‘If customers don’t like the lobbying ..’:
From Reader Matt regarding an earlier post
“Your comparison of Fidelity's political lobbying using money they received in exchange for providing a service with union politicking using compulsory union dues is misplaced. If customers don't like the lobbying there's a very easy solution -- pay someone else to manage your money. If union members don't like the lobbying, they're forced to quit their jobs or try to vote in new union leadership that will use the money in a matter they approve of.
“I don't see why Fidelity ‘ought to cut it out’ without further explanation. Neither your note nor the linked article made it clear why this is an abomination -- it was simply assumed. I suppose it can be considered rude to talk politics in the middle of a financial communication. Conversely, Fidelity's job is to maximize return on their customer's investments. If a dividend tax cut increases
the return on the money they manage for their customers, it seems perfectly logical to me to lobby for the policy.
“I'm sure there are lots of people who I do business with that spend their money in ways I find detestable. (I sure wasn't interested in the left-wing hectoring I got from Ben & Jerry when I went to their ice-cream factory in VT! ;-)) But I give my money freely for services or goods I deem worth my greenbacks. As far as I'm concerned, it's a non-story. -- Matt, wish I had had a ‘low six-figure’ portfolio to manage when I was 23.”
Hub Blog’s response
: Good points. But this is where I was coming from: A lot of us 401(k)ers do NOT have a choice about who will manage our money. Maybe Elias does, but I don’t -- or didn’t, actually.