Author Topic: Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!  (Read 4189 times)

Jdslepp

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Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!
« on: May 15, 2014, 10:48:58 AM »
http://charts.ussif.org/mfpc/?

This link has an extensive list of bond and equity funds, with quick EASY TO DIGEST information about how they relate to specific environmental, social, and other issues.  Click the "Screening & Advocacy" tab to see this.  For more quantitative data you can research each fund individually.

Has anybody else found a good resource to complement/extend this list?  Does anybody else try to invest responsibly?  My partner (and I, I suppose) doesn't like that my Vanguard Total Stock/Bond Market funds are indiscriminate in their holdings.

ncornilsen

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Re: Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 10:57:31 AM »
I find it to be pretty presumptive than anyone can label their particular agenda as the 'responsible' one.

That said, google finance provides me with tons of quantative data on the funds/companies that meet my criteria for 'responsible,' ie, responsible in handling their assets and providing returns to the investor. Oil companies included. 

« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 11:01:09 AM by ncornilsen »

RoseRelish

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Re: Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 11:11:23 AM »
"Socially Responsible Investing" can be done two ways:

1) Fund can invest in any company, but "non-responsible" companies are given a ding - or higher hurdle to get into the fund.

2) Fund can only invest in "socially responsible" companies.

Choice #1 is silly because you're going to lose to whatever benchmark the fund uses and will likely still own "non-responsible" companies as they are the most profitable.

Choice #2 is fine, just know that "social responsibility" doesn't translate into "economic responsibility" - and shareholders usually lose.

SomeDaySoon

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Re: Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 11:14:13 AM »
Thanks for posting the link.  We are looking for alternates as well for Vanguard Index Funds because the companies they invest in.


Eric

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Re: Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 11:40:42 AM »
I've decided that I won't give my primary dollars to socially irresponsible companies, meaning I won't buy their products.  However, when buying stuff on the secondary market, it's not as important to me as the company is gaining little to no direct benefit.

For example, I don't shop at Walmart.  However, I have no problem buying Walmart stock on the secondary market in the same way that I'd have no problem buying something at a garage sale that was originally purchased at Walmart.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 03:27:49 PM »
I've decided that I won't give my primary dollars to socially irresponsible companies, meaning I won't buy their products.  However, when buying stuff on the secondary market, it's not as important to me as the company is gaining little to no direct benefit.

For example, I don't shop at Walmart.  However, I have no problem buying Walmart stock on the secondary market in the same way that I'd have no problem buying something at a garage sale that was originally purchased at Walmart.

This is pretty much exactly my policy. I'm a member of certain social circles where people strongly advocate "divesting" from fossil fuel companies because they're wrecking the environment, but I don't really support that particular tactic. The argument is that selling your shares on the secondary market to someone else will somehow affect the ability of that company to carry on business as usual. The mechanism whereby that would actually occur is always glossed over for some reason.

Emg03063

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Re: Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2014, 12:36:37 AM »
The mechanism is their cost of capital increases as their debt to equity ratio rises.

Cyrano

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Re: Amazing resource for socially responsible mutual funds!
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2014, 08:21:00 AM »
Shareholders' equity comes straight off the balance sheet. If a divestment campaign succeeds in significantly lowering the price of a companies stock, then the market capitalization is reduced, but the shareholders' equity remains the same.

I find the rule-based argument, I do not wish to profit from the (alcohol, tobacco, defense, gambling, fill in the blank) industry, therefore I will not own their shares, sound. (But that doesn't lead to a sexy prospectus that justifies 0.7 - 1.5% expense ratios for active management. Vanguard Social is the only fund I know of that runs a social fund as a broad index, minus a few industries.)

But utilitarian arguments that divestment actually impacts the future is based on scanty evidence. And if you believe the utilitarian argument, it doesn't let you stop at zero ownership. If divestment is doing positive good in the world, you have an imperative obligation to sell short!