Debra Pappler: “I live overseas (Tokyo) and want to invest in some kind of environmentally friendly / sustainable future mutual fund, the kind you see ads for in UTNE Reader and the like. I’ve gotten the prospectuses from couple of places but I wasn’t happy with their fees. Do you have any recommendations? I hope that making money and being good to the environment aren’t mutually exclusive.”
My own feeling is that this is sort of like recycling in a community where the garbage is later just all thrown together. It makes you feel good, and you WANT to help … but recycling (in such a circumstance) really doesn’t.
That is, I’d invest for best results (which usually means finding an index fund or two with really low annual expenses); then give some of those results to worthy environmental causes.
That said, you could do worse than to check out http://www.citizensfunds.com/ . At least in recent years, socially responsible investing has been a good strategy for high performance, because the most forward-looking companies, socially, tend also to be forward-looking in other respects as well.
Viva la France. Happy birthday, Duncan.