April 2, 2024

Politicizing Business is Costly

Bowyer Research analyzes corporate performance data and concludes that corporate politicking on divisive social issues raises legitimate financial concerns.

Inspire Investing has been actively engaging companies on issues related to de-banking, censorship, DEI/workplace civil liberties, and LGBT activism, among others. Our main goal has been to de-politicize companies and stop them from getting involved in divisive social and political issues that have nothing to do with their core products and services and only end up alienating customers and employees and exposing the companies to unnecessary legal and financial risk.  

In a recent white paper entitled Corporate Political Activism and Shareholder Value, Bowyer Research analyzes corporate performance data from a number of different angles and reaches the conclusion that corporate politicking on divisive social issues “at the very least raises legitimate financial concerns” for investors.  Some of the data cited in the paper includes analysis by Tim Schwarzenberger, CFA, of Inspire Investing comparing return, risk, and risk/adjusted return (Sharpe ratio) figures for Target, Bud Light, and Disney versus their main competitors.  Over all trailing one-, three-, five-, and ten-year periods, all three of these companies have significantly underperformed their peers, especially more recently when these companies have significantly stepped up their political activism.

We thank Bowyer Research for producing this important work and including Inspire’s analysis. The paper supports our concerns about corporate political activism and enforces our approach to Biblically Responsible Investing, which includes engagement on many of these issues. For the latest on our shareholder engagement work, visit

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*Advisory Services are offered through CWM Advisors, LLC dba Inspire, a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. All expressions of opinion are subject to change. This article is distributed for educational purposes, and it is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, recommendation, or endorsement of any particular security, products, or services. Investors should talk to their financial advisor prior to making any investment decision.

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