Environmentally-Aware Investing

12/08/2014 9:00 am EST

Focus: FUNDS

Walter Frank

CIO, MONEYLETTER

The Parnassus Workplace Fund has been renamed to more accurately reflect its goal of being a leader in environmental, social, and governance issues, explains Walter Frank, editor of MoneyLetter.

Now called Parnassus Endeavor (PARWX), the fund will continue to be managed by Jerome Dodson who founded Parnassus in 1984 to offer responsible investment funds.

In addition to principally investing in undervalued equity securities of large-cap companies with outstanding workplaces, the Parnassus Endeavor Fund will be a fossil-free portfolio by avoiding investments in companies engaged in the extraction, exploration, production, manufacturing, or refining of fossil fuels.

Once the managers determine that a firm's intrinsic value is increasing, they perform an in-depth analysis of the company, which results in an assessment of risk of loss of capital.

When the company's stock is at a price that results in an acceptable risk-adjusted expected rate of return, the stock may be purchased for the portfolio.

Within the portfolio, all stock purchases are sized based on a proprietary "core" position based on risk characteristics.

Beyond that, an "opportunistic" additional investment may be made, allowing managers to take advantage of short-term volatility within the longer-term holdings.

The fund has outperformed better than 90% of its large-cap peer group this year—up nearly 12%—and for the trailing one and three-year periods. This large-cap fund is being added to our model portfolio.

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