In a story posted earlier this morning, Reuters reports on the Nashville Area Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), which began trading Aug. 1 on the New York Stock Exchange.
As WPLN reported last month, the fund holds shares in publicly traded companies based in the Nashville area, and represents a new (some say risky) way to invest in the city.
Reuters checks in with one "Nashville resident Ralph Schulz," a local man who apparently missed the first day of trading but eagerly jumped in the next day. Sounds interesting, Reuters! Tell us more:
Still, Schulz, 60, was a day late to join the historic launch of the first city-based ETF, which began trading Aug. 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. As his broker's firm wasn't able to process the order, Schulz and his wife were quick to jump in another way.
"I wish I could've been there on Thursday," Schulz said. "I wanted to be in it from the start, at 8:30 a.m."
For investors like Schulz, the ETF offers a new avenue for investing in a broad swath of his community, though the fund, launched by local financial newcomer LocalShares, is unable to hold two privately-held local notables - Dolly Parton's Dollywood and the Grand Ole Opry.
Instead, it holds 24 locally headquartered firms - like Cracker Barrel and Dollar General - and leans heavily on healthcare, with one of its biggest components being HCA Holdings Inc, the largest publicly traded hospital chain in the country.
But along with the fact that he's 60 years old, Reuters readers might also be interested in knowing about Schulz's day job — as the president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. As such, we assume he has more than a passing interest in this "new avenue for investing in a broad swath of his community" — in particular, the corporate members of the organization he heads.
Oh, and while we're nitpicking: It's reasonable to associate Dolly Parton with Nashville, but Dollywood ain't exactly "local."
Update: Justin H. Wilson, director of Client Services at Siegenthaler Public Relations, emails to clarify that "the basis of the interview with Reuters for Ralph was as Chamber CEO and the reporter knew this but also asked him about his personal investment." In other words, Ralph Schulz did not plant himself within a story about the Nashville ETF under false pretenses. The reporter just messed up. Which does happen, on occasion.
Update II: Oh by the way, Ralph Schulz's son, Michael, is director of Marketing for LocalShares, the company that manages the Nashville ETF.