Chanting Points Memo: Faint Damnation

After I wrote my piece on Friday – the left and media’s current chant about “investors targeting Target”, which showed that the three firms that the Strib was crowing about amount to .0015, or fifteen ten-thousandths, of Target’s market capitalization – I wondered; how do the various “Socially Responsible Investment” (SRI) firms stack up against a company like Target?  Which, let us not forget, is Minnesota’s second-largest corporate donor to charity and one of the most PC-friendly companies in the business, but can afford to be, because they kick market ass?

I figured it’d be interesting to compare Target’s market performance to that of the three SRI funds mentioned in the Strib piece.

But I can only do two.  Because try as I may, I can’t find a ticker symbol for Trillium.

Here’s the comparative performance so far this year.  Target (TGT) is blue, Walden (WSEFX) red, Calvert (CAAAX) yellow:

Walden’s about even on this dismal year; Calvert is off about four (after being down nearly ten a month ago). Target is up a couple, after being up fifteen this spring, before the consumer confidence numbers tanked much of the retail market (which the press also spun as anti-Emmer news!)

So – so far in 2010, both of the SRI funds are dogs, and Target is at least holding its own.  Indeed, the earnings of all three firms seem to follow a similar curve – with the SRIs just a point or two below Target.

So how about over the past couple of years?

Wow.  That’s pretty amazing.  Since the beginning of 2008, when the recession really sank in, all three companies took a dive…after Obama’s election.  All three dropped by 40-50%.  Target is back up 5% over the period; Walden and Calvert are both 20-30% off.

Seems like Target stock – with or without contributions to MNForward – may be the only solid performer in Walden or Calvert’s portfolios.

Whose advice are you going to take?

5 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: Faint Damnation

  1. Thanks, D.

    I’ve had some fun playing with Google Quotes, comparing Walden and Calvert with different stocks over various periods.

    Upshot is, Walden seems to run just a few points behind the Dow and the S’nP, consistently, year in, year out. This is while companies like Target, Best Buy and other major Twin Cities corporations are – even after recessions and such – strongly up over any given period.

  2. From what I have seen, the TC papers reprint press releases by the pro-boycott people interspersed with quotes from wire stories. Mitch’s post is about 350 words. At $50 per article he could undercut the journalists writing for the Strib & the Pi-Press and make a nice 2nd income.

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