Socially responsible mutual funds are mutual funds that include one or more social screens. They are available to investors through several routes. Socially screened mutual funds may be available to investors directly, meaning investors that can meet the funds' minimum investment may put their assets directly into the fund. Investors may also be able to place assets in socially responsible mutual funds through a variable annuity plan. Finally, several funds are made available only to institutions, most commonly to labor union pension funds.
Over the past few years, the number of socially responsible mutual funds increased substantially, creating greater options for investors seeking screened portfolios. The number of mutual funds utilizing social investment criteria rose to 230 in 2001, from 168 in 1999. Some funds simply screen the industries and companies in which they are willing to invest while others engage in shareholder advocacy as well.
For a list of Socially Responsible fund Families, please contact us or go directly to the Social Investment Forum for more information. For a prospectus, or to discuss your interest in any of these funds, please get in touch with us.