History books have yet to reveal the final chapter of 2021, a year that lurched between the promise enshrined in synthetic mRNA, the revolutionary technology behind the first Covid-19 vaccines, and the peril posed by billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, a growing political divide, and the ongoing struggles over racial and economic inequality.
But one thing is certain: As these disparate events played out on the national stage, investors poured gobs of money into funds buying sustainable companies. Some $56.3 billion flowed into the funds in the first nine months the year, more than the $51.2 billion for all of 2020. As of September 2021, assets in sustainable funds totaled more than $330 billion. And the funds generally proved to be rewarding, according to Barron’s sixth annual ranking of actively managed U.S. large-company stock funds with an above-average sustainable ranking from
More than a quarter of the funds that we ranked—41—beat the
index’s total return of 28.7%, a much better turnout than the 19% of all active managers who beat the index. In all, the 157 sustainable funds that we tracked returned 26.1%.
“We are finally in the era where you don’t have to explain why this is a relevant business issue.”
It was an eventful year for sustainable investors, culminating in the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. The annual summit helped underscore the challenge and urgent need for action if we are to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming. Climate change, in particular, has become increasingly important to businesses and investors—although the effects of the pandemic are still revealing great inequality that is also in focus. Investment managers of all stripes are seeking out companies that not only generate strong profits, but also do well when it comes to environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, factors.
“For folks who are focused on sustainability—what interesting times,” says Katherine Collins, head of sustainable investing at Putnam Investments and portfolio co-manager of the $582 million
Putnam Sustainable Future
(ticker: PMVAX) and the $6.8 billion
Putnam Sustainable Leaders
“The importance of key sustainability issues is more and more obvious on a day-to-day basis,” adds Collins. “We are finally in the era where you don’t have to explain why this is a relevant business issue, or why fundamental analysis needs to incorporate relevant sustainability focus.“
Indeed, a recent
Morgan Stanley report showed that 79% of U.S. individual investors are interested in sustainable investing. Among millennial investors, that figure was at an all-time high of 99%.
Yet performance remains a top concern. Morgan Stanley’s report found that 70% of individual investors believed that sustainable investing meant sacrificing some financial returns. But the authors demurred. “This stands in contrast to the performance data,” Morgan Stanley says.
The performance of many funds on the Barron’s list bears this out.
High-quality companies tend to score well on sustainability, and not surprisingly, the top funds on our list held companies with strong earnings and revenue potential. That’s partly why more than 25% of the funds on our list beat the S&P 500’s return, whereas just 19% of all actively managed funds beat the market, according to Morningstar Direct.
It is worth noting, however, that only 28 of the 157 funds on the list have a sustainability mandate. Morningstar essentially takes a snapshot of each portfolio and gives it a sustainability grade based on the companies it owns—a high sustainability rating doesn’t necessarily mean that ESG criteria are a priority for these funds. Indeed, the first eight funds, ranked by 2021 performance, don’t have a sustainability mandate. And 62 funds—all of which don’t have a sustainability mandate—appear on the list for the first time this year.
Tom Marsico, the celebrated growth investor whose
fund (MGRIX) was No. 2 on the list for 2020, says he invests in companies where “there’s a lot of intellectual property,” and almost by default “that leads to what I consider to be clean companies that don’t have huge impacts on the air or water or other areas that would impact your life.” These companies also tend to be leaders in providing good healthcare for employees and inclusive work environments, he adds.
To construct our list, Barron’s looked at all of the actively managed large-company stock funds—both mutual and exchange traded—that earned a “high” or “above average” sustainability rating from Morningstar. We included all funds with an explicit mandate to invest according to any sustainable or ESG principles—even though some of them have lower sustainability ratings from Morningstar. We then ranked them according to their 2021 performance.
