Behind the Mask

@BillMaher: BDS is a bullshit

Don’t be fooled by the deception and selective justice of the boycott movement #BDS against Israel

Alan Dershowitz dismantles the #BDS movement

#BDS should lead by example

Does ethical investment pay? @JulieAnneGenter @jamespeshaw @RusselNorman

The Vanguard Investment Fund has set up an passive investment index to invest in ethical investments. No flies on them regarding entrepreneurial alertness.

The drawback of ethical investing is the higher management expenses to administer negative screens (to eliminate arms manufacturers and other frowned upon activities) and positive screens (to favour businesses with a good record on corporate social responsibility or that are involved in low-carbon industries etc.)

An index-linked passive fund allows socially conscious investor to have a diversified ethical portfolio at least cost. Vanguard pitches its ethical investing passive fund thus

Some individuals choose investments based on social and personal beliefs. For this type of investor, we have offered Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund since 2000.

This low-cost fund seeks to track a benchmark of large- and mid-capitalization stocks that have been screened for certain social, human rights, and environmental criteria.

In addition to stock market volatility, one of the fund’s other key risks is that this socially conscious approach may produce returns that diverge from those of the broad market.

The expenses ratio of this index linked passive fund for socially conscious investors is 0.25%. The usual investment expenses ratio of a Vanguard Fund is 0.1% which is much less than that of active funds.

As is well known, ethical investing offers a poorer return on standard diversification strategies as the chart below show.

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Source: The case against socially responsible investing (SRI) – Flannel Guy ROI.

Virtue must be its own reward because it does not pay off in the share market

As you can see value of $10,000 at the end of 10 years would be worth almost $24,000 with the total stock market ETF but only about $20,000 with the FTSE social index.

The initial reaction is that $4,000 over 10 years isn’t that big of a deal, but there are two things to point out.  First, that $4,000 difference is worth almost half the initial investment!  Secondly, on a compound annual basis, the SRI fund returns about 2% less than the total stock market fund.

The Vice Fund (now the Barriers Fund) continues to outperform S&P 500

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Source: VICEX – USA Mutuals Barrier Fund Investor Class Shares Mutual Fund Quote – CNNMoney.com

The Vice Fund has outperformed the S&P 500 since 2004 as shown by the green line. This mutual fund invests invest in sinful stocks as its managers describe it:

Designed with the goal of delivering better ​risk-adjusted returns than the S&P 500 Index. It invests primarily in stocks in the tobacco, alcohol, gaming and defence industries. Vice Funds believes these industries tend to thrive ​regardless of the economy as a whole.

The Vice Fund is now known as the Barrier Fund because it extended out of sinful stocks into industries with high barriers to entry. Minimum Investment is $2,000.

The Barrier Fund primarily invests in the following industries: Aerospace/Defense, Gaming, Tobacco and Alcoholic Beverages. These four industries were chosen because they demonstrate one or more of these compelling and distinctive investment characteristics:

  1. Natural barriers to new competition
  2. Steady demand regardless of economic condition
  3. Global Marketplace – not limited to the U.S. economy
  4. Potentially high profit margins
  5. Ability to generate excess cash flow and pay and increase dividends

The Barrier Fund  believes numerous investment opportunities in these industries which have been largely overlooked by other funds.

The Fund has high management fees of 2%. Americans can buy Vanguard’s or Fidelity’s index funds and pay only 0.1% in expenses.

@GreenCatherine more BDS hypocrisy on Gaza Strip @KennedyGraham

Concerns must grow of mass kidnappings of BDS activists. There is no other explanation for their failure to protest with great vigour against the Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip. Egypt has flooded the tunnels across its border with the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Strip has two borders: both Egypt and Israel restrict trade with the Gaza. The Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip is biting much more than the Israeli blockade.

Hamas derived 40% of its tax revenue from tariffs on goods that flow through those tunnels. One estimate puts the economic losses at nearly a fifth of Gaza’s GDP. This blockade by Egypt of the Gaza Strip has been regularly reported in the Guardian, so BDS activists must know of it.

No peace convoy has been launched to break this Egyptian blockade. Plenty were launched against Israel. One reason may be the Egyptians are a lot rougher customers. There is rule of law in Israel, none in the Egypt.

As the Guardian reported, Hamas’s decision to fire missiles at Egypt despite the risk of ringing upon themselves civilian losses owed as much to Egypt’s refusal to lift this blockade as it does to Israel’s.

David Brooks argues that Egypt is the real target of the Hamas missiles. After the military coup in Egypt, its military leaders closed roughly 95% of the tunnels that connected Egypt to Gaza which were used to smuggle food, weapons and other goods into Gaza.

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Source: When Middle East Conflicts Become One – The New York Times.

Principled BDS activists have been the subject of mass kidnappings

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Can there be any other explanation for why the BDS activists are not protesting in the streets against these summary executions by Hamas other than mass kidnappings.

What else is stopping them from protest against these flagrant human rights violations and calling for boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions against the Gaza Strip? Kudos to Amnesty International for finally putting out this report.

via Hamas executed 23 Palestinians under cover of Gaza conflict, says Amnesty | World news | The Guardian.

Ben Shapiro on BDS is just another form of of anti-semitism

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