View Single Post
  #41  
Old 01-09-2018, 09:47 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,261
Blog Entries: 6
Default

DIVESTMENT and/or ACTIVIST INVESTORS

http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/3...-of-pensioners

Quote:
Fund managers shouldn't try to save the world at pensioners' expense
Spoiler:
A few years ago, CEOs came up with a saying to distract people from how much money they make: “Companies that do well need to do good!”

In addition to some precise English-language usage, the sentiment is very sound: If you make a lot of money, you should help others. This charitable attend is nothing new, it’s sort of a modern-day noblesse oblige, and it’s a principle that investors can tap into by sending their money to companies they feel are socially responsible.


An article in Forbes earlier this year declared that such a strategy could even “earn better returns” for investors. They can do well and do good.


But this idea ignores an important group of people: retail investors (like pension fund members or 401(k) holders) who depend on those investments, but don’t have a particularly thorough understanding of the market or perhaps even the capital to indulge in social responsibility.

Shouldn’t they have a say in how their own money is invested?

Yes, they should, according to a new survey from the Spectrem Group, which polled public pension fund members on what they expect from their accounts and their fund managers.

Improving corporate governance and reducing environmental impacts may be worthy causes, but Spectrem found that members almost universally want fund managers to focus on what they pay them for: maximizing returns instead of chasing ego-stroking headlines.

“Members believe pension fund managers should be spending most of their time on performance related objectives and only a small amount of time using fund resources to advance political causes,” the Spectrem Group concluded.

Only 11 percent of those surveyed wanted their pension to prioritize “worthy political and/or social causes,” even if those generate lower returns. By contrast, nearly 80 percent of pension fund members nationwide believe fund managers primary goal should be returns.

Among those close to retirement — age 51 and older — the number increased to 91 percent, even if the pension member supported the particular cause.

People on a fixed income, who are struggling to do well, don’t have the luxury that a CEO does who wants to do good. It’s like Unilever CEO Paul Polman who “put superficial feel good policies ahead of sound business decisions” to the outrage of his shareholders and employees.

Spectrem surveyed various pension funds nationwide, but focused on the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS).

Hailing from two very blue states, these funds have been the most active in so-called “socially responsible” investments, and neither fund is anywhere close to being fully funded: CalPERS is at 68.1 percent, and NYCERS is at 62 percent.

Fund managers’ emphasis on “saving the world” has come at the expense of their fiduciary duties.

Unsurprisingly, 89 percent of CalPERS and NYCERS members expressed at least some concern about how much time fund managers spent on political and social causes. Over 40 percent said they were “very concerned” because every dollar spent on a cause was one less dollar spent providing for a retiree.

Not surprisingly, the only exception Spectrem found was among younger people (age 30-and-under), who were the most likely to support investments in politically favorable causes.

Younger people decades away from retirement again have the luxury of donating to causes they believe in. But even still, those who wanted to advance social causes expect returns to be in line with the broader market.

These findings underscore a bigger problem.

Investment fund managers can do whatever they want with little accountability. Individual retirement account holders want to retire with peace of mind, yet the managers who are tasked with that indulge in playing politics with other people’s money. They do good at the expense of other people doing well.

The solution is not to abandon socially responsible investing. People should have the freedom to choose how to invest their money. But pensioners, 401(k) holders and other retail investors are largely removed from these decisions.

They should have the freedom to challenge fund managers who side with activist investors on social causes. Institutional investors are voting on shareholder proposals that directly impact workers’ future retirement. Shouldn’t those future retirees have a say in how their own money is being managed?

At the very least, there needs to be more accountability for fund managers. (Ironically, corporate accountability is frequently held as a metric of social responsibility!) Educating retail investors will help level the playing field by making sure managers focus on fund performance.

If those managers want to prioritize activist investing instead of chasing the best returns, the people who depend on those returns can provide the oversight they deserve.

Fund managers are tasked with managing retirement accounts on behalf of working families, but as the Spectrem Group survey shows, they often seem to be serving their own sanctimoniousness more than anything else.

Until the retail investors are brought more into the fold, institutional investors will continue to play politics — even at the expense of future retirees’ well-being. This has to change. Those who want to do good need to do good for the people struggling to do well.

Jared Whitley is a senior communications consultant for Capital Policy Analytics, a consultancy that provides economic analysis to businesses both in the U.S. and abroad on how government policies affect markets and the broader economy. He worked as a press assistant for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in 2006-2008, as an associate director for rapid response in the George W. Bush White House in 2008-2009 and as a government and media coordinator in the defense industry.
and here's an example...

http://www.pionline.com/article/2018...issue=20180108

Quote:
CalSTRS, JANA urge Apple to study tech impact on kids
Spoiler:
CalSTRS and JANA Partners are calling on Apple Inc. to study the impact of frequent cellphone and tablet use on children and teenagers, and provide more choices for parental control.

In a letter to Apple's board of directors on Jan. 6, executives from the $221.7 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, and JANA point to several studies that found the frequent use of digital technologies by children and teenagers can lead to negative consequences on their health and well-being, including depression, sleep deprivation and a limited ability to focus on educational tasks in the classroom.

The letter also cites a survey of more than 3,500 U.S. parents by the American Psychological Association, which found that 48% of parents said regulating their child's screen time was a "constant battle," 58% of parents said they feel like their children are attached to their phones or tablet, and 58% worry about social media's influence on their child's physical and mental well-being.


While Apple already has some parental controls in place, these are "limited largely to shutting down or allowing (parents) full access to various tools and functions," CalSTRS and the activist hedge fund manager argued in the letter. Furthermore, "while there are apps that offer more (parental control) options, there are a dizzying array of them; it is not clear what research has gone into developing them; few if any offer the full array of options that the research would suggest; and they are clearly no substitute for Apple putting these choices front and center for parents."

"There is a developing consensus around the world including Silicon Valley that the potential long-term consequences of new technologies need to be factored in at the outset, and no company can outsource that responsibility to an app designer, or more accurately to hundreds of app designers, none of whom have critical mass," the letter states.

To address these issues, CalSTRS and JANA suggested Apple, among other things, form a committee of experts to study these issues and monitor ongoing developments and trends; partner with additional experts to enhance research efforts; enhance parental choices on mobile devices; and assign a high-level executive to monitor these issues and prepare annual progress reports. CalSTRS and JANA's recommendations for enhanced parental controls include changes to the initial setup menu that would allow parents to enter the age of the user and receive age-appropriate setup options such as limiting screen time and reducing the number of available social media sites.

CalSTRS and JANA own about $2 billion of Apple shares combined.

A copy of the letter can be found on Thinkdifferentlyaboutkids.com, a new website set up by JANA.

An Apple spokesman could not immediately be reached for additional information.


So... I go to their website: https://thinkdifferentlyaboutkids.com/

and it comes with a disclaimer before I can even look at the page:

Spoiler:

WEBSITE DISCLAIMER
The information contained on this website is made available by or on behalf of JANA Partners LLC and certain of its affiliates (collectively “JANA PARTNERS”, “we” or “us”) for informational purposes.

This website is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, Apple Inc. (“Apple”).