The No. 1 and No. 2 spots on our list are the $1.3 billion
HCM Tactical Growth
(HCMGX) and the $1.3 billion
HCM Dividend Sector Plus
(HCMNX) funds, both managed by Vance Howard, CEO and portfolio manager of Howard Capital Management. “I’ve been the portfolio manager on virtually every trade this firm has ever made,” says Howard, who founded the firm in 1999.
The quantitative shop uses a proprietary technology called the HCM-BuyLine, a “stop-loss indicator” designed to mitigate downside risk and “remove emotion from the investing process.” Tactical Growth is very concentrated, with just 22 stocks, and can own companies in any industry or of any size. The fund was overweight technology stocks in 2021, and its positions in
Nvidia (NVDA) and
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) helped drive performance. Its largest holding is
Amazon.com (AMZN), but the fund has a very high active share, 79 out of 100—a measure of how different it is from the index.
“We trade a lot of tech stocks….That brings sustainability to a very attractive level.”
The Dividend fund is also concentrated, though it has about 50 stocks, all of which pay a dividend. One of the best performers was a big stake in the
iShares Select Dividend
ETF (DVY). Toward the end of 2021, Howard also bought
AT&T (T). “We bought that at around $23.50, almost paying a 9% dividend yield. It was just such a low-risk trade.” The stock is currently trading around $27 a share.
Though Howard doesn’t incorporate ESG metrics into his stockpicking, he says he wasn’t altogether surprised to debut on the list this year. “We trade a lot of tech stocks; we really don’t trade a lot of energy and things like that. So, that brings our sustainability to a very attractive level,” he says.
No. 3 is the $6.5 billion JNL/Goldman Sachs 4, another fund making its first appearance on the list—and another quant fund. Sold by Jackson National Life, the fund is available only to clients of Jackson’s variable annuity products. It’s managed by two subadvisors,
Goldman Sachs and Mellon Capital Management.
“Goldman Sachs is responsible for running the quantitative screens and identifying the list of stocks that look attractive based on various metrics. Mellon Capital is responsible for trading those securities,” explains Bill Harding, senior vice president and chief investment officer at Jackson National Asset Management, a subsidiary of Jackson that serves as the investment manager responsible for selecting and monitoring the external asset managers of the JNL funds.
Goldman screens for stocks that look attractive on value, quality, and momentum factors, and typically owns them in equal parts. Last year, Harding says, the momentum factor provided the biggest boost to performance, along with good choices in the consumer-discretionary, technology, materials, and industrials sectors.
The fund benefited from being underweight Amazon, which was a “relative laggard” in the sector, and from owning retailers such as Lowe’s (LOW) and Kohl’s (KSS). Other positive contributors included
Seagate Technology Holdings (STX),
Juniper Networks (JNPR), Albemarle (ALB), Nucor (NUE), and
Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL).
The fund isn’t managed for sustainability, but Harding says he is seeing more of the firm’s asset managers do more in this area. “The largest asset-management companies that we’ve partnered with have added to their resources in sustainable investing,” he says. “They’ve integrated more ESG into their processes. It is an important trend in the industry.”
No. 4 is the $2.4 billion
Glenmede Quantitative U.S. Large Cap Growth Equity
fund (GTILX), up from 102 last year. Alex Atanasiu, portfolio manager and quantitative equity officer at Glenmede Investment Management, says there are five guiding principles for the fund, the first of which is a systematic approach.
“We want to pick up on factors that are present across market cycles systematically, so we rebalance each month,” he says. Most of these factors are straightforward—valuation and other fundamental ratios, such as earnings-estimate revisions. The fund has less emphasis on momentum—how quickly a stock is rising—because “momentum is a very finicky factor.”
While the fund doesn’t have a sustainability mandate, Atanasiu views the strategy as an “ESG-integrated strategy.”
No. 5 is the $8.4 billion
fund (FFIDX), run by Jean Park. Launched nearly 100 years ago, on April 30, 1930, the fund is making its first appearance on the list.
