If some people would help me, we could set up a holding company that would ultimately be listed on international stock exchanges. This holding company would buy up vegan companies, buying out vertically and laterally, accumulating cost savings, which would allow me to meet my objective of proving a vegan lifestyle that is at least as satisfying, and CHEAPER than a lifestyle based on animal suffering. It would also become a blue chip investment that would yield market returns to investors.
Most big companies are ultimately holding companies. They invest in, and take over, a range of companies that they consider can offer synergies to their other business holdings. They can cut out the middle-men and thus massively increase productivity and profitability.
We need to compile a list of companies listed on the various international stock exchanges whose behaviour promotes a vegan world, so that Vegan investors can invest with the certainty that any benefits they receive do not come at the expense of animal suffering.
However, as most vegan companies are not listed on any stock exchanges, we need to compile lists of all the unlisted vegan companies in the world that are privately owned, rather than publicly owned.
We then need to form a Vegan fund, to act as fund managers for vegan investors. Most funds exist for the profit of their managers. Thus they charge excessive management fees, and other hidden fees. Take a look. The average of transparent fees is around 2%, with many other´hidden´charges in addition to this. Imagine what 2% of a large fund would amount to. If PETA got only 0.25% of this fund, imagine what good it could do with it. And investors would benefit from 1.75% accumulating over 20 or 40 years.
Thus if we set up a Vegan fund not motivated by greed, but by our desire to make the world a better (Vegan) place, we can offer the traditional services of fund managers at a massively lower cost to investors. Thus we would have an immediate competitive advantage. We would be able to attract millions of investors without any marketing costs. Word-of-mouth would be enough. We would be the only Vegan fund in the world. We would be the cheapest fund in the world. This would attract institutional investors such as retirement funds and other pooled funds.
We could lobby workers to insist that their retirement funds invest in animal-suffering free businesses.
We could offer a number of different strategies to appeal to the different demands of investors. It has been proven that, in the longer-run, monkeys make just as profitable decisions as the highest payed stock-brokers. Fund managers are mostly misrepresenting themselves and their ´expertise´.
Fund managers, in reality, have very little to contribute. However they have an ´authority´as ´financial specialists´which allows them to accumulate massive personal wealth whether or not they provide any real value. Whether their investors lose money or make money, the managers make around 2% of the entire pooled funds of their investors each year.
No fund has acheived above index returns consistently over several consequtive quarters. No matter how much they spend on marketing their services, no matter how hard they try to convince us that they have special talents for ´reading´and ´timing´markets, in selecting quality shares that will outperform the indexes as a whole, they simply never have, and can not, as a rule, provide returns in excess of the indexes they use as benchmarks, in the long run. In fact most do worse than their benchmarks. the few who do better are the exceptions. And they are not exceptions due to their particular skills, talents, or expertise. They are exceptions due to pure ´hit and miss´luck.
Of course the lucky take credit for this luck, attributing it to some special , and reliable, quality they posess. However it is a fact that their performance is not reliable. Sometimes they do well, and other times they do badly. Thus any claims to special talents are disproved as false advertising, or at best, hubris. And so we can do without such highly paid ´professionals´ a.k.a charlottans.
All we really need is people with the legal skills required in setting up the fund, and meeting all the regulatory requirements. Simple strategies can be adopted, and explained to investors. This would allow for complete transparency. The actual trading of shares, the buying and selling, is a simple technical matter than most people can easily master. In fact many private individuals with no training work from home as ´day traders´, buying and selling shares using the same online brokerage services the fund managers use. Thus they save on fund fees, and where their ´turnover´is high, even pay the same brokerage fees as the fund managers.
Only criminals like JFK´s grandfather, who made the Kennedy fortune manipulating the stock markets and pulling out just before the crash in the 1920 ś , are capable of ´timing ´the market. You can only ´time´the market if you are manipulating it, as Kennedy did, in cahoots with some of the biggest banks of his day. Banks that still operate. No-one ever called them to account. The finance industry is corrupt by nature. It is governed mostly by greed. However greed is not good. It is one of the cardinal sins, even for the most non-theistic non-godists among us.
