Wants Socially Responsible Funds

Question: I’m 43, and I have nothing, whatsoever, in the way of RRSP or investments. My problem is this: I don’t feel right about investing. That is, I would feel better if I invested in ethical funds. May I have your opinion on these funds?

Gordon Pape answer: The generic name for this type of fund is “socially responsible”. Ethical is a brand name, which the company is actually suing to protect in the wake of the launch of a new fund by Mackenzie Financial that uses the word “ethical” in its title.

There are several very good socially responsible funds around, but you have to be selective. Among Canadian equity funds, our top recommendation is the Investors Summa Fund, which has been an outstanding performer over many years. For a U.S. equity fund, we like Ethical North American Growth Fund, which has a fine record, an excellent managerial team, and low volatility. Among fixed-income funds, Ethical Income Fund gets a $$$ rating in our On-line Mutual Funds Database, although all bond funds are struggling right now. For a labour-sponsored fund, try the First Ontario Fund, which applies socially-responsible standards.

<FON sze=”1″>Reviews and ratings of all these fund plus others in the socially responsible category can be found in Gordon Pape’s 2000 Buyer’s Guide to Mutual Funds.