I’m not sure