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Analyst calls Michigan retirement system selling off gun stocks 'symbolic'

Mar 6, 2018

Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s retirement system has sold off the last of its holdings related to the gun industry.

The State of Michigan Retirement systems (SMRS) recently sold off two million dollars’ worth of stock in a Mississippi chemical company. The Olin Corporation also owns gun manufacturer Winchester. 

“The amount was very insignificant and we wanted to focus on meaningful investments that benefit the members of the SMRS,” says Ron Leix, with the state Treasury Department.

The stock sale is minuscule compared to the $70 billion managed by the retirement system.

Jon Hale is the director of sustainable investing research at Morningstar, an investment research company.  He says the gun sector is not a good investment right now. Though Hales believes that’s not the reason large institutional investors are dumping gun stocks.

“Divesting is clearly more of a symbolic act here,” says Hale.

Hale suggests with the mainstream conversation pushing for more regulations may further weaken gun-related stocks.