In the record gush of new tech funds that rolled out this year, we thought we'd seen the tech sector sliced every way possible. But on Monday
announced the launch of what appears to be the first socially responsible tech fund.
Socially responsible funds aim to invest in companies that take a conscientious approach to how they affect their communities and environment. Often, these funds shun companies involved in tobacco, alcohol or firearms, or firms that are less than environmentally kind. Tech sector funds primarily invest only in stocks of companies in the technology industry.
Social Investment Technology
fund might sound gimmicky, but highly regarded tech-fund manager Bob Turner of
is holding the reins. To hear his strategy from the man himself, check out this
10 Questions interview.
The planned fund will be able to invest in foreign or domestic tech stocks of any size, but there are plenty of limitations, too. Calvert will screen out tech companies that don't meet its standards in the areas of environmental protection, hiring practices, product safety, community relations, military weapons contracting and human rights.
Also on Monday, Calvert announced that it has added the
Bridgeway Social Responsibility fund to its product line with a new name:
Calvert Large Cap Growth
fund. Since its 1994 inception, the fund has built a solid track record, beating its average peer and the
over the past one-, three- and five-year periods, according to
Neither fund is a bargain. Their Class A shares levy a maximum 4.75% front-end load or sales charge, while Class B and Class C shares carry a 5% and 1% maximum back-end load, respectively.
The Large Cap Growth fund's annual expenses are 1.75% on Class A shares and 2.75% on Class B and Class C shares, compared to 1.45% for the average big-cap growth fund, according to Morningstar.
The technology fund's annual expenses are higher, too. Class A shares' 2.10% expense ratio and the 3.10% expenses on Class B and Class C shares are all well above the average tech fund's 1.68% expense ratio.