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Are they any good at all? A financial and ethical analysis of socially responsible mutual funds

Abstract

In this article, we examine a broad sample of socially responsible (SR) and conventional mutual funds with respect to financial and ethical parameters. We cannot document profound differences in their financial performance. With regard to ethical performance, we indeed find that an investor who seeks to avoid the least ethical of all available funds can do so by purchasing SR mutual funds. Still, we also demonstrate that SR mutual funds are not holding considerably more ethical assets on average. Moreover, the label ‘SR mutual fund’ does not in any way guarantee the exclusion of clearly unethical firms, which contrasts to the common perception of screening out poor assets.

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Correspondence to Maximillian Wimmer.

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Utz, S., Wimmer, M. Are they any good at all? A financial and ethical analysis of socially responsible mutual funds. J Asset Manag 15, 72–82 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1057/jam.2014.8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/jam.2014.8

Keywords

  • socially responsible investment
  • performance analysis
  • mutual funds
  • ESG-scores