The Minimum Wage Tracking ETF (ticker:SAD) closed after three decades of losing to inflation. “It’s gone up a dollar since I was a kid. I have grandkids, now,” said fund manager Leroy Hardscrabble. “Hopefully someday it’ll be eight dollars an hour, and they’ll be able to make something of themselves, or make the payments on an Xbox.”
SAD has performed poorly compared to several other ‘cost of life’ ETF’s, such as the medical cost-tracking ‘DIE’ and the college cost-tracking ‘DUM’. Investors in DIE and DUM have seen double-digit returns since the Reagan era. DIE and DUM are managed by Lucy Fer, of Hades 666 Management.
“Investors complain about the management fees on DIE and DUM, but most of the fee goes to political reinvestment,” said Fer. “Medicare buys more medicine than anybody, but can’t negotiate prices. Private health plans compete state-by-state instead of nationally. Student loan rates are 400 basis points higher than mortgages and can’t be discharged through bankruptcy. Rules like these don’t just ‘happen’; they actually require a lot of money and effort, which is a core part of our value-add.”
Since closing his minimum wage-tracking ETF, Hardscrabble has pivoted to tracking CEO pay and recouped all his losses.
Fer is currently working to change water futures from financial settlement to physical settlement, in hopes of cornering the market.