Park’s investment process is focused on quality and valuation. She likes high-quality, durable businesses. “My sweet spot is finding companies that generate positive free cash flow, where fundamentals are improving,” she says, which “also tend to be sustainable companies.”
Park also digs into a company’s track record on capital allocation. “I like to see signs of positive capital allocation. So, whether that means that there’s a focus on using the free cash flow to fund buybacks, dividends, or creative mergers and acquisitions, those are all part of the mosaic of what leads me to look at investments.”
Microsoft (MSFT), and
Apple (AAPL) helped drive performance. So did Nvidia. Park sold her stake in Nvidia in late 2019 but started buying again in late 2020, and now it’s the sixth-largest position in the fund.
While the fund doesn’t have a sustainable mandate, Park says that “ESG is definitely a part of my holistic investment process.”
Fund managers are seeing more evidence of sustainable investing becoming de rigueur.
Park says she relies heavily on Fidelity research, which increasingly focuses on ESG. “I like looking at ESG and saying, ‘Wow, I think this has the potential to be a much bigger category.’ And can I look at stocks in a different way, or just have another input into my process that helps me think, ‘What are the ones that I’m going to want to own for the longer term that might also be beneficiaries and score really well on these metrics?’”
Brandon Geisler, a portfolio manager at Marsico, believes that in the future, the industry will do a much better job when it comes to sustainable investing.
“It’s increasingly just a part of running a great business,” he says. “You have to consider all these things, and particularly if you want incremental investment in your business and consider all your stakeholders, versus maybe 15 to 20 years ago, [when] you could be much more focused on one particular stakeholder.”
For Putnam’s Collins, 2021 was in some ways a watershed year. “We’re getting beyond the entry-level discussion on some of the biggest and most interesting and important issues of our time,” she says. “If you go back a few years, many investors and many company management teams were just starting to look at things like the carbon intensity of the business. That is a really important starting point.
“I don’t want to dismiss that at all. But that has really dramatically accelerated, and now we’re having much more sophisticated discussions around: What does a circular economy look like? And if you are already addressing your carbon intensity, how might you further improve that by thinking about the full life cycle of your products out in the world?”
Investors are increasingly using mutual funds to do just that.
|2021 Rank||2020 Rank||Fund||Ticker||Total Return 2021||Total Return 2020||Total Return 3-Yr||Total Return 5-Yr||Morningstar Sustainability Rating||AUM (mil)||Expense Ratio|
|1||NA||HCM Tactical Growth||HCMGX||40.2%||53.4%||36.0%||25.0%||Above Average||$1,320.8||1.65%|
