The Woke Corporate Response to Roe v. Wade

The Woke Corporate Response to Roe

There was a time when business stuck to business. That is, they focused on the needs of their customers and would never dare tackle a controversial topic for fear that they would alienate large portions of their paying customers. What management thought about politics was irrelevant to the mission of delivering great investment returns to those who had invested their hard-earned retirement funds into the company’s stock.

If a CEO did shoot his mouth off, he either quickly made a retraction, an apology, or he’d be looking for work. The board of directors, in the interest of shareholders, would insist.

Employees, both left and right, used to be able to work together too. Why? Because they focused on customers’ needs, not politics. The world of business sheltered you from the culture wars and held communities together.

But alas, those times are gone. Last week the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that claimed there was a constitutional right to abortion. Abortion will now be legislated by the states.

You’d think that that kind of issue would be avoided by the sellers of sporting goods, banking services, payment processors, and FAMILY entertainment.  After all, great numbers of Americans are opposed to each other on that issue. You certainly wouldn’t want to run off ANY of your customers, would you? Not even one. Just to signal to your friends that you were supporting such a terribly divisive issue.

Well, Dicks Sporting Goods, Bank of America, Paypal, and Disney did just that. They all immediately announced that they would be paying for their employees to travel to other states to kill their babies.  Huh? Why in the world would they get involved in this issue when half of their customers are thrilled about the end of Roe? Some of their employees and owners are too

Our best guess is that, first of all, it’s in their best interest financially to keep their female workers childless and slavishly devoted to their jobs, rather than their growing families. Maternity leave is expensive.

Second of all, big businesses are highly regulated and controlled by the government, and the government clearly wants an on-demand abortion. We won’t go into what that is here. So they are obeying their masters.

What we’d like to know as investors is, “How do we get the companies we own to stop playing politics and fighting the culture war?” and “How do we get businesses to focus on maximizing investor return?” The answer is to insist that, both as shareholders and as investors in managed funds such as mutual funds and ETFs, companies cease and desist in political action.

This may sound hypocritical coming from a company, Constitution Wealth, which is decidedly political in our investment approach. But we are left with no choice. The left is so active in influencing corporate behavior, we simply must push back. Maybe things will go back to the “old normal” again, but I doubt it.

It is an abrogation of their fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder return as well as being downright destabilizing for the country. Heck, we can’t even get behind our favorite brands anymore.

Remember when everybody liked Disney? Let’s get back there.

Values Based Employment Trends for Financial Advisors

Values Based Employment Trends for Financial Advisors - 5 Key Concepts

Many of the largest advisory firms have become politically active.

Back in the day, businesses didn’t get involved in politics. They knew that half their employees, investors, and customers would likely be offended by any political stance on racial issues, abortion, immigration, foreign wars, LGTBQ vs traditional family, 2nd amendment, or religion.

Well, that has all changed. Financial firms are placing political messages in advertising. Their executives are placing political messages in speeches. They are openly backing polarizing politicians. HR policies reflect political and moral stances.

In other words, if you are not coming from the right place values-wise, as an employee or customer, you are going to feel very uncomfortable, if not excluded ultimately.

Most of the activism has a left leaning bent.

The left has assumed control of most American businesses and institutions. This includes national government, academia, the media, the military, and yes, most large businesses including financial firms. This is partially because of global financial interests and partially because the leaders of these firms are trained at our elite universities, which are primarily liberal.

Many advisors are uncomfortable working in this environment.

As financial services businesses become increasingly political and more hostile to employees with conservative views, these financial advisors are quietly wondering what their options are. Should they keep quiet and hope they are not found out? Should they look for an organization that is apolitical to work with? Should they find a firm that is committed to the same values and principles they are? Should they start their own firm?

These are all valid questions the forward looking advisor should be asking to ensure their career success going into this polarized future.

Many clients are uncomfortable working in this environment.

Conservative advisors tend to have conservative clients. Some advisors are fielding calls from clients who have noticed that the firm where their advisor works for is openly taking political positions that are offensive to them. Sometimes the very custodian of the client’s money is guilty.

  • Clients are asking what’s going on. “What are you going to do about it?”, they will say. So, ultimately advisors are going to have to find a new home or risk losing clients and referrals.

The parallel, values-based economy is forming.

As the US splits and polarizes into the left and the right, the economy will evolve into a left-right paradigm where customers will be organized around values, much as the states themselves are polarizing into red and blue states. There aren’t a lot of evenly balanced states any more. Most folks are fleeing to states where the values of the citizens are closer to their own.

The same will be true of the places where people work and shop. Fox News was probably the first to serve conservatives exclusively and it should serve as a model for others.

Choice will also be offered in financial services. Already a pro-life bank is being formed and more like it are on the way.

As a financial advisor it is up to you to plot the course of your career and the well being of your clients. Be proactive.

Give us a call if we can help.