BOSTON--(research study which shows overwhelming support by the American public for genocide-free investing. The study, which was conducted by KRC Research on behalf of Investors Against Genocide, reveals that 88% of Americans would like their mutual funds to be genocide-free. For individuals earning $50,000 or more, that percentage climbs to 95%. The study also finds that only 29% of Americans are aware that their mutual fund company may invest their savings in companies that help to fund genocide.)--Investors Against Genocide announced today the results of a new market
“Investment advisors have an important opportunity to educate clients regarding this problem and present options for clients who wish for their savings to remain genocide-free.”
“Research shows that Americans overwhelmingly support genocide-free investing, but most Americans are unaware that they may be inadvertently investing, through their mutual funds, in companies that are funding genocide,” said Eric Cohen, chairperson of Investors Against Genocide. “Investment advisors have an important opportunity to educate clients regarding this problem and present options for clients who wish for their savings to remain genocide-free.”
In conjunction with its announcement regarding the research results, Investors Against Genocide (IAG) is launching an advertising campaign targeting financial advisors in an effort to highlight the level of consumer interest in genocide-free investing. Starting today, ads are slated to run in the e-bulletin of Investment News, a trade publication and website for the financial advisory industry. The ads link to a newly published white paper on genocide-free investing by IAG.
According to the white paper, the investment landscape has recently changed dramatically and now offers clear, mainstream alternatives for Americans who wish to keep their savings genocide-free. The papers states, “Investors Against Genocide commends American Funds and TIAA-CREF for demonstrating a commitment to genocide-free investing and selling their holdings with ties to the genocide in Darfur. The positive steps taken by American Funds and TIAA-CREF stand in stark contrast to Vanguard, Fidelity, and Franklin Templeton for making no commitment and continuing to hold large investments in companies, such as PetroChina, linked to an ongoing genocide.”
Recently, as new genocide-free options have become available at American Funds and TIAA-CREF, large national organizations have begun to take advantage of these options. In May, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) announced it was moving its $178 million pension account from Fidelity to TIAA-CREF in order to be genocide-free. This action by UUA is a leading example of investors taking advantage of their alternatives for genocide-free investing.
The market research findings are the result of a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,016 adults, ages 18 and over, conducted April 1-5, 2010. The margin of error for the overall study is +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence level and is higher for subgroups. The data was weighted by demographic variables to ensure the sample accurately reflects the U.S. adult population.
Hundreds of thousands have been killed and several million have been driven from their homes in Darfur. This humanitarian crisis has been labeled by the US government as the first genocide of the 21st century. The government of Sudan has pursued genocide in Darfur since 2003, using as much as 70% of its oil revenue to provide arms and funding for the genocide, rather than economic development for the poor people of Sudan. Although federal law prevents most US companies from operating in Sudan, American financial institutions, notably mutual fund companies, are major investors in the Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian oil companies involved in Sudan that are helping to fund this genocide. As a result, ordinary investors, through their mutual funds, family savings, and pension plans entrusted to these financial institutions are inadvertently investing in genocide.
Investors Against Genocide is a non-profit organization dedicated to convincing mutual fund and other investment firms to change their investing strategy so as to avoid complicity in genocide. The organization works with individuals, companies, organizations, financial institutions, the press, and government agencies to build awareness and to create financial, public relations, and regulatory pressure for investment firms to change. The ultimate goals are that the Government of Sudan ends its deadly genocide in Darfur and that investment firms avoid investing in genocide. Investors Against Genocide is a project of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, visit www.investorsagainstgenocide.org.