|2||NA||HCM Dividend Sector Plus||HCMNX||38.5||29.1||29.1||17.0||Above Average||1,352.0||1.64|
|3||NA||JNL/Goldman Sachs 4||N/A||36.3||4.9||20.3||13.6||High||6,541.5||0.05|
|4||NA||Glenmede Quant US Large Cap Gr Equity||GTILX||34.0||18.9||27.5||20.1||High||2,485.5||0.68|
|6||NA||SEI US Equity Factor Allocation||SEHAX||33.6||13.4||23.4||N/A||Above Average||1,012.7||0.32|
|7||NA||GMO US Equity III||GMUEX||32.7||13.8||23.9||15.2||High||481.3||0.51|
|8||NA||Dodge & Cox Stock||DODGX||32.6||7.3||20.8||14.3||Above Average||91,916.1||0.52|
|11||NA||VALIC Company I Systematic Value||VBCVX||31.9||-2.6||15.7||10.2||Above Average||541.6||0.87|
|12||NA||Hartford Dividend and Growth||IHGIX||31.9||7.9||21.2||14.6||Above Average||15,478.9||1.00|
|13||NA||Northern US Quality ESG||NUEIX||31.9||20.2||N/A||N/A||High||489.5||0.61|
|14||80||AB Concentrated Growth||WPASX||31.8||21.1||28.8||21.1||Above Average||1,514.6||1.01|
|15||94||Franklin U.S. Core Equity||FCEUX||31.7||19.4||N/A||N/A||Above Average||1,455.0||0.01|
|16||NA||Allspring Large Cap Core||EGOAX||31.5||8.2||21.0||14.7||Above Average||545.2||1.23|
|17||69||Pax Large Cap||PAXLX||31.4||23.9||28.3||19.4||High||1,569.3||0.95|
|18||NA||MM Equity Asset||MSEJX||31.2||20.7||26.4||17.2||Above Average||403.9||0.22|
|19||NA||JPMorgan U.S. GARP Equity||JIGAX||31.0||27.5||27.1||20.8||Above Average||1,299.2||0.90|
|20||56||Eaton Vance Atlanta Capital Focused Growth||EAALX||31.0||26.9||29.6||24.1||High||595.1||1.03|
|21||NA||Jensen Quality Growth||JENSX||30.9||18.6||24.7||19.1||Above Average||10,931.1||0.82|
|22||48||Carillon ClariVest Capital Appreciation||HRCPX||30.9||29.0||28.7||20.6||Above Average||636.1||1.11|
|23||NA||JPMorgan US Research Enhanced Equity||JDEAX||30.9||20.6||26.0||17.8||Above Average||5,876.3||0.84|
|24||NA||Pax US Sustainable Economy||PXGAX||30.9||13.5||21.9||16.1||High||314.7||0.90|
|25||43||Delaware Ivy Large Cap Growth||WLGAX||30.7||30.9||30.5||23.3||High||6,425.4||0.98|
|26||20||Brown Advisory Sustainable Growth||BIAWX||30.7||38.9||31.5||24.2||High||6,926.3||0.80|
|27||NA||City National Rochdale US Cor Eq Svc||CNRVX||30.2||14.7||24.4||18.2||Above Average||439.0||0.76|
|30||NA||Vanguard Windsor II||VWNFX||29.7||14.7||23.2||14.9||Above Average||61,313.6||0.34|
|31||NA||MFS Blended Research Core Equity||MUEAX||29.7||15.3||22.8||15.3||Above Average||1,195.4||0.81|
|32||NA||BNY Mellon Equity Income||DQIAX||29.6||3.7||18.1||13.2||Above Average||1,056.2||1.08|
|33||NA||Janus Henderson Growth And Income||JDNAX||29.6||10.2||20.7||16.3||High||7,422.1||1.01|
|34||NA||Federated Hermes MDT Large Cap Value||FSTRX||29.2||6.4||17.3||11.3||Above Average||1,296.7||1.17|
|35||NA||LSV Value Equity||LVAEX||29.0||-1.5||16.5||10.0||Above Average||1,963.3||0.91|
|36||87||BlackRock Advantage Large Cap Core||MDLRX||29.0||19.7||24.1||17.0||Above Average||3,548.8||0.93|
|37||96||American Century Sustainable Equity||AFDAX||28.9||19.2||25.6||18.4||High||3,770.3||1.04|
|38||NA||BlackRock Sustainable Adv Large Cap Core||BIRAX||28.9||22.3||25.6||17.8||Above Average||683.9||0.98|
