Mutual Funds, Autos
Socially responsible mutual funds are attracting new assets, as questionable accounting practices and tanking stocks scare money away from diversified funds in general, says the Social Investment Forum. Funds that avoid investing in companies with poor human rights or environmental records attracted $47 million in new money in June, while the broader universe of US funds lost nearly $13 billion. The assets of socially responsible funds increased by 3 percent from January through June, while assets of all diversified funds dropped by 9.5 percent.
Socially screened funds, which also steer clear of tobacco and alcohol companies, tend to pay close attention to issues of corporate responsibilty, says the nonprofit forum, which tracks 47 of these funds. For a complete list, go to www.socialinvest.org .
Autos are getting smarter all the time. General Motors cars equipped with OnStar communications system call for help automatically if their air bag is deployed. Now some 2004 models, including the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Oldsmobile Bravada, and Buick Rainier, will have an OnStar crash response system that will call for help if the car is involved in a moderate to severe crash, even if the air bags don't open. OnStar, an onboard safety and security communications system, is a subsidiary of General Motors.
Yvonne Wollenberg. ONLINE News Briefs.