Thursday, August 14, 2008

Smug Profile: Non Profit + Green Investing = Bliss

It has been a few weeks since posting, but it's been a busy period. My models have been down, but there's no cause for alarm, all's well in Smug land. In fact, I'm busy looking for open positions in green investment funds, which brings me in part to my self serving post of the day - a write up of Green Century Balanced Fund, a Green Century Capital Management mutual fund:

Ticker: GCBLX
Inception: March 18, 1992
Asset Type: Mutual Fund - Mixed
Markets: Domestic
Smug Category: Bond
Included in Smug Asset Pool?: Yes

YTD -5.85%
1 year -3.73%
3 year annualized 1.90%
5 year annualized 5.36%

Min Investment: $2,500
Min Retirement Investment: $1,000
Minimum Additional: $50 automatic investment, $100 otherwise
Sales Load:
$2,500 to $24,999.99: 0.00% of offering price
$25,000 to $99,999.99: 0.00% of offering price
$100,000 or more: 0.00% of offering price

Management Fees: 0.65% for 2007 - based on AUM.
12b-1 Fees: None
Other fees: 0.73%
Total Annual Fee: 1.38% for 2007.

I'll be honest - this fund has not been my first choice historically, in large part because the fees are much higher than others at 1.38%. That said, there is good reason to be excited about this fund. 100% of net profits generated fund non profit research. Yes, 100%. It's almost comically non capitalist. That, to me, says in a nutshell what Green Century tries to accomplish. Not only do they have fairly selective screens on their investment choices, but the revenue goes into a pool and subdivided by the consortium of non profits that "own" Green Capital Management.

Then there's the investment choices themselves. Similar to Pax World's High Yield Fund, which was just dinged by the SEC for not following their own screens several years ago (tsk), Green Century Balanced is a combination of corporate debt, other bonds, and a modicum of growth investing thrown in to keep the returns nice and round. It should act as a nice, semi stable piece of moderate income with moderate growth, despite it's tough year this year (who hasn't had a tough year, really?).

As an eternal skeptic, my first question was, "what do these non profits do?" Again, I was surprised by the answer. GCBLX funds some of the biggest and brightest think tanks in the country, including the state "PIRG" groups (Public Interest Research Group). As if being a responsible investor by investing in Green Century is not enough, you'd also be inadvertently (or maybe "advertently?") supporting research in responsible business practice to boot! The nice long 10+ year track record of beating their benchmark doesn't hurt, either.

All in all, the fund is definitely worth looking at. And cross your fingers I get the job with them.