[saymaListserv] Fwd: Update on Socially Responsible Investing

Janet Minshall 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.

				Janet Minshall






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