Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fidelity and Sudan - Whoops!

As one's assets multiply (the good news), it takes more and more work to manage them (the bad news). About two years ago we consolidated all our assets and moved a significant percentage of them to Fidelity. Our financial adviser recommends which mutual funds to invest in, and we type in mysterious five-letter combinations on Fidelity website purchase orders, like WYTEX or FSPTX (these are made up - don't go try to buy those!) In a perfect world, I would know and like what these mutual funds make their - and our - money doing. However, I rarely pay the slightest bit of attention. I admit to having never read a mutual fund's annual report.

Nicholas Kristof, now my alter-ego in matters ethical, has brought it to the world's attention that Fidelity Investments is heavily invested in Sudan's oil cartel. It is oil money which is emboldening Sudan to terrorize and murder its Darfuri citizens with impunity. The world is too desperate for oil to take a stand, and of course the USA is so morally bankrupt in the world scene that even if we were stronger on this issue, it would be hard to get followers. China is Sudan's largest oil customer.

Check out Fidelity out of Sudan and learn more about their campaign to push Fidelity to divest of these blood investments. If you own Fidelity funds, you can surely expect to be heard. Hopefully a groundswell of customers threatening to close out their accounts will be worse than whatever profits are to be made in Sudanese oil. I salute those people who have paid attention to what they actually own!

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