Mutual funds: Now for girls!

In the old days, when you were shopping for a mutual fund to invest in, you'd want to know its past financial history.  You'd want to know its rate of return.  You'd want to know what it invests in. 

Not anymore!

Nowadays, the crucial question is, does it like girls?

That's why Oppenheimer Funds bought an expensive "newsvertisement" in the Washington Post recently where they touted their love for women and girls. 

The short piece mentioned "girls" three times, "female" eight times, and "women" 19 times.  It touts the fact that one of Oppenheimer's funds invests in private education in China, which is attended by 64% girls (the other 36% are of an unknown gender).

Then the article peppers us with astounding facts.  For example, did you know that "females" contributed 18 trillion dollars to the world economy?  (The amount men contribute is not mentioned.  It is probably a fraction of that.)

This article makes terribly obvious statements – that education and more people in the workforce produces more robust economies.  Sure.  But by limiting such obvious observations to women, the people at OppenheimerFunds want you to think they care more about women than, say, Vanguard or Fidelity.

They are treating women like dumb cows who will choose mutual funds based on ephemeral feel-good girl messages rather than bottom-line fund performance.  I think this patronizing (or matronizing?) ad talks down to women and treats them like idiots.

In fact, I used to attend board of director meetings of Oppenheimer Funds.  The law firm I worked for advised them on certain issues. At those meetings there was only one female director.  And the topics of conversations never, ever touched on girl issues.

What do you think of Oppenheimer's approach for getting grrrl investors?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

In the old days, when you were shopping for a mutual fund to invest in, you'd want to know its past financial history.  You'd want to know its rate of return.  You'd want to know what it invests in. 

Not anymore!

Nowadays, the crucial question is, does it like girls?

That's why Oppenheimer Funds bought an expensive "newsvertisement" in the Washington Post recently where they touted their love for women and girls. 

The short piece mentioned "girls" three times, "female" eight times, and "women" 19 times.  It touts the fact that one of Oppenheimer's funds invests in private education in China, which is attended by 64% girls (the other 36% are of an unknown gender).

Then the article peppers us with astounding facts.  For example, did you know that "females" contributed 18 trillion dollars to the world economy?  (The amount men contribute is not mentioned.  It is probably a fraction of that.)

This article makes terribly obvious statements – that education and more people in the workforce produces more robust economies.  Sure.  But by limiting such obvious observations to women, the people at OppenheimerFunds want you to think they care more about women than, say, Vanguard or Fidelity.

They are treating women like dumb cows who will choose mutual funds based on ephemeral feel-good girl messages rather than bottom-line fund performance.  I think this patronizing (or matronizing?) ad talks down to women and treats them like idiots.

In fact, I used to attend board of director meetings of Oppenheimer Funds.  The law firm I worked for advised them on certain issues. At those meetings there was only one female director.  And the topics of conversations never, ever touched on girl issues.

What do you think of Oppenheimer's approach for getting grrrl investors?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

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