In Canada, the socially-responsible investor can chose from over 70 mutual funds in a variety of asset classes: global/international equity, Canadian equity, fixed income, money market, Canadian balanced, and Canadian dividend. There is one exchange-traded fund, iShares Canadian Jantzi Social Index Fund.
The three most prominent mutual-fund families are: Ethical Funds Company, Inhance Investment Managementand Meritas Mutual Funds. The oldest is Ethical Funds Co., formed in 1992. It is also the largest of the families, with $2.5 billion in assets under administration.
The largest single fund is the InvestorsGroup SRI SummaFund, with over $1.5 billion in assets, followed by Ethical Growth Fund at $385 million and Ethical Balanced Fund at $360 million, The oldest ethical mutual fund in Canada isthe Ethical Growth Fund, birthed in 1987 (by Vancouver City Savings Credit Union).
One of the few purely green funds is the Desjardins Environment Fund, focusing solely onenvironmental aspects (e.g. alternative energy, sustainability, climate change) of socially-responsible investing (SRI). It also has the best performance, with a 19% annual return over the last five years and 7% annual return over the last 10 years.
The Ethical Canadian Dividend Fund, the fourth largest in the SRI group with $265 million under management, was the best fund in the five-year dividend category at the 2008 Lipper Fund Awards in Canada 2008. It earned 16.5% annually over the last five years.
The ethical mutual fundshave annual management expense ratios (MERs) over 2%. The iShares Canadian Jantzi Social Index Fund has an annual MER of 0.5%.