OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City based Hobby Lobby took their battle against Obamacare all the way to the supreme court, fighting a mandate that requires the company to pay for certain birth control pills as part of an employee’s insurance coverage.
Tuesday a new report was released alleging the company’s retirement plan invests in a number of pharmaceutical companies that manufacture so-called abortion-inducing medications.
That report was released by a publication called Mother Jones.
In it Hobby Lobby is accused of being hypocritical.
But some experts say when it comes to mutual funds it’s hard to not have something controversial in there.
In an interview on Flashpoint Sunday, Steve Green, Hobby Lobby’s president, said, “We believe this company is not ours but we are stewards of it because God has blessed us with it and we are to operate it according to biblical principles.”
Just two days later a report was released blasting their investments, accusing them of having holdings in the very companies they are fighting.
The funds in question are mutual funds, which financial experts say are hard to control.
Tom Phillips, with T.S. Phillips Investments, said, “There are very, very few mutual funds out there that specifically tailor their investments to eliminate ‘sin stocks.’”
Sin stocks are often considered those dealing with alcohol, tobacco, contraceptives and other controversial industries.
Phillips said, “What is the definition of a sin stock becomes interesting and you’re going to get different interpretations of it.”
Phillips says the idea of avoiding sin stocks sounds good but it’s nearly impossible.
He says mutual fund managers have tried to create non-controversial funds in the past but those funds typically fail within a couple of years.
He said, “It’s difficult to attract enough investors for the funds to stay viable.”
Which means companies, like Hobby Lobby, have just a few choices of mutual funds which aren’t tied to controversy.
Due to fewer investors those funds tend to be less profitable compared to traditional ones.
Phillips said, “You can probably count on one hand the number of companies that try to invest eliminating what they consider sin stocks.”
Phillip says mutual funds may consist of several hundred stocks.
He says it’s very hard to not have something in the mix which is controversial.
We tried to contact Hobby Lobby and their advisers for a comment on the allegations; so far, we have not heard back.