[saymaListserv] Fwd: Update on Socially Responsible Investing
jhminshall at comcast.net
Mon Dec 12 15:47:01 JEST 2005
Dear Friends, I hope you all have a happy holiday season -- this year
I'm told that Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza all come in the same
week. Is that a first?
Several of you have expressed an interest in socially responsible
investing and I have provided info on several socially responsible
mutual funds to those who have asked. In the last couple of years I
have been increasingly uncomfortable with recommending any socially
responsible funds because their performance was so poor in comparison
with other fund choices. I/we have to be concerned with actually
saving enough money for retirement as well as with the ethics of a
particular fund selection.
When asked, I have recommended John Rogers and the Ariel Funds --
Ariel has been a very good small cap fund and Ariel Appreciation has
been a very good mid cap fund. Their 3% and 4% returns year to date,
however, are pretty pathetic. The magazine Business Ethics, in their
Summer '05 issue, did fund profiles which included Ariel Funds and
John Rogers, but it also introduced a new fund, Winslow Green Growth,
managed by Jack Robinson and Matthew Patsky. Winslow Green Growth
has now outperformed nearly every other small cap growth fund around.
Winslow Green Growth is covered and recommended among Money
magazine's Dec.'05 top performing funds. It is also the topic of
coverage in the December issue of Louis Rukeyser's Mutual Fund
Newsletter. According to Ruykeyser and Morningstar -- Morningstar is
the standard for performance reporting in the mutual fund industry --
Winslow Green Growth has achieved an average 34% return per year for
the three years ending October 31, '05. Money magazine shows a
three-year return of 34.6% for Winslow Green Growth in data ending
October 20,'05. Now that is impressive performance!
Socially Responsible mutual funds use two methods to find companies
in which to invest. First they use a screen which excludes companies
which produce tobacco, alcohol, defense weaponry and electronics,
etc. and those which use animal testing to assess performance of
their products. Additionally, Winslow Green Growth searches for
sound and well run companies which are growing fast and providing
services which promote a clean sustainable environment.
Winslow Green Growth has only been around for about three years so it
doesn't have a long enough track record for me to recommend it as a
core holding in a portfolio. It might, however, be considered in
combination with Ariel Appreciation and, when interest rates peak,
Ariel Socially Responsible Bond Fund. (Since this was originally
written in November I have found out that Ariel no longer offers a
socially responsible bond fund. Too bad.)
I only recommend no-load funds (which do not charge a percentage for
the privilege of investing) and both Winslow and Ariel Funds are
no-load. I usually keep my other investment recommendations to three
mutual fund companies which have a long history of ethical, but not
socially responsible, money management. Those companies are
Vanguard, T. Rowe Price and Fidelity. I also cover TIAA for retired
teachers, Valic for various healthcare and other company-sponsored
retirement accounts, American Century, CGM and Royce.
Please feel free to write to me individually if you have any questions.
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