THIS SITE INCLUDES NEWS AND INFORMATION, COMMENTARY, AND OTHER CONTENT RELATING TO APPLE, INCLUDING BY PERSONS OR ENTITIES THAT ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH JANA PARTNERS (“THIRD PARTY CONTENT”). THE AUTHOR AND SOURCE OF ALL THIRD PARTY CONTENT AND DATE OF PUBLICATION IS CLEARLY AND PROMINENTLY IDENTIFIED. THIRD PARTY CONTENT IS AVAILABLE THROUGH FRAMED AREAS, THROUGH LINKS TO THIRD PARTY WEBSITES, OR IS SIMPLY PUBLISHED ON THE SITE. JANA PARTNERS AND ITS AFFILIATES HAVE NOT BEEN INVOLVED IN THE PREPARATION, ADOPTION OR EDITING OF THIRD PARTY CONTENT AND DO NOT EXPLICITLY OR IMPLICITLY ENDORSE OR APPROVE SUCH CONTENT. JANA PARTNERS HAS NOT SOUGHT OR OBTAINED CONSENT FROM ANY THIRD PARTY TO THE USE HEREIN OF PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED INFORMATION. ANY SUCH INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS INDICATING THE SUPPORT OF SUCH THIRD PARTY FOR THE VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The information herein contains “forward-looking statements.” Specific forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and include, without limitation, words such as “may,” “will,” “expects,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “estimates,” “projects,” “targets,” “forecasts,” “seeks,” “could” or the negative of such terms or other variations on such terms or comparable terminology. Similarly, statements that describe our objectives, plans or goals are forward-looking. JANA Partners; forward-looking statements are based on its current intent, belief, expectations, estimates and projections regarding Apple and projections regarding the industry in which it operates. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to differ materially. Accordingly, you should not rely upon forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results and actual results may vary materially from what is expressed in or indicated by the forward-looking statements.

Terms of Use of Website
By entering our website, you acknowledge your understanding of, accept, without limitation or qualification, and agree to be bound by, the Terms of Use herein and all applicable laws. These Terms of Use constitute a binding agreement between you and JANA Partners and govern your access to and use of our website. JANA Partners may add to, change or remove any part of these Terms of Use at any time or from time to time, without notice, and any such modifications will be effective immediately upon posting.

This Terms of Use and any additional terms posted on this website constitute the entire agreement between JANA Partners and you with respect to your use of this website. If any part of these Terms of Use is held invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, that part of the Terms of Use will be deemed modified to the extent necessary to make it effective and the remaining provisions of this Terms of Use will remain in full force and effect.

Disclaimer Regarding Materials
These materials do not have regard to the specific investment objective, financial situation, suitability, or the particular need of any specific person who may receive these materials, and should not be taken as advice on the merits of any investment decision. The views expressed herein represent the opinions of JANA Partners, which opinions may change at any time and are based on publicly available information with respect to Apple. Opinions expressed herein are current opinions as of the date appearing in these materials only. JANA Partners disclaims any obligation to update the data, information or opinions contained herein except as required by law. Unless otherwise indicated, financial information and data used herein have been derived or obtained from filings made with the applicable regulator by Apple or other companies that JANA Partners considers comparable, and from other third party reports.

There is no assurance or guarantee with respect to the prices at which any securities of Apple will trade, and such securities may not trade at prices that may be implied herein. The estimates, projections, pro forma information and potential impact of the proposals set forth herein are based on assumptions that JANA Partners believes to be reasonable, but there can be no assurance or guarantee that actual results or performance of Apple will not differ, and such differences may be material.

JANA Partners currently holds a substantial amount of shares of common stock of Apple. JANA Partners may from time to time sell all or a portion of its shares in open market transactions or otherwise (including via short sales), buy additional shares (in open market or privately negotiated transactions or otherwise), or trade in options, puts, calls or other derivative instruments relating to such shares. Neither these materials nor anything contained herein is intended to be, nor should it be construed or used as, investment, tax, legal or financial advice, an opinion of the appropriateness of any security or investment, or an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any security or investment.

No Offer of Securities
This website and the materials contained herein are not intended to be, nor should they be construed as, an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. This website and the materials contained herein do not recommend the purchase or sale of any security.

Use of Cookies
We may, but have no obligation to, monitor and record activity on our website for any reason or for no reason. This website may use “cookies” which may automatically collect certain information and data. “Cookies” are small pieces of data sent to your computer browser from our web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. The data identifies you as a unique user and facilitates your ongoing access to and use of this website. Cookies also help us diagnose problems with our server.

