FORT WORTH — Like President Trump, Hal Lambert wants to make America great again.
The Fort Worth money manager believes in that mission so much that, in a tip of the hat to Trump, he’s created the MAGA fund. Lambert calls it a first of its kind investment vehicle that allows individuals to own stock only in companies that support President Trump and Republican Party candidates.
Active in GOP politics for years, Lambert said he got the idea because he saw major companies doing things that were very political but not necessarily in the best interests of their investors. He calls his effort “politically responsible investing,” just like “social responsible investing” that typically backs causes.
“Money matters in politics. These companies are giving millions and millions of dollars to candidates and it does make a difference,” Lambert said. “If you are supporting President Trump or Republicans you really ought to look at your investments.”
Lambert’s exchanged traded fund, or ETF, and its MAGA ticker symbol, launched on Sept. 7 and has grown nearly 6 percent and now boasts $31 million in assets. It kicked off at $25 a share and was trading at $26.50 late Tuesday.
To create the fund, Lambert looked at the S&P 500, then analyzed campaign contribution reports and came up with a list of the top 150 companies whose political action committees and employees gave to GOP candidates; household names on the list are Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Home Depot.
Companies you’re not likely to find in his fund, unless they have a change of heart, are Starbucks, Disney, Time Warner and Amazon.
Lambert said there were some surprises on his list, including Berkshire Hathaway, which is led by billionaire Warren Buffett, a backer of Democratic causes and candidates. He said it was the contributions by Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway and its employees that put it into a GOP column.
“There are companies that consistently give 70 to 80 percent to Democrats and companies that give 70 to 80 percent to Republicans,” Lambert said. He said MAGA is a “largely conservative fund but it’s diversified to allow (people) to invest in companies that support their political views.”
The 47-year-old Lambert, who grew up in Fort Worth and went to Southwest High School, says he has a passion for both investing and politics.
Before founding Point Bridge Capital in 2013, an investment firm for high-net worth families, Lambert worked at Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan for about 15 years.
Politically, Lambert has been a top GOP fundraiser who once served as the finance chairman for the Texas Republican Party. He left that post to help Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential bid and before that he supported former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s bid for the Oval Office in 2011.
He now is a policy adviser to America First, a non-profit group to back the White House’s agenda and advising Cruz’s super PAC for his Senate re-election bid.
Lambert said he was surprised that no one had “melded” the idea of being a politically connected investing in the past and he wanted to be the first to market. And while some may question the merging of politics and investing in this way, he said “the reception has been really strong.”
He said MAGA could lead to other, political-themed efforts in the future.
“I’ve had no one roll their eyes. I was in Boston over the weekend and I have a friend who clearly is to the left and when I told him the ticker he said, ‘I hate it, but that is a great idea.”
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