|39||NA||Sterling Capital Equity Income||BAEIX||28.9||8.6||19.9||15.4||Above Average||2,489.4||1.04|
|40||NA||Boston Trust Walden Equity||WSEFX||28.9||13.4||23.4||17.0||Above Average||352.7||1.06|
|41||28||William Blair Large Cap Growth||LCGFX||28.9||36.6||33.0||26.4||Above Average||1,106||0.80|
|42||29||American Century NT Growth||ACLTX||28.7||36.3||31.5||23.9||Above Average||1,574.6||0.61|
|43||NA||Fidelity Dividend Growth||FDGFX||28.6||2.5||17.7||12.7||Above Average||7,043.3||0.49|
|44||NA||Carillon Eagle Growth & Income||HRCVX||28.5||6.5||17.7||13.9||Above Average||1,012.9||0.96|
|45||NA||Applied Finance Select||AFVLX||28.5||15.6||24.2||N/A||High||336.0||1.23|
|46||82||Parnassus Core Equity||PRBLX||28.4||21.4||25.5||17.7||High||31,696.7||0.84|
|47||NA||VALIC Company I U.S. Socially Responsible||VSRDX||28.2||16.1||23.5||16.4||High||847.9||0.60|
|48||NA||Sterling Capital Special Opportunities||BOPAX||28.2||13.3||21.4||14.9||Above Average||676.0||1.12|
|49||NA||Glenmede Quant US Large Cap Core Equity||GTLIX||28.1||7.7||18.5||13.9||High||1,405||0.67|
|50||NA||AB Relative Value||CABDX||28.0||3.0||17.0||12.4||Above Average||2,085.8||0.95|
|52||NA||PIMCO RAE US||PKAAX||27.9||3.9||18.1||12.2||Above Average||1,286.0||0.84|
|53||NA||Nuveen Dividend Growth||NSBAX||27.9||9.7||21.5||15.3||Above Average||6,970.3||0.92|
|54||81||DFA US Sustainability Core 1||DFSIX||27.9||21.4||25.7||17.6||Below Average||5,779.1||0.25|
|55||51||Fidelity Magellan||FMAGX||27.7||28.4||26.2||18.8||Above Average||32,611.4||0.79|
|56||NA||Lord Abbett Affiliated||LAFFX||27.7||-1.0||15.6||10.6||Above Average||6,628.5||0.71|
|58||68||BNY Mellon Appreciation||DGAGX||27.6||24.2||27.2||19.3||Above Average||2,594.4||0.89|
|59||NA||Invesco Rising Dividends||OARDX||27.5||13.6||22.2||14.6||High||3,215.8||1.04|
|60||NA||USAA Income Stock||USISX||27.5||0.6||16.0||11.4||Above Average||3,014.5||0.70|
|61||NA||BlackRock Advantage Large Cap Value||MDLVX||27.5||3.9||17.1||11.7||Above Average||669.2||1.10|
|62||NA||DWS CROCI US||DCUAX||27.5||-12.5||12.3||9.1||Above Average||750.9||0.98|
|64||79||DFA US Large Cap Growth||DUSLX||27.3||22.0||25.6||19.2||Above Average||2,884.3||0.19|
|65||26||Nuveen Winslow Large-Cap Growth ESG||NWCAX||27.3||37.6||29.8||23.9||High||889.4||1.14|
|66||31||American Century Growth||TCRAX||27.3||34.9||30.1||22.5||Above Average||13,016.4||1.21|
|67||NA||Virtus NFJ Large-Cap Value||PNBAX||27.1||2.2||16.2||11.3||Above Average||340.8||1.06|
|68||71||State Street US Core Equity||SSAQX||27.1||24.0||26.4||18.5||Above Average||7,131.1||0.15|
|69||NA||T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth||PRDGX||27.0||14.1||22.7||16.6||Above Average||22,050.1||0.63|
|70||NA||Lazard US Equity Concentrated||LEVIX||27.0||9.1||21.1||13.8||Above Average||1,957.3||0.76|
|71||NA||Columbia Dividend Income||LBSAX||27.0||7.7||19.8||14.5||Above Average||39,851.7||0.92|
|72||74||VALIC Company I Large Capital Growth||VLCGX||26.9||22.5||28.1||21.5||Above Average||757.6||0.75|
