ANGRY INVESTOR ASKS BARON FUNDS CEO: If you’re dumb enough to vote for Obama, why would I invest my money with you??
It’s a question worth asking. How is it that so many smart people, or people who have made a great deal of money (not necessarily the same as being smart), voted for Barack Obama? Why are there so many people who work in Wall Street who are not ardent promoters of free market capitalism? Some are even outright socialists. Why invest with someone like that? A portfolio manager who is a capitalist is only interested in making money. It’s personal for them. But what of the myriad of young analysts who work on Wall Street who are basically soft or hard progressives. There are a ton of them out there working in the biggest financial institutions. If they lose money, their attitude is ‘mehh, what are ya gonna do? It’s just money after all, and it isn’t even my money — what do I care?’ Want to invest your money with someone like that?
What if you found out that the person handling your mutual funds voted for Barack Obama and is glad he did so? Would you trust such a person? If so, Ron Baron of Baron Funds is your guy.
To be fair, the man has made quite a bit of money, and it’s hard to question his many years of success. The techniques he uses to evaluate a stock. His analysis and grasp of history is impressive. So how does a guy like that vote for Barack Obama even after he realizes that Obama has a hard-on for redistributing wealth? Would you trust a man like Ron Baron with your money?
One well-connected investor decided he’d had enough and this morning he emailed the following letter:
In an interview with CNBC in October 2010 you said the following:
Ron Baron: I assume we’re going to get of some sort of leader to be honest and do the unpopular things that will right our country. I was hoping Obama would be the guy.
LL: You said you were hoping Obama would be the leader to turn this economy around. Do you think he can?
RB: I think he can if he wants to. He’s a very smart man, but he has an agenda and his agenda is to redistribute the wealth. He does not believe there should be very wealthy people. He believes the wealth belongs to the country and if you are earning a lot you are earning it because of the country. Not because you have worked hard, or because you are skilled. The wealthy should give their income to other people. And so, if this is going to happen, people will not work as hard or find a way to make money and have assets grow and not take income until the income tax changes. He is a brilliant man and has got a great heart, but his politics are not my politics.
And yet you still voted for him? How does your thought process work exactly? I’m curious. You know the man believes in redistributing wealth, he admitted as much in 2008 (i.e “spreading the wealth around is good for everybody”), and you voted for the man anyway. That’s nonsensical bordering on insane. Is Ron Baron insane? I ask again, who in their right mind would invest money with you, and how can you credibly look investors in the eye and say, ‘Your money is safe with me, trust me. I voted for Obama even though I knew he was essentially a Keynsian neo-socialist.’
By the way, in the above quote you yourself have established Obama has the qualities of a socialist, but you go out of your way to mention the meaningless platitudes (e.g. ‘he’s a brilliant man’, ‘great heart’, ‘very smart’ etc.). What makes him a brilliant man exactly? Is Karl Marx a brilliant man in your estimation? How do you know Obama has a great heart? Is he a great giver to charities? Is he particularly philanthropic? (Not counting the economy on Martha’s Vineyard, which might be of particular interest to you I suppose).
RON BARON: I voted for him and I’m glad I did because…
This statement is a shear wonder. You made a mistake, you know you did, and yet you refuse to admit it. You can’t even bring yourself to say it. Who on Wall Street still thinks voting for Obama was a good idea??
More importantly, why would anyone invest with you knowing how obstinate you are? That in the face of demonstrable empirical evidence to the contrary, you’d insist that a loser stock, overvalued to the core, is a worthwhile investment. Who does such things? How are you still in business?
I assume you’re a reasonably bright fellow, Ron, but I’m always mystified by supposedly intelligent people who make the comments of a half-wit. You were “hoping” he’d be that guy. Ron, how do you make any money with this level of insight?
I’ll be honest…I’m someone who, up until very recently, strongly considered investing with your mutual fund, but how would anyone trust their financial future with you when you shouldn’t even be trusted with monopoly money? I know five-year olds who run lemonade stands who had enough foresight in 2008 to see Obama for what he really is. There was no deception involved: You only had to listen to the man’s words; which you did and yet you voted for him anyway. Moving on…
RON BARON: Can he really turn this economy around? I don’t know. Maybe if he is handed some sort of defeat at the midterms he will do what Clinton did and try to move to the middle of the road.
Another brilliant forecast, Ron? Are you predicting sunshine and clear skies this weekend too?
RB: I don’t know if I’m encouraged if he will do that or not but I remain hopeful. Obama wanted to become President to change things and while I don’t like all the change he wants to accomplish, I think fundamentally Obama is a good guy.
Still remaining hopeful?
RB: I thought he was an open book and everyone thought he would run to the left and go to the center but he has never gone to the center.
You might say, ‘well, if you think I’m so horrible at what I do, then just don’t invest with me. It appears we wouldn’t be a match anyway.” And you’re right, Ron. But I don’t think anyone should invest with someone like yourself. Someone who says things like “I voted for a guy who turned out to be a total loser and I’m glad I did…” or “I disagree with this person’s worldview 180 degrees, but he seems like a nice guy, so I’m going to let the fate of America’s future rest on his flimsy shoulders…” You’re dangerous, Ron. And I think everyone ought to know it. I’m certainly going to inform all of my friends who invest not to invest with you, and I think all of your investors and potential investors ought to know the thought processes of Ron Baron, CEO of Baron Funds, as well.