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View Poll Results: Do you invest in socially responsible mutual funds?
Yes 2 5.88%
No, never. 26 76.47%
Not right now, but want to 5 14.71%
Did but don't anymore 1 2.94%
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Green / Socially Responsible Mutual Fund
Old 09-07-2007, 10:30 PM   #1
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Green / Socially Responsible Mutual Fund

Does anybody out there invest in socially responsible funds?

If so, what draws you to them knowing that returns are usually not as strong and expenses are higher?

Any favorites?

I recently signed up to receive a ton of prospectuses (prospecti?) for socially responsible mutual funds that I haven't yet read through... but I'm feeling more a draw towards investing in companies more aligned with my values even if it means lower overall returns and a later FIRE date.
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:59 PM   #2
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I used to feel bad about owning stock in MO and other evil companies. But two things changed my mind: 1) all companies are evil, and 2) the evil companies aren't getting your money when you buy a stock -- some other investor is.
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:20 AM   #3
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I voted no, never... although, I cannot say never.

I use mutual funds. I am investing to make a profit. I would not intentionally invest in an "evil company"... but this is such a subjective idea.

What I would avoid is investing in companies that are based in a country that is an enemy to the US, or companies that support or profit from countries that are enemies of the US.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:12 AM   #4
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In business school we had the fund manager of a socially responsible fund teach us a class about this type of investing. Then we did a financial analysis of the fund. The returns were pitiful for the level of risk. Basically, it was more of a charitable donation than an investment. If investors were lucky, they would come out about even.

I think we have to decide what our objectives are when we invest. Mine is to generate wealth. If there is a market for the socially responsible commodity, it is more likely to make money. This could apply to some "green" funds in the present. It is necessary to do due diligence on a socially responsible investment just like any other.

For example, MD Management, owned by the Canadian Medical Association, specifically does not invest in tobacco companies and generates competitive returns. However, it is not publicly available.
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:21 AM   #5
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My investing isn't the place for my philanthropy.
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:37 AM   #6
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I said "no never" because I don't invest in socially responsible funds, but I invest in individual securities and I do avoid certain areas -- gambling, alcohol, tobacco -- not because I think they are "evil" but there are just so many other companies to invest in that I don't need them.

That said, it's just about impossible to really separate what is "good" and "evil" anyway. GE? Are they evil for making all those jet engines that burn jet fuel or are they good because they make transportation and commerce better? Are they evil because they aren't on the forefront of LED lighting or are they good because when LED lighting is more advanced they will end up bringing it to the masses at low cost? Can you invest in a bank? I'm sure Citigroup or Bank of America is loaning money to someone certain investors wouldn't like.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:24 PM   #7
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I remember looking at MO when it was yielding almost 10% during all the lawsuits and the dot.bomb boom. My roommate and I thought it was about the best investment imaginable. We were right, and I was pretty sure we were right at the time.

I just couldn't stomach owning stock in MO when both of my parents smoked. It would have felt too much like I was going to profit off of their deaths.

Now that they have both quit, I'm looking at MO again


Quote:
Originally Posted by twaddle View Post
I used to feel bad about owning stock in MO and other evil companies. But two things changed my mind: 1) all companies are evil, and 2) the evil companies aren't getting your money when you buy a stock -- some other investor is.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:45 PM   #8
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ConsumerReports.org - Socially conscious funds

For 'do-good' funds, an ethical dilemma - Mar. 21, 2007
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."

VICEX: Summary for VICE FUND - Yahoo! Finance
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:45 AM   #10
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An interesting thread!

A newbie here. Been struggling with this myself.

On one hand, I'd love to invest into socially and foremost environmentally responsible companies etc.

On the other hand, most things that seem to earn or have earnt a lot of money seem 'bad' (in my country, farmaceutic & petrol industry... - I believe in healthy living, so I didn't invest into them years ago, while people who did got big profits) And for example even the 'green biodiesel' from corn has been rumoured of being 'bad'.

Is there a site continuously publishing research on funds and/or individual companies (worldwide, possibly)? I know Greenpeace ranks computer companies as to their 'greenness', and there is stuff scattered across the internet about the 'bad companies in China' etc. Is tracking individual companies/funds the only way?

Another approach is to be really rich, buy off the bad companies and 'green 'em up'.
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:57 PM   #11
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I've owned this one since it first came out. Take a look at the chart compared to the S&P:

EVX: Summary for MARKET VECTORS ENVIR - Yahoo! Finance

Nothing fancy or exotic, just garbage haulers and cleaner-uppers all packed together in an etf.
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