Top 20 Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

According to Wikipedia, socially responsible investing (SRI)

describes an investment strategy which combines the intentions to maximize both financial return and social good. In general, socially responsible investors favor corporate practices which are environmentally responsible, support workplace diversity, and increase product safety and quality.

In the May issue of Financial Planning magazine, there’s a special report on SRI with a list of top 20 mutual funds that involve in such activities. The screening of funds out of hundreds, possibly thousands, of mutual fund offerings uses certain criteria to make sure that the fund’s investments have no or restricted exposures to industries that engage in

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Gambling
  • Defense/Weapons
  • Animal testing

While at the same time, the fund should have positive investments in

  • Products/Services
  • Environment
  • Human rights
  • Labor relations
  • Employment equality
  • Community investing

Because of the relatively small number of funds that can be considered as socially responsible, identifying a SR funds isn’t as straightforward as, say, using any mutual fund screening tool ro find a fund that has 10% return, 1% ER, and $1,000 minimum investment. With the list, which ranks funds based on their average 5-year return, however, making a selection is a little easier if this is the area that one wants to get in.

The following are the top 20 SR mutual funds from the Financial Planning magazine. I added the ER (expense ratio) colum so you can have an idea the cost of owning the fund as well as the link to the fund’s Morningstar summary page for easy reference.

Fund Category 5-yr return (%) ER (%)
GuideSteon Funds Intl
Equity (GIEYX)
Foreign Large
16.65 0.96
Calvert World Values Intl
Equity (CWVGX)
Foreign Large
14.15 1.71
Winslow Green Growth
Small Growth 14.14 1.45
Ave Maria Catholic
Value (AVEMX)
Mid-Cap Blend 12.48 1.52
Portfolio 21 (PORTX) World Stock 11.50 1.63
Ariel (ARGFX) Mid-Cap Blend 11.14 1.07
Calvert Large-Cap
Growth (CLCIX)
Large Growth 11.08 0.96
Neuberger Berman Socially
Resp Inv (NBSRX)
Large Blend 11.03 0.95
Timothy Plan Large/Mid-Cap
Value (TLVAX)
Large Value 10.72 1.51
New Alternatives (NALFX) World Stock 10.69 1.25
GuideStone Funds Value
Equity (GVEYX)
Large Value 10.42 0.71
GuideStone Funds Small
Small Blend 9.82 1.05
MMA Praxis International
Foreign Large
9.79 2.41
Timothy Plan Small-Cap
Value (TPLNX)
Small Blend 9.44 1.52
Maxim Aeriel Mid-Cap
Mid-Cap Blend 8.96 0.98
MMA Praxis Value
Index (MVIAX)
Large Value 8.77 1.11
AXA Enterprise Socially
Responsible (EGSAX)
Large Value 8.44 1.56
MFS Union Standard
Equity (MUSEX)
Large Blend 8.37 0.95
Parnassus Equity Income
Large Blend 8.23 0.99
Pax World High Yield
High Yield Bond 8.16 1.15

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2 Responses to “Top 20 Socially Responsible Mutual Funds”

  1. broknowrchlatr |  May 03, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Maybe it’s jsut me, but it seems like this is showing a trend that being socially responsible is expensive (high ERs). I know many of these are global/foreign which increases the expenses.

    Timothy Plan Large/Mid-Cap Value (TLVAX) with 1.51% ER???