International Use
Due to the global nature of the internet, this website may be accessed by users in countries other than the United States. We make no warranties that materials on this website are appropriate or available for use in such locations. If it is illegal or prohibited in your country of origin to access or use this website, then you should not do so. Those who choose to access this website outside the United States do so at their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with all local laws and regulations.

Disclaimer of Warranties
Your use of this website and use of or reliance upon any materials on it is at your own risk. You acknowledge that we provide the contents of this website on an “as is” basis with no warranties of any kind, express or implied, to the fullest extent permissible by law. We disclaim all representations and warranties, express or implied, of any kind with respect to this website, including, without limitation, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement of intellectual property and proprietary rights. Without limiting the foregoing, we do not warrant the availability, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, functionality, reliability, speed or delivery of this website or any part of the information contained on this website or that the server that makes this website available is free of viruses or other components that may infect, harm or cause damage to your computer equipment or any other property when you access, browse download from or otherwise use this website.

Limitation of Liability; Indemnity
Under no circumstances, including but not limited to JANA Partners negligence, shall JANA or any of our affiliates, agents, partners, members, employees or consultants, including any person or entity involved in creating, producing or distributing this website (collectively, the “JANA Parties”), have any liability for any damages, liabilities or injuries, including, but not limited to, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential damages, however caused, arising out of or relating to your use of, or inability to use, this website. THE AGGREGATE TOTAL LIABILITY OF THE JANA PARTIES TO YOU FOR ALL DAMAGES, INJURY, LOSSES AND CAUSES OF ACTION (WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE) ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO THESE TERMS OF USE OR THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE SITE SHALL BE LIMITED TO PROVEN DIRECT DAMAGES IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100). SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN LIABILITY OR WARRANTIES, IN WHICH EVENT SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. In such jurisdictions, the JANA Parties liability is limited to the greatest extent permitted by law. You should check your local laws for any restrictions or limitations regarding the exclusion of implied warranties.

YOU AGREE TO INDEMNIFY, DEFEND AND HOLD HARMLESS THE JANA PARTIES FROM AND AGAINST ANY AND ALL THIRD PARTY CLAIMS, DEMANDS, LIABILITIES, COSTS AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING REASONABLE ATTORNEYS FEES, ARISING FROM OR RELATED TO ANY BREACH BY YOU OF ANY OF THE TERMS OF USE OR APPLICABLE LAW, INCLUDING THOSE REGARDING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

Intellectual Property
“JANA Partners” is the trade name for JANA Partners LLC. All content included on this website is the property of JANA Partners and is protected by law. All trademarks, service marks and logos displayed on this website or included in the content posted on this website are the property of their respective owners. Nothing on this website shall be interpreted as granting, by implication or otherwise, any license or right to use any image, trademark, logo or service mark. Copying or downloading material from this website does not transfer title to any material on this website to you. JANA Partners reserves all rights with respect to ownership of its trademarks and logos on this website and with respect to copyright ownership of all material on this website and will enforce such rights to the full extent of the law.

Governing Law
This Terms of Use shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, United States of America, without reference to its conflicts of laws principles.

I AGREE - I have read and agree to these terms

I DISAGREE - I have read and disagree

(No access to this website will be granted without agreeing to the above terms.)


I don't feel like agreeing, so somebody else can go and look at the website.

Also, they hold about $2 billion in Apple shares; Apple's market cap is about $900 billion

and more

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-a...-idUSKBN1EX2G2

Quote:
IPhone addiction may be a virtue, not a vice for investors
Spoiler:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) investors are shrugging off concerns raised by two shareholders about kids getting hooked on iPhones, saying that for now a little addiction might not be a bad thing for profits.


Hedge fund JANA Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) pension fund said on Saturday that iPhone overuse could be hurting children’s developing brains, an issue that may harm the company’s long-term market value.

But some investors said the habit-forming nature of gadgets and social media are one reason why companies like Apple, Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) added $630 billion to their market value in 2017.

“We invest in things that are addictive,” said Apple shareholder Ross Gerber, chief executive of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management.

