Barron’s Top-Performing Sustainable Investment Fund of 2021

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


Morningstar.

More than a quarter of the funds that we ranked—41—beat the


S&P 500

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.


— Katherine Collins, head of sustainable investing, Putnam Investments

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

(PNOPX) funds.

“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


Marsico Growth

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.


— Vance Howard, CEO and portfolio manager, Howard Capital Management

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


Fidelity

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.”


Alphabet
(GOOGL),


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
5 NA Fidelity FFIDX 33.7 26.5 29.1 19.9 Above Average 8,419.2 0.47
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
9 55 Parnassus Endeavor PARWX 32.6 27.6 29.4 18.0 High 5,480.3 0.94
10 37 Amana Growth AMAGX 32.0 32.9 31.1 23.9 High 3,747.2 0.96
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
28 66 Calvert Equity CSIEX 29.9 24.3 28.0 22.2 High 6,745.8 0.91
29 NA Evercore Equity EWMCX 29.8 24.3 29.3 20.4 High 371.4 0.98
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
51 NA YCG Enhanced YCGEX 27.9 17.3 26.6 18.9 High 541.2 1.19
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
57 NA Weitz Value WVALX 27.7 18.7 24.7 16.2 High 1,024.1 1.11
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
63 98 Nicholas NICSX 27.4 19.1 24.7 17.4 Above Average 3,886.4 0.71
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
103 84 Akre Focus AKREX 25.1 20.5 24.0 21.0 High 17,274.3 1.30
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
107 9 Edgewood Growth EGFIX 24.8 42.5 30.1 24.2 High 31,267 1.04
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
134 NA Scharf LOGRX 21.7 12.8 18.8 12.6 High 419.7 1.22
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
146 35 Polen Growth POLRX 19.8 33.0 26.7 22.2 High 12,860.1 1.21
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.

Source: Morningstar

Our Methodology

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 lau[email protected]