Think ethical investing and you'll probably dismiss it as "something for the sandal-wearing and veggie-burger eating classes", says Fund Strategy. That maybe the general perception, but growing concerns over issues such as global warming have meant that more investors are looking for an ethically-minded fund especially one that makes a profit. As one of only five funds in the global-growth sector to deliver positive returns over the past three months, the Jupiter Ecology Fund is "a good place to start if you want to invest ethically", says John Bowker in The Scotsman.
Managed by Charlie Thomas, a former environmental policy adviser with BP and employee of the United Nations Environment Programme, the fund enjoyed returns of 2.1% against the sector average of -3.9% over the past three months, says Investment Adviser. Launched 18 years ago, it has six major investment themes that all focus on environmental and social issues. While this isn't the usual criterion on which most investors make decisions, according to Standard and Poor's the fund has made a bid-to-bid return of 82.87% against the sector average of 48.88% over the three years to 19 June 2006.
Thomas is particularly keen on the water sector. Itron is his top pick in this sector, as it has a 52% market share of the US water and gas meter business. "Its top line is growing by 15% per year," he tells Fund Strategy. Rather than being seen as a drawback, the fund's ethical exclusion screens are liked by many advisers. "We like fund managers who are able to back their own convictions and other than its dark-green credentials, the Ecology fund has no geographical or benchmark constraints, which gives it more flexibility," says Paul Ilott of Bates Investment Services in Investment Week.
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Jupiter Ecology Fund top ten holdings
Name of holding % of assets
RPS �� 2.68%
For more on ethical investing, see David Morrow of ABN Amro's pick of three socially responsible firms.
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