The key to investors is to set investment goals, and to stick to them. They need to realise their gains once they have attained these. If they become greedy, they risk losing what they have gained. Very Daoist. ´Know when to quit´.
A quick look at the market performance over the decades shows that most booms are followed by busts, both of which are unpredictable.
Another key factor is risk managment. Key to this is diversification. Investing in around 20 to 25 different companies in different market sectors, will provide an adequate level of diversification. This means that the shares that do especially well will make up for those that do less well.
Do not believe those charlottans on t.v who pretend to ´comprehend´the markets. If they knew any more than we did, they would be rich, and not need to work in t.v. They know little more than any of us. They pretend to know more than they do. They mislead their viewers in the way they express themselves. They are charlottans. They are the equivalent of ´snake-charm´travelling fraudsters.
They confidently ´explain´ things in hindsight, attributing changes in share prices to particular things.
Often these attributions are pure post modernist narrative construction, i.e, pure fabrications, fictions, and fairytales. The real reasons for the share movements often have nothing to do with the reasons attributed to them.
But the presenters, ´market analysts´, and ´finance gurus´have to appear to know more than we do. And so they construct their clever ´spiel´, to appear more knowledgeable, more competent, more wise, more informed, more capable, and thus more worthy of their massive salaries and bonuses than they in fact are.
Where they are accurate, they are only stating the obvious, what any average person could do. However they present it in such a way as to impress the audience with the presenter´s authority. Anyone can say what happened after the event, in hindsight.
Check the buy and sell recommendations of the highest ´authorities´in the investment industry, and see how often they get it wrong, as compared to how often they get it right. In reality the outcomes are pure correspondence, like the random ´hit and miss´ of evolution.
A key point is that people need to take their money out of higher risk investments as they approach retirement age. They cannot afford to ´weather out´any market crashes at that time. They cannot wait another decade to realise their investment goals. Younger people can do this, waiting another decade to realise their long term financial goals, as the volatile markets bounce back, sooner or later.
You only really lose when you cannot wait until later,after the rebound, and have to realise your losses now. Remember that until you actually sell your shares, any gains or losses are only on paper. You can only lose, in most cases, if you have to sell.
As our Vegan investment fund would have the lowest management and other fees, whilst providing at least comparable long term returns, it would automatically attract major retirement funds, and other pooled funds, independant of any committment to Vegan values.
In addition it would attract investors who are committed to Vegan values, and more broader environmental values. These people must lobby their retirement funds to ensure they are not unwillingly contributing to animal suffering by virtue of their participation in the retirement fund. As many of these are required by law, it is essential to address this issue.
Portfolios could be structured upon various lines, focussing on Vegan companies, and then companies that, while not explicitly vegan, do not behave in ways that contradict the vegan philosophy.
There are many listed companies that meet the later criteria. There are fewer listed companies that are actually vegan. Thus part of our strategy would be to get more vegan companies listed.
The profits from such an enterprise could be directed towards eliminating animal suffering and lobbying politicians for the introduction of laws reflecting Vegan values. The could bre re-invested in Vegan Co-operative enterprises. They could be invested in promoting Vegan values in the popular culture, the mass media, in the entertainment, film, literature, and music industries. This is how organisations like PETA are likely to have their greatest positive impact on changing public opinion.
Ideally PETA and all the other animal welfare lobby groups would pool their resources and produce a Vegan Co-operative with the explicit mission of seeking to ensure that for any non-vegan product or service, there is a Vegan one that is both cheaper, of better quality, and just as easily accessible-available, any place in the world. Our aim must be to make non-vegan companies redundant. Only then will be enjoy a truly vegan lifestyle.
Please make comments in the box after this blog entry. Please lobby your PETA or other animal rights organisation members to become active in this. There must be Vegans out there with the requisite skills to realising this vision. We need to centralise our efforts. So help me find people to develop these ideas further, to facilitate the compilation of the information and expertise required.