|73||67||BNY Mellon Sust US Equity||DTCAX||26.9||24.2||26.8||17.2||Above Average||573.8||0.99|
|74||86||TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity||TICRX||26.9||20.3||24.5||16.8||Above Average||7,620.9||0.44|
|75||NA||ClearBridge Large Cap Value||SINAX||26.8||5.9||19.1||11.9||Above Average||3,075.1||0.86|
|76||NA||Olstein All Cap Value||OFAVX||26.8||11.2||21.5||N/A||Above Average||753.4||1.39|
|77||NA||Neuberger Berman Multi-Cap Opportunities||NMUAX||26.8||12.4||21.0||15.6||Above Average||495.6||1.18|
|78||12||BlackRock Advantage Large Cap Growth||BMCAX||26.8||34.1||29.2||20.7||Above Average||1,129.4||1.08|
|79||NA||GuideMark Large Cap Core Service||GMLGX||26.8||22.5||24.4||16.9||Above Average||729.8||1.15|
|80||NA||Lord Abbett Dividend Growth||LAMAX||26.7||15.6||21.6||15.1||Above Average||3,548.1||0.95|
|81||76||TIAA-CREF Social Choice Low Carbon Equity||TNWCX||26.7||22.6||25.6||17.4||Above Average||1,112||0.31|
|82||NA||GMO Quality III||GQETX||26.7||18.6||24.8||20.0||Above Average||9,038||0.50|
|83||NA||MFS Equity Income||EQNAX||26.6||8.5||19.2||13.2||Above Average||331.8||0.99|
|84||NA||Pioneer Core Equity||PIOTX||26.6||21.0||25.3||17.4||Above Average||2,197.6||0.90|
|85||NA||American Beacon The London Co. Income Equity||ABCAX||26.4||8.6||19.8||13.3||High||1,867.4||1.05|
|86||39||AMG Montrusco Bolton Large Cap Growth||MCGIX||26.6||32.3||29.9||21.3||Above Average||330.6||0.99|
|87||18||TCW Select Equities||TGCEX||26.3||39.6||30.5||23.9||High||914.1||0.77|
|88||NA||Touchstone Large Cap||TACLX||26.2||10.2||19.0||13.5||Above Average||378.7||1.53|
|89||NA||Ave Maria Rising Dividend||AVEDX||26.0||6.6||19.2||13.3||High||961.7||0.92|
|90||NA||American Funds American Mutual||AMRMX||26.0||5.0||16.5||12.6||Above Average||87,725.6||0.58|
|91||NA||Nicholas Equity Income||NSEIX||25.9||9.0||20.9||13.5||Above Average||503.9||0.72|
|92||NA||Fidelity Blue Chip Value||FBCVX||25.9||-4.5||13.0||8.5||Above Average||569.2||0.58|
|93||NA||AB Equity Income||AUIAX||25.9||4.4||17.0||11.8||Above Average||564.6||1.00|
|94||33||Pioneer Disciplined Growth||PINDX||25.8||34.3||30.3||21.0||Above Average||1,982.5||1.02|
|95||NA||Fidelity Value Discovery||FVDFX||25.7||8.0||18.1||11.3||Above Average||3,364.9||0.75|
|96||62||Aberdeen US Sustainable Leaders||GXXAX||25.6||25.6||26.6||17.7||Average||485.2||1.26|
|97||NA||Frost Growth Equity||FACEX||25.5||32.5||27.7||22.3||Above Average||432.1||0.88|
|98||32||Principal Blue Chip||PBLAX||25.5||34.5||29.9||23.2||Above Average||10,492.2||0.92|
|99||NA||Thrivent Core Low Volatility Equity||N/A||25.5||5.9||16.3||N/A||Above Average||1,092.0||0.03|
|100||NA||American Century Select||TWCAX||25.3||33.8||29.3||21.5||Above Average||4,965.0||1.24|
|101||NA||Haverford Quality Growth Stock||HAVGX||25.2||15.6||23.2||15.7||Above Average||329.5||0.81|
|102||NA||Russell Investments Tax-Managed US Large Cap||RTLAX||25.2||17.7||22.4||15.4||Above Average||6,425.8||1.18|
|104||NA||Value Line Select Growth||VALSX||25.1||23.1||25.8||19.3||Above Average||477.0||1.16|
