A Superb Socially Responsible Fund

Appleseed Fund has shined during the bear market -- and the rebound.

Finding top-notch mutual funds is hard enough. Identifying first-rate funds that invest only in what their managers believe are socially responsible companies is virtually impossible.

Put Appleseed Fund (symbol APPLX) on the short list of superb socially conscious funds. Its performance has been stunning. Over the three years through February 19, the fund returned an annualized 7% -- an average of 15 percentage points per year better than Standard & Poor’s 1500 Citigroup Value stock index, which tracks the stocks of undervalued companies of all sizes. The fund coasted through the worst bear market since the Great Depression with relatively minor damage. In 2008, it lost just 18%, and last year it soared 60%. The S&P 1500 Value index, by contrast, lost 39% in 2008 and gained 22% last year.

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Steven Goldberg
Contributing Columnist, Kiplinger.com
Steve has been writing for Kiplinger's for more than 25 years. As an associate editor and then senior associate editor, he covered mutual funds for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine from 1994-2006. He also authored a book, But Which Mutual Funds? In 2006 he joined with Jerry Tweddell, one of his best sources on investing, to form Tweddell Goldberg Investment Management to manage money for individual investors. Steve continues to write a regular column for Kiplinger.com and enjoys hearing investing questions from readers. You can contact Steve at 301.650.6567 or sgoldberg@kiplinger.com.