Opinion: Why do we keep buying from four US asset management companies that own five household names?

Karen Madej

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Every time we buy something, we line the world’s top asset management firms’ vaults with our hard-earned cash. Aren’t you tired of making rich people richer?

If you are curious to learn more, keep reading.

“BlackRock, Fidelity, Vanguard and State Street are the four horsemen of the global economy. They own the world. They own you.” Isaiah McCall

So, if we want to keep lining their corporate vaults, we should go right ahead and keep buying and using products and services from the top five companies Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Google. 

Some may blame BlackRock for buying up single-family rental units in the US. However, they only owned about $60 billion in 2021, whereas the total housing stock market gained $6.9 trillion, taking the overall value to $43 trillion last year.

BlackRock may own a large chunk of Apple, but LeafScore rates MacBooks as the second most sustainably made laptops because they use easily recycled aluminium and glass. Apple also offers credit when you recycle your old Apple electronics with them. I guess I can justify buying expensive products that are recyclable.

Sherrilyn Kenyon said:

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. 

As for Microsoft, I avoid the expense and frustration of its products like the plague. But Bill Gates does a lot to help the world, and he wants to pay more tax than he already does.

Fortunately, Google Drive offers Docs and Sheets, which can be saved as .docx or .xlxs, for free. Unfortunately, Google is easier to use than Safari on my MacBook. So I won’t give it up yet. 

Amazon only gets used with gift vouchers from a friend. I must ask her to stop sending me them — in the nicest possible way, of course.

Facebook, ugh. I shut the tab after I’ve checked my notifications. If I didn’t keep in touch with so many friends there, I’d have shut it completely long ago.

You can live a low-impact life.

It’s a case of deciding to do so. You can train yourself to question every single item you want to buy. I’ve done it for ten years now. 

Do I really need this super-soft, cute pink fluffy polyester hoodie from Amazon?

What’s the answer? Correct. NO! A friend bought one for me, and I love and wear it as a snuggly bed jacket. But I would never have bought it for myself. Secondhand possibly. 

The first step is decluttering by selling or giving away anything you haven’t used in the last year and are not likely to use for the next year.

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Focus on not adding more profits to the giant four through the big five. Buying locally grown fruit and vegetables and goods made by local businesses will keep the profits in your community. Portland, Oregon, is The Greenest Sustainable Community in the US. Its ten Sustainable City Principles starts with:

Make decisions and take actions that balance environmental quality, economic prosperity and social equity.

Frugal gifting

The Minimalists — 16 Rules for Living with Less rules 15 and 16 are most relevant to the times of the year when so many people feel forced into buying something for the people they love but don’t spend enough time with. 

If you don’t want to keep buying from people who already have far too much, what will you do differently?

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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.

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