Socially responsible investing is nothing new on Wall Street. Funds that avoid anything related to alcohol, tobacco, weapons and other such unappetizing investments have been around for years although very few have really gained any significant traction in the marketplace. The Calvert Equity Fund (MUTF:CSIEX) is perhaps the biggest success story with assets of over $2 billion. The Domini Social Equity Fund (MUTF:DSEFX) has been around for 25 years and manages nearly $1 billion. In the ETF space, there's the iShares MSCI USA ESG Select Fund (NYSEARCA:KLD).
A new ETF has just entered the social investing fray and it's being brought to the market by ETF innovator Global X. The Global X S&P 500 Catholic Values ETF (NASDAQ:CATH) was launched earlier this month with the goal of adhering to the investing guidelines set forth by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. While the full mandate is far too long to add here, the general principles include "protecting human life; promoting human dignity; reducing arms production; pursuing economic justice; protecting the environment, and encouraging corporate responsibility." This means eliminating companies engaged in activities such as weapons production, gambling, abortion, stem cell research, sweatshop labor and racial or gender discrimination.
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