|105||NA||BNY Mellon US Equity||DPUAX||25.0||17.9||21.8||17.0||High||719.2||1.17|
|106||NA||SEI Tax-Managed Mgd Volatility||TMMAX||24.9||1.5||15.3||11.2||Above Average||1,068||1.23|
|108||93||DFA US Hi Relatv Profitability||DURPX||24.6||19.4||24.3||N/A||Above Average||6,045.6||0.25|
|109||27||MainStay Winslow Large Cap Growth||MLAAX||24.5||37.1||28.9||23.3||High||15,361.6||0.97|
|110||NA||ClearBridge Appreciation||SHAPX||24.2||14.7||21.7||15.9||Above Average||7,975.8||0.93|
|111||57||Pioneer Fundamental Growth||PIGFX||24.2||27.1||27.0||19.5||High||6,836.1||1.04|
|112||NA||American Century Disciplined Core Value||AMADX||24.2||11.9||18.8||13.3||Above Average||3,016.3||0.91|
|113||92||Neuberger Berman Sustainable Equity||NRAAX||23.9||19.4||21.5||14.6||High||1,901.2||1.04|
|114||NA||American Century Disciplined Growth||ADCVX||23.7||32.8||26.4||18.8||Above Average||506.8||1.26|
|115||45||MFS Growth||MFEGX||23.7||31.4||28.1||22.5||Above Average||46,559.6||0.87|
|116||NA||Bridge Builder Large Cap Growth||BBGLX||23.7||35.0||28.5||21.2||Above Average||18,424.3||0.45|
|117||NA||DWS Large Cap Focus Growth||SGGAX||23.7||40.5||30.6||21.7||Above Average||392.8||1.14|
|118||50||Putnam Sustainable Leaders||PNOPX||23.6||28.5||27.6||21.0||Above Average||6,818.2||1.05|
|119||NA||Artisan Value||ARTLX||23.6||10.9||20.6||11.6||Above Average||340.7||1.05|
|120||NA||John Hancock U.S. Growth||JSGAX||23.3||29.6||26.9||20.6||Above Average||1,371.3||1.01|
|121||NA||Amana Income||AMANX||23.3||14.1||20.1||14.4||Below Average||1,673.6||1.04|
|122||NA||Madison Investors||MNVAX||23.3||14.3||21.6||16.8||Above Average||412.2||1.16|
|123||NA||Transamerica Sustainable Equity Income||TDFAX||23.0||-7.3||10.7||6.9||High||360.5||1.02|
|124||NA||Allspring C&B Large Cap Value||CBEAX||23.0||4.7||20.1||12.5||Above Average||303.6||1.24|
|125||NA||Goldman Sachs Equity Income||GSGRX||22.8||3.7||16.3||10.2||Above Average||441.3||1.20|
|126||8||PGIM Jennison Diversified Growth||TBDAX||22.8||42.6||29.0||21.0||Above Average||343.6||1.21|
|127||19||Gabelli Growth||GGCAX||22.8||39.2||29.6||22.9||Above Average||1,109.5||1.37|
|128||23||Putnam Growth Opportunities||POGAX||22.7||38.5||30.3||23.6||Above Average||9,998.6||0.99|
|129||NA||AMG River Road Dividend All Cap Value||ARIDX||22.8||-1.5||13.7||8.3||Above Average||405||0.86|
|130||21||DWS Capital Growth||SDGAX||22.5||38.4||29.7||21.5||Above Average||2,304.0||0.90|
|131||NA||Goldman Sachs Tax-Advntgd Global Equity||TAGGX||22.0||12.0||16.8||11.2||Below Average||3,731.4||0.58|
|132||44||Domini Impact Equity||DSEPX||21.8||30.8||26.2||15.9||Above Average||1,109.1||1.31|
|133||42||ClearBridge Large Cap Growth||SBLGX||21.7||31.0||25.5||19.5||Above Average||17,633.1||1.00|
|135||NA||First Eagle Fund of America||FEFAX||21.1||7.7||17.0||8.0||High||533.1||1.04|
|136||NA||SEI Catholic Values Equity||CAVYX||21.1||17.7||21.2||14.5||Above Average||366.8||0.98|
|137||14||BlackRock Capital Appreciation||MDFGX||20.8||40.1||27.9||22.5||Above Average||4,647.4||0.97|
