Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pax World Women's Fund

Now here's an interesting concept I didn't know about: The PaxWorld Women's Fund.

Here's their statement on how they do it:

"The Pax World Women’s Equity Fund will invest in companies that promote gender equality by advancing women to top executive positions, have female representation on the board of directors and in senior management and promote positive images of women in their advertising, promotion and marketing. The Fund will avoid investing in companies involved in the exploitation and trafficking of women, whose products demean women or who use negative stereotypes in their advertising, promotion or marketing, that fail to provide a safe work environment for women by encouraging or tolerating harassment, and that have a history or pattern of discrimination or mistreatment of women."

What you end up with is an interesting portfolio of stocks that's certainly a little bit different from your typical large cap fund:

Nokia OYJ, ADR
T Rowe Price Group, Inc.
Illinois Tool Works, Inc.
Microsoft Corp.
Costco Wholesale Corp.
Nike, Inc., Class B
Procter & Gamble Co.
Apache Corp.
PepsiCo, Inc.

As presently constituted, it's a pretty intriguing portfolio, but the expense ratio of 145 bps (170 gross of rebates) is pretty high for a large cap play. And the performance hasn't been there, as of Q3 2007, the 3 and 5 year numbers were in the bottom quartile. My suggestion is to take a look at some of these companies as investment ideas as opposed to buying the fund.

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