Sunday, May 27, 2012

Investor vs. Labor Part III - Labor Retiree Responsibilities

In a previous post, the blog brought up the issue that corporate executives do not give enough credit to the fact that a large percentage of corporations shares are held by retirement accounts for labor. But there is another side to this coin. The question of "How do retirees act after they retire?" has a larger level of importance now than it did before. Do retirees continue to fight for labor rights and wages or do they simply become an investor wanting the greatest return possible even at the expense of future labor wages and benefits? If retirees turn a blind eye towards current labor, and only focus on their returns, there will be trouble for all. If the retirees use their pension and voting rights as a pulpit to protect current labor, all will benefit.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Investor vx. Labor Part II - Who Are The Investors?

This post was originally at It is the second part to a series discussion on investors vs. labor.

This is part II of a series being done on the topic of Investor vs. Labor. Part 1 of the series introduced the topic and can be found here. This post will focus primarily on how labor is a large part of the investing community. You may have heard your company's CEO make a statement such as "We are trying to maximize shareholder value." That is one of the most popular statements made by CEO's today. But that begs the question "Who are your shareholders?". The answer might surprise you.

The largest shareholders of Fortune 500 companies outside of company executives tend to be retirement funds representing the country's labor force. If you are to look at the largest retirement funds that regularly invest their money, you will find most are workers pension funds or mutual funds that are packed with retirement dollars. If you research most Hedge Funds, you will find the bulk of their capital comes from workers retirement packages also. Union pension fund investments into the stock market are in the billions each year. If you go to MSN Money, you can type in a stock and see that clearly worker retirement funds are the major investor in the stock.  

Workers with blue collar salaries depend on the stock market for their retirement more than white collar executives because they have to. White collar salaried workers are able to take risk off the table and invest in safer instruments due to their higher salary. Blue collar workers do not have that luxury. 

When a CEO makes that statement " We are trying to maximize shareholder value.", make sure it isn't preceded or followed by the statement "That is why we keep worker costs down.". If it is, he or she needs to find out who the company's shareholders actually are. 

Investor vs. Labor

This post was originally on dated April 24, 2012. It is the first post of the series.

Investor vs. Labor

There is a big elephant in the economic room right now. It is the topic of finding a good return for investors while demanding a livable wage for workers. Finding a general middle ground on this issue is going to be paramount if the global economy is going to run smoothly. One optimistic view is that there are many in the global economy that are on both sides of the issue. It is this group that are both workers and are also investors that can lead the economy into both a prosperous and livable wage earning future.

Future posts will focus on how different entities are affecting this process. They include corporations, labor groups, lobbyists for both corporations and labor groups, the financial industry, government, and retirement plans. If there are any other groups not mentioned in this post or future posts, please feel free to comment.

This thread hopefully will get the conversation moving in a direction that allows for a decent return on investments as well as a livable wage for all who participate in this economy.  

We will continue the post thread here. 


This blog will be a forum for the discussion of investor vs labor. Enjoy and comment