|138||25||Laudus US Large Cap Growth||LGILX||20.7||38.3||27.5||22.5||Above Average||3,260.4||0.72|
|139||NA||JNL/BlackRock Large Cap Select Growth||N/A||20.7||38.4||27.5||22.4||Above Average||5,070.3||0.86|
|140||NA||Touchstone Dividend Equity||TQCAX||20.3||-5.6||10.0||7.7||High||3,768.1||1.09|
|141||NA||Coho Relative Value Equity||COHOX||20.3||9.5||17.2||12.6||Above Average||981.2||0.79|
|142||NA||Marsico Focus||MFOCX||20.1||50.2||31.4||24.4||Above Average||890.3||1.26|
|143||NA||Multi-Manager Growth Strategies||CZMGX||20.0||38.1||28.1||21.0||Above Average||3,866.5||0.78|
|144||30||John Hancock US Global Leaders Growth||USGLX||20.0||35.5||26.9||20.9||Above Average||2,646.2||1.13|
|145||NA||AMG Yacktman||YACKX||19.9||15.6||17.8||14.4||Above Average||9,552.5||0.71|
|147||NA||Alger Focus Equity||ALAFX||19.7||45.7||30.5||24.1||Above Average||1,554.8||0.92|
|148||NA||FMI Large Cap||FMIHX||19.5||10.2||17.4||12.9||Above Average||3,294.7||0.82|
|149||95||Independent Franchise Partners US Equity||IFPUX||18.4||19.4||22.8||15.5||Above Average||2,094.5||0.72|
|150||NA||Marshfield Concentrated Opportunity||MRFOX||18.4||15.2||22.5||18.5||High||306.9||1.15|
|151||NA||Ave Maria Growth||AVEGX||18.3||18.5||22.5||17.9||High||1,032.5||0.91|
|152||NA||SGI US Large Cap Equity||LVOLX||17.7||11.3||16.8||12.9||Above Average||536.2||1.12|
|153||38||MainStay WMC Growth||KLGAX||17.6||32.0||23.8||18.4||Above Average||940.8||1.04|
|154||NA||AMG Yacktman Focused||YAFIX||16.7||17.9||18.1||15.1||Above Average||4,501||1.07|
|155||NA||AMG Boston Common Global Impact||BRWIX||15.4||29.9||22.9||16.8||High||881.5||1.03|
|156||NA||Jackson Square Large-Cap Growth||JSPJX||7.4||44.2||22.4||17.3||Above Average||1,456.9||1.14|
|157||3||Putnam Sustainable Future||PMVAX||5.9||52.6||25.1||14.7||Average||582.2||1.02|
Note: Data through Dec. 31, 2021. *Annualized. NA=not applicable.
To construct our list, Barron’s looked at all of the U.S. large-company stock funds in Morningstar’s universe. All actively managed funds—mutual and exchange traded—with more than $300 million in assets were initially included.
We then screened for funds that received a “high” or “above average” sustainability rating from Morningstar. These ratings are based on each fund’s holdings on a particular day; they do not reflect how a portfolio may have changed over the year. We also included all funds that have an explicit mandate to invest according to any sustainable or ESG principles—even though some of them may have lower sustainability ratings from Morningstar.
A further note on the methodology: For each fund on the list, we’ve chosen the most accessible share class, usually the A shares, investor shares, or no-load shares. But in some cases, the fund offers shares only through more-exclusive channels, such as financial advisors or other institutional accounts. We’ve included those funds too, but note that these share classes might not be available to all investors and might have higher minimum initial purchase requirements.
Write to Lauren Foster at [email protected]