Issue 37 Lifestyle

How Many Guns Is Your 401(k) Buying?

by Katie Wudel Jordan Crucchiola

June 1, 2016

After yet another public shooting took place on Wednesday—this time at UCLA in Los Angeles—it’s tempting to feel like there’s simply nothing you can do about gun violence in America. But if you’re like most working Americans, there’s one powerful step you can take today: Stop investing money in guns. 

Data from Lab80, the research team behind a new financial tool called GoodbyeGunStocks, reveals that a huge number of American workers are making a high-risk, high-reward investment in the manufacturing of guns and ammunition.

Individual holdings add up to about $16.73 per worker, which might not sound like much. But imagine that investment 4, 16, or 40 years from now. Then multiply it 90 million times.


Approximate amount U.S. workers invest in gun and ammo manufacturers overall: 

$1.51 billion

(Via defined contribution retirement plans including 401(k)s)

Approximate number of U.S. workers investing in gun and ammo manufacturers:

90 million

(Americans covered by defined contribution retirement plan accounts)

Amount you’re probably investing in gun and ammo manufacturers through your retirement funds:

$16.73

(Average per American retirement investor)

Ticker symbols of gun and ammunition manufacturers:

OLN (Olin)  Biggest U.S. manufacturer of civilian ammunition RGR (Ruger) Commercial sporting market leader SWHC (Smith & Wesson) Created weapons used in San Bernardino shooting VSTO (Vista Outdoor) Manufacturer of pistols, rifles, shotguns, and more


You’ve got one more week to use GoodbyeGunStocks to check your investments for funds that support gun makers, then find gun-free alternatives that are likely to perform equally as well or even better. The 30-day campaign, part of the Campaign to Unload Coalition, ends June 9, 2016.

Art by Matt Chase. All data as of April 20, 2016 via GoodbyeGunStocksInvestment Company InstituteMorningstar, and Vanguard.

 

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How Many Guns Is Your 401(k) Buying?