreement," Mr. Flaig told Fox Business.
To advance that goal the ACVETF portfolio evolves in the wake of current news. For example, after Delta and Coca-Cola condemned the Georgia election law, Flaig's ETF removed them from its portfolio.
The ETF also recently boycotted Nasdaq Inc. after it said all its listed companies would need to submit annual reports proving they have at least two "diverse" members of their board, including women, racial minorities or members of the LGBTQ community, or explain why they do not. Separately, our conservative friends at the National Center for Public Policy Research sued the Securities & Exchange Commission for allowing Nasdaq to make such a requirement.
“Currently with an investment in our fund, twenty-seven cents of every hard-earned dollar avoids a corporation that thinks free speech is worthless and American history should be rewritten into a woke narrative,” said Mr. Carter. “We seek to boycott as many companies hostile to conservative values as possible, while remaining confident that ACVF can provide predictable large-cap performance.”
"I can't see how it would have helped their shareholders' value, or their businesses actually. And I think they did get internal pushback and pushback from their boards, and we did see them backtrack in a certain sense. So I think that kind of illustrates the danger of companies that are overly political," he said.
And it looks like the strategy Msrs. Flaig and Carter have put together is working: The exchange-traded fund designed to track the broader market while also boycotting companies that outwardly support left-wing causes has beaten the S&P 500 since President Joe Biden took office, reported Emily Graffeo of the Business Insider.
One of the most important issues to Mr. Flaig is protecting first and second amendment rights, reported Ms. Graffeo.
And one of the more quantifiable measures of "hostility" is political contributions by companies and senior employees to liberal causes, charities, candidates, and advocacy groups. In the fund's SEC filings, Ridgeline lists Planned Parenthood, the Center for American Progress, and the Courage to Change PAC as examples of "liberal advocacy groups.
While it's an often-changing target, right now the ETF is "boycotting" 27 companies, though they are so huge they represent about 27 percent of the market cap of the S&P 500. The boycott list includes Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods for their decisions to curtail the sale of guns and ammunition along with previously mentioned companies, such as Apple, Walt Disney, Nike, Amazon.com, Starbucks and media companies, such as The New York Times for their general "hostility to conservatives."
And then there's the new-media giants, including Alphabet (parent of Google and YouTube), Twitter and Facebook, all of which are on Flaig's do-not-buy list "because they suppress conservative voices," he said. The ETF does own Fox Corporation (parent of Fox News), News Corporation (parent of the Wall Street Journal) and, begrudgingly, ViacomCBS, which Flaig deems less woke than its large-cap competitors like Disney and Comcast, parent of MSNBC.
"It's an unfortunate reality in the large-cap space; there's none that have pure conservative values, so we're in the position of just eliminating the ones that are most hostile to our values," said Flaig.
The bottom line? While you may not be able to make money and keep 100 percent of your money in the stock market away from woke corporations, American Conservative Values ETF looks like it can beat the market and keep at least 27 percent of your money away from companies hostile to your values.
American Conservative Values ETF
Georgia voter law
Major League baseball
Go woke go broke
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey