Gun and social media investments revealed with Smart Investor tool

Tom Hartmann talks Smart Investor and KiwiSaver on TVNZ Breakfast

Tom Hartmann talks Smart Investor and KiwiSaver on TVNZ Breakfast

KiwiSaver members who want to know whether their fund has investments in gun or social media companies can find out using Sorted’s Smart Investor tool.

In the wake of the Christchurch shootings and the role of social media in spreading the live-stream footage of the gunman’s attack, some New Zealand companies have pulled advertising from social media sites, and KiwiSaver fund manager Milford Asset Management dumped its clients’ Facebook shares.

CFFC’s Managing Editor Tom Hartmann appeared on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme on Tuesday, March 26, to talk about how consumers could find out whether their KiwiSaver fund contained shares in social media companies, or those that made or sold guns.

Smart Investor computer“Sorted’s new Smart Investor tool allows you to search your fund for shares in Facebook, Twitter, or Alphabet, which owns Google,” said Hartmann. “Finding gun companies is more difficult, but you can download the full list of shares in your fund and then start researching companies whose names you don’t recognise.”

Three gun companies found to have KiwiSaver shares invested in them are American Outdoor Brands, which owns Smith & Wesson; Sturm Ruger & Co; and Vista Outdoor.

Hartmann says members shouldn’t hesitate to contact their fund provider directly to ask them questions and state their opinion on the types of shares in which their fund was invested.

“You pay fees to your fund provider, so they are working for you. You have the right to ask them about where your money is going.”

He said the Smart Investor tool now enabled KiwiSaver members to fully unpack their fund and compare it against others to assess how much in fees they were paying, the returns they were getting, how their fund had performed over the past five years, what their money was invested in and even who was responsible for investing it.

“It’s the first time consumers have had an impartial tool to give them full transparency over how their retirement savings are progressing,” says Hartmann. “At times like this we can also use it to find out if there are specific companies included in our fund, and if we have an opinion on that, let our providers know.”