Printer Friendly

A cause for investing.

Investors by the scores realize they can unite their social concerns and their portfolios by investing in socially responsible mutual funds. And, the list of such funds is growing.

Socially responsible investing means different things to different folks, depending on where their conscience draws them. It runs the gamut animal rights, equal opportunity employment, world peace, low-income housing, community development and environmental issues--according to Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini & Co. Inc. This Cambridge, Mass., firm known for the Domini Social Equity Fund, tracks the performance of companies that pass multiple social screens. Granted, there is no clean or pure investment, social or otherwise, but that doesn't keep socially responsible fund managers from canvassing the business practices of their holdings.

"With any of our holdings when making a decision to invest, we look at a company's financials first, then its social policy," says Diane M. Coffey, vice president of the Dreyfus Third Century Fund. This longtime favorite has a three-year average return of 13.99%.

In general, socially responsible funds shun companies related to tobacco, liquor, gambling and weapons. There are even a handful of funds, including Calvert offerings and Pax World, that will avoid Treasuries, since the proceeds could be used for defense spending.

Just last fall, many of the nation's topmost socially responsible funds lifted their ban on South African investing after Nelson Mandela's appeal to life sanctions.

Many socially responsible funds took a beating in 1993, largely because they tended to favor battered industries, such as health, retail and consumer-staples stocks, says John Rekenthaler, editor of Chicago-based Morningstar Mutual Funds. But by no means is socially conscious investing incompatible with profitability.

Take the Parnassus Fund. Its three-year annualized return of 35.57% places it in the top percentile of all growth mutual funds.

Another world-class stock fund is Calvert World Values Global Equity. As its 19.2% year-to-date returns show, this fund has picked some winners.

COPYRIGHT 1994 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:socially conscious mutual funds
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:May 1, 1994
Previous Article:Cracking open a closed fund; these are ways to break into hot mutual funds closed to new investors.
Next Article:Free your desk! Ousting clutter will liberate your productivity.

Related Articles
Investing with a good conscience: Dreyfus offers a mutual fund that's socially responsible.
Green and read: there's no one-stop shopping for socially conscious money publications.
Mutual Appreciation.
Let's Make a Deal.
Screened IRAs and 401Ks.
Religious Funds: Restoring faith in financial markets. (Investing).
Where's your piggy going to market? The dividends of faith-based investing.
Overseas mutual: investing in sustainability abroad.
Profits with a purpose: socially responsible investment funds give investors revenues with a clean conscience.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters