Socially Responsible ETFs: Make Money While Saving the World

Includes: DSI, KLD, PBW, PZD
by: Tom Lydon

Socially responsible investing has been around for some time and there are ETFs available as well. David Kathman of reports that these funds screen for such characteristics as alcohol, tobacco, gambling and "greenness", giving investors a peace of mind.

Socially responsible ETFs include:

  • iShares KLD Select Social (NYSEARCA:KLD) - holds 218 companies in the Russell 1000 and S&P 500 which have the highest social and environmental scores and exclude only tobacco companies;
  • iShares KLD 400 Social (NYSEARCA:DSI) - seeks to give total exposure to companies that have positive environmental, social and governance characteristics;
  • PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (NYSEARCA:PBW) - focuses on companies that support renewable and cleaner energy options;
  • PowerShares Cleantech (NYSEARCA:PZD) - invests in companies that improve operational performance, productivity or efficiency, while reducing costs, inputs, energy consumption, waste or pollution.
  • There is no evidence these funds do any better or worse than the mainstream. If you do decide to purchase one of these funds, do so with passion for the principles behind it, but don't forget to have an exit strategy if they aren't performing the way they should for your portfolio.