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NAT’L/INT’L – INDUSTRY INSIDER – Is your ETF portfolio packing gun-related stocks? The answer might surprise you

When financial planner Tim Nash found a gun-related stock in an ETF in his portfolio, he sold his stake in the fund. Mr. Nash, founder of investment-coaching firm Good Investing, noticed that Missouri-based Olin Corp., a chemical products and ammunition manufacturer, was included in Blackrock’s iShares Global Water Index ETF (CWW), an environmental, social and governance (ESG)-oriented fund that focuses on water infrastructure. While Olin itself isn’t a gun manufacturer, the name raised a red flag for Mr. Nash, whose focus is socially responsible investments.  After a few clicks, he found that Olin owns Connecticut-based firearms maker Winchester Repeating Arms Co. “If you were going through a list of companies and saw Olin Corp., you probably wouldn’t bat an eye,” Mr. Nash says. “Olin Corp. was only about a per cent in that water ETF, but I’m the type of person where I say that not one penny should have exposure to weapons.” There’s greater scrutiny on gun makers and retailers today amid an increase in mass shootings and other incidents of gun violence in the United States and around the world, including Canada. Some investors and activists are urging fund managers to drop firearms companies such as Sturm Ruger & Co. and American Outdoor Brands Corp. from their broader index funds. But as more investors turn to ETFs, they may be unwittingly buying into gun stocks, even if those funds are socially responsible. [full article]

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