Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

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Association for Investment Management and Research

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Conversations about socially responsible investing are difficult because they combine facts with beliefs. Proponents of socially responsible investing believe that combining social goals with investments does good; opponents believe that such combinations are unwise or even illegitimate. In this article, I try to separate facts from beliefs. I report that the Domini Social Index, an index of socially responsible stocks, did better than the S&P 500 Index and that socially responsible mutual funds did better than conventional mutual funds over the 1990-98 period but the differences between their risk-adjusted returns are not statistically significant. Both groups of mutual funds trailed the S&P 500 Index.

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