scholarly journals Investing in Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

Christopher C Geczy ◽  
Robert F Stambaugh ◽  
David Levin

Abstract We construct optimal portfolios of mutual funds whose objectives include socially responsible investment (SRI). Comparing portfolios of these funds to those constructed from the broader fund universe reveals the cost of imposing the SRI constraint on investors seeking the highest Sharpe ratio. This SRI cost crucially depends on the investor’s views about asset pricing models and stock-picking skill by fund managers. To an investor who strongly believes in the CAPM and rules out managerial skill, that is, a market index investor, the cost of the SRI constraint is typically just a few basis points per month, measured in certainty-equivalent loss. To an investor who still disallows skill but instead believes to some degree in pricing models that associate higher returns with exposures to size, value, and momentum factors, the SRI constraint is much costlier, typically by at least 30 basis points per month. The SRI constraint imposes large costs on investors whose beliefs allow a substantial amount of fund-manager skill, that is, investors who heavily rely on individual funds’ track records to predict future performance.

2018 ◽  
Vol 19 (3) ◽  
pp. 247-261 ◽  
Federica Ielasi ◽  
Monica Rossolini ◽  
Sara Limberti

PurposeThis paper aims to analyze the portfolio characteristics and the performance measures of sustainability-themed mutual funds, compared to ethical mutual funds that implement different sustainable and responsible investment strategies.Design/methodology/approachThe study refers to a European sample of 106 ethical funds and 51 sustainability-themed funds. The monthly performance of each fund is downloaded from Bloomberg for the period from January 1996 to December 2015. By applying a Fama and French (1993) three-factor model, the authors overcome the limits of a capital asset pricing model (CAPM) based-single index model, to compare the performance of the two categories of funds.FindingsSustainability-themed funds do not differ significantly from ethical funds in terms of portfolio attributes, except for market capitalization, age and net asset value. Regarding performance measures, the results shows that sustainability-themed funds have a lower underperformance than ethical funds (as measured by Jensen’s alpha), whereas the samples do not differ in terms of market risk (as measured by Beta coefficient). The idiosyncratic risk of sustainability-themed funds is positively influenced by the specific portfolio strategies. The sustainability-themed funds show a higher concentration in the industrial sector and a lower exposure to financial sector than ethical funds; in terms of geographical strategy, they are more global and international oriented; they mainly focus on small caps and value stocks.Research limitations/implicationsThe different sustainable and responsible investment strategies can be applied simultaneously and in a growing number of possible combinations. Mutual fund managers can consider thematic approach as an efficient opportunity for reconciling financial performance and economic sustainability. It is demonstrated that sustainability-themed funds adopt a portfolio strategy significantly different from ethical funds and from the environmental, social and governance benchmarks. Mutual fund managers implement a thematic specialization without any negative impact on the funds returns compared to ethical funds; actually, with a proper diversified portfolio, they are able to reduce idiosyncratic risk.Originality/valueThe analysis is extremely innovative, especially for the thematic sample. During the past 15 years, literature about sustainable and responsible investment has been focused especially on the differences in terms of risk and performance between socially responsible and conventional funds. This paper, starting from the methodology applied in these studies, wants to compare two different types of socially responsible strategies, with a specific focus on sustainability-themed mutual funds, given their exponential growth in the past few years.

2015 ◽  
Vol 20 (2) ◽  
pp. 53-75 ◽  
Syed Kalim Hyder Bukhari ◽  
Mohammed Azam

Islamic mutual funds and socially responsible mutual funds are two similar asset classes that incorporate negative screens in their portfolio selection process to filter out stocks that fail to meet certain ethical, social, environmental, and/or religious standards. This study uses a single-factor capital asset pricing model and an adjusted sample consisting of 224 Islamic funds and 573 socially responsible funds to examine their excess risk-adjusted returns, market volatility, and systematic risk. It also gauges the market-timing abilities of the fund managers concerned in relation to both Islamic/socially responsible and conventional market indices. While there are some differences in the risk factors of Islamic funds and socially responsible funds, both are associated with lower risks and have the same market-timing ability.

2001 ◽  
Vol 1 (1) ◽  
pp. 42-72 ◽  
Brett A. Stone

The first iteration of a nonstatic special-purpose taxonomy of corporate social performance concepts is developed from a mailed, self-administered survey completed by managers of U.S. socially responsible mutual funds. The study combines the traditionally disparate research areas of Corporate Social Performance and Socially Responsible Investing. As a partial update of Rockness and Williams (1988), a descriptive account is presented of what mutual fund managers regard as the social issues that constitute corporate social performance. The resulting taxonomy represents an empirically derived framework useful in considering social accounting in general and accounting standard setting in particular.

Amparo Soler‐Domínguez ◽  
Juan Carlos Matallín‐Sáez ◽  
Diego Víctor Mingo‐López ◽  
Emili Tortosa‐Ausina

2016 ◽  
Vol 8 (4) ◽  
pp. 44 ◽  
Hong Yuh Ching ◽  
Thiago Toste ◽  
Renan Tardelli

The study proposes to develop a reference model of sustainability disclosure based on the models and requirements of four sustainability indexes - Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Corporate Sustainability Index ISE, Frankfurt STOXX and Financial Times FTSE ESG. The approach employed to develop the model is a qualitative analysis of the complementarity among the Stock indexes above mentioned alongside a literature review on sustainability disclosure frameworks. There is no consensus around what should be measured and how. Yet, there is no study in the literature that has ever discussed the models of the sustainability stock indexes and the respective data required in each one of them or compared these models and their requirements. The present study attempts to fulfill this gap by examining the initiatives and requirements of four prominent sustainability indexes. This study contributes to the sustainability responsible investment literature. The inclusion of a firm in a sustainability index can be perceived as a positive signal by investors and this can be explained by signaling theory. This analysis can help investors and/or socially responsible fund managers to screen the stocks against this reference model and determine those firms that are more adherent to it.

2021 ◽  
Vol 6 (1) ◽  
pp. 118-135
Pick-Soon Ling ◽  
Ruzita Abdul-Rahim

Background and Purpose: Studies focusing on mutual fund managerial abilities and investment style strategies are still scarce in the literature. Thus, this study aims to provide new evidence and insights into the managerial abilities and investment style performances of Malaysian fund managers.   Methodology: A total of 444 Malaysian equity mutual funds (EMFs) were evaluated using Carhart’s model incorporated with Treynor-Mazuy (T-M) and Henriksson-Merton (H-M) market timing models for the study period, from January 1995 to December 2017.   Findings: Fund managers displayed superior stock selection skills with 32 percent and 43 percent of funds for T-M and H-M respectively, with perverse market timing ability which accounted for 39 percent and 42 percent of funds for T-M and H-M respectively. Perverse timing ability had reduced the superior stock-picking skills of fund managers. This suggests that the EMFs performance could further improve if respective fund managers perform better in market timing ability. The finding also indicates that size effect (SMB) and value effect (HML) play significant roles in investment style strategies, while results of momentum factor (WML) propose that Malaysian fund managers have followed the contrarian strategy.   Contributions: This study contributes in several ways especially in the literature of portfolio management as the evidence is obtained from the largest mutual funds sample size and the longest study period. Moreover, this study also used the highest frequency data to study the effects of market timing which were overlooked in previous studies.   Keywords: Adjusted carhart, Malaysian market, market timing, mutual fund, stock selection.   Cite as: Ling, P-S., & Abdul-Rahim, R. (2021). Managerial abilities and factor investment style performances of Malaysian mutual funds.  Journal of Nusantara Studies, 6(1), 118-135.

Sign in / Sign up

Export Citation Format

Share Document