Investing in the Best Companies for Veterans Can Lead to a Solid Profit for Everyone

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Leidos, a defense contractor who works in the fields of aviation and information technology, was named a top veteran employer in 2020. (Courtesy of VETS Indexes)

There's a lot of talk about supporting companies that hire veterans, and now there's at least one good way for any investor to put their money where their mouth is: VETS Indexes.

VETS Indexes helps improve opportunities for veterans in the workplace while encouraging the hiring and retention of vets in civilian life. The organization does this in three ways. First, it starts with a survey of companies that hire veterans and recognizes the best companies for veterans. Secondly, it provides a means for investors to support the companies who best support vets, an actual stock index based on the results of the survey.

Finally, VETS Indexes also puts on the Employing U.S. Vets Conference twice a year, where veterans can interface with civilian companies, government organizations and other groups with an interest in veteran hiring.

It all starts with the organization's top veteran employer survey, which includes 65 questions sent to a variety of public and private companies and organizations with a stake in the military-veteran community. The survey's results determine the winners of the VETS Indexes Employer Awards.

Werner Enterprises, a transportation and logistic company, was named a top veteran employer by VETS Indexes. (Courtesy of VETS Indexes)

"Many of those questions are multi-part questions," says George Altman, managing director of VETS Indexes. "They are focused on five areas: veteran hiring and recruiting, veteran employee development and retention, veteran-related policies and culture, Guard and Reserve Policy, and military spouse policies."

The information gathered through the survey comes together not only to recognize those companies doing the most for the veteran community, but also helps decide which companies are placed in the Veterans Select Index (ticker symbol VTRNIX), an actual security made up of companies on the New York Stock Exchange.

"The basic idea of the VETS Index is creating an index fund of publicly traded companies that are doing the most for veterans," says Altman. "It's a way to make money while also finding ways to support companies doing good."

Being named one of the top veteran employers by VETS Indexes is the primary consideration for being added to the index, but the Veterans Select Index sticks to public companies that carry a market capitalization of $1 billion or more with liquidity greater than $40 million in average daily traded dollar volume.

Looking at the performance of the index, it turns out it pays to hire veterans. VTRNIX has seen steady year-over-year, double-digit growth in the past three years.

"We found that veteran hiring is actually a very important signal for corporate profitability," says Altman. "Organizations that really excel not only hire veterans but keep them on and develop them into high-ranking and integral employees. The companies that do this best, do a better job than their competition."

The latest VETS Indexes top veteran employer survey was sent out to hundreds of companies and other groups in November 2020. The results have been tallied, and the Employer Awards are ready. Winners will be announced May 20, 2021, in a virtual ceremony.

To learn more about VETS Indexes, the top veteran employer survey or the employer awards, visit the VETS Indexes website. Learn more about the Veterans Select Index (VTRNIX) from Wilshire Associates.

-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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