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View Diary: No thanks to Walmart (145 comments)

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  •  I've posted elsewhere on how it is possible for (3+ / 0-)
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    pdxteacher, d to the f, Treetrunk

    Kossacks with a conscience to 'divest' of stocks and bonds in companies their retirement funds (IRAs, 401-Ks and the like) might hold. Often funds like mutual funds or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) will hold shares in these corporate villians. (Earlier I posted about dumping CBS for its 60 Minutes bullshit and JPMorgan Chase for its rape of the American economy.)

    As WalMart is a pubicly-traded company, it is entirely possible to divest oneself of it. I think the attack on WalMart needs to come from both angles: consumers and investors.

    Now for the details. WalMart trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol 'WMT'. It is usually pretty easy to find out whether one or more of your funds holds investments in WMT by going to the funds' websites and finding a tab labelled 'Holdings' (or 'Components' or some such). I've found from personal experience that sometimes you do have to do a little digging to find out what your retirement funds really own or control but it can be done.

    By the same taken, those with some discretionary funds desirous of putting them to good social purpose might consider buying one or more shares directly in WMT, as paradoxical as that might seem at first blush. Why? WMT's shares right now trade for about $70/share, so you can easily buy 1 share with brokerage commission for under $100. Once you have bought a share of WMT directly, you are now a 'part owner' and as such can vote on company policies, raise hell at annual meetings and let your concerns be known through WMT's Investor Relations department. (For various reasons, when your mutual funds own WMT, you don't have the same 'ownership' status directly with WMT. But you can still complain to your fundss management about their holdings.)

    I've discovered that, to my dismay, my IRAs have about $25 worth of WMT between them (about 1/3 of a share). I do not own any shares of WMT outright, nor would I ever consider doing so, barring some divine miracle. But I'm now going to be looking to find mutual funds and ETFs that do not invest in WalMart that I can shift these funds away from WMT and in the direction of companies like CostCo (ticker = 'COST' and its price/share is about $125). I've found that I already own about $5 worth of CostCo stock, so I'm already starting to move in the right direction.

    Sorry to go on at such length and, for the finance experts out there, please forgive my bastardization-simplification of the work you do.

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