WASHINGTON—An investment management firm has created a new fund that invests in companies supporting conservative beliefs and values.
Founded by Ridgeline Research LLC, a Washington-based investment adviser, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) is actively managed and seeks to avoid ownership of companies that back progressive and liberal political causes.
The fund, called American Conservative Values ETF (NYSE: ACVF), debuted on Oct. 29 with a focus on large-capitalization U.S. stocks.
The fund, which refuses to invest in liberal media, also boycotts companies that are hostile to conservative values and disproportionately contribute to liberal causes, campaigns, candidates, political action committees, charities, and think tanks.
Bill Flaig, founder and CEO of the fund, wants to ultimately build a community of conservative investors.
“I think you have to be brave to be publicly conservative at this time, which we are,” he told The Epoch Times.
He believes a lot of conservative Americans feel alienated, as they are reserved and don’t wear their beliefs on their sleeves.
Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. stocks are investor darlings, but they’re on the fund’s “boycott” list because many conservatives claim that the social media platforms censor their views. New York Times Co. and AT&T Inc., the owner of CNN, are also on the list for their liberal bias.
Companies such as Walmart Inc. and Dick’s Sporting Goods are on the ban list for putting limits on gun sales.
The fund also doesn’t hold shares in companies that support the erosion of the Second Amendment, suppression of religious freedom, and illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.
Other companies on the boycott list include Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co., BlackRock Inc., Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp., Nike Inc., Starbucks Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., 3M Co., Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications, General Motors Co., Salesforce.com, and Progressive Corp.
“So many companies have leaned left that if we were going to just buy true ideologically conservative companies, there are not many,” Flaig said.
“So the fund was built to boycott companies that clearly do not have conservative values, or the worst offenders.”
The fund’s investment thesis, according to its fact sheet, “is based on the conviction that politically active companies negatively impact their shareholder returns.”
The fund currently has $2.7 million under management. It aims to raise $25 million in the first six months and $250 million by the end of its second year.
“We’ve seen a lot of interest in the concept before it even launched,” Flaig said.
He says it’s the first fund that invests based on conservative values. It’s different from MAGA ETF, which debuted a few years ago and whose portfolio is built around solely companies that give money to Republican political candidates, he said.
There is also a fund called DEMZ Political Contributions ETF that launched on Election Day, which invests in companies making large contributions to Democratic candidates.
American Conservative Values ETF, according to its fact sheet, supports the principles of individual liberty, small government, free enterprise, low taxes, limited regulation, free enterprise, traditional values, patriotism, and “American exceptionalism.”
Top 10 exchange-traded funds collectively manage over $800 billion and nearly half of the investors are conservative, Flaig said, which offers “a huge opportunity” for his product as well as for others to enter the marketplace.
Flaig has plans to launch more products for conservative investors, including a U.S. small-cap fund, U.S. fixed-income fund, and an international fund. He said he currently has no plans to invest in stocks of Chinese companies due to growing concerns about their ties to the communist regime and their involvement in human rights abuses.