He also owns stock in coffee retailer Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O), casino operator MGM Resorts International (MGM.N) and alcohol maker Constellation Brands Inc (STZ.N).

“Addictive things are very profitable,” Gerber said.

Still, the investment community is increasingly holding companies to higher social standards, and there is some concern that market-leading tech companies could draw attention from regulators much like alcohol, tobacco and gambling companies have in the past.

Alphabet and Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday. Facebook has said social media can be beneficial if used appropriately.

In a statement to Reuters, Apple said it has offered a range of controls on iPhones since 2008 that allow parents to restrict content, including apps, movies, websites, songs and books, as well as cellular data, password settings and other features.

“Effectively anything a child could download or access online can be easily blocked or restricted by a parent,” Apple said in the statement.

Apple shares fell marginally on Monday. CalSTRS holds $1.9 billion in Apple stock, a sliver of the company’s nearly $900 billion market value, while JANA declined to disclose the size of its smaller stake.

“Before Apple speaks, I think it’s too early to change the narrative” for investors, said Peter Jones, vice president of research for Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, which has about 350,000 Apple shares.

Social media companies, not hardware makers, are more deserving of any addiction-related scrutiny, some said.

Jordan Waldrep, who invests in alcohol, tobacco and gambling stocks as manager of the USA Mutuals Vice Fund (VICEX.O), said blaming Apple for its customers’ addiction was analogous to blaming makers of cigarette packs instead of tobacco companies.

“The social media, the cigarettes, are the addictive product,” he said. Waldrep’s Vice fund does not own Apple, but Waldrep said he would consider including social media companies.

Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager and vice president at Fort Pitt Capital Group, agreed that companies like Facebook, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Snap Inc (SNAP.N) might be more at risk than Apple if investors and regulators push back on how much time people spend on mobile devices.

“Apple is just the delivery device,” said Forrest, who said Fort Pitt has limited Apple holdings. “It’s only compelling with software. Software is the dopamine releaser that keeps you coming back.”

Twitter declined to comment and Snap could not immediately be reached.

The letter from JANA and CalSTRS recommends Apple set up a committee of child-development experts and make more new tools available to parents.

In its statement, Apple did not directly respond to the investors’ demands but said changes are in store for its parental controls. It did not provide details.

Apple Inc
174.1157
AAPL.ONASDAQ
-0.23(-0.13%)
AAPL.O
AAPL.OGOOGL.OFB.OSBUX.OMGM.N
“We are constantly looking for ways to make our experiences better,” Apple said. “We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust.”

The addiction issue gained notoriety when former Disney child star Selena Gomez said she canceled a 2016 world tour to go to therapy for depression and low self-esteem, feelings she linked to a social media addiction.

Fears about smartphone addiction have already kicked off regulatory backlash. In December, the French education minister said mobile phones would be banned in schools, and draft legislation in France would require children under 16 to seek parental approval to open a Facebook account.

Even tech insiders are among the vocal critics of social media and its addictive potential.

“Apple Watches, Google Phones, Facebook, Twitter - they’ve gotten so good at getting us to go for another click, another dopamine hit,” said Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive, on Twitter.

John Streur, chief executive of Calvert Research and Management, an Apple shareholder that focuses on social responsibility, said it is plausible that tech devices may some day be understood to hold risks we do not currently understand well.

That would hurt investors if evidence later emerged that companies intentionally built features that create dependency and had evidence that doing so was unsafe.

For the time being, John Carey, a portfolio manager at Amundi Pioneer Asset Management in Boston, said concerns over the human impacts from being glued to screens are not likely to cut into profits. The company holds Apple stock, but the funds Carey manages do not.

“I doubt there will be any impact on the use of smartphones,” he said. “We’re already addicted to them.”

(Adds statement from Apple)
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile

Last edited by campbell; 01-09-2018 at 10:30 AM..
Reply With Quote
 
Page generated in 0.16667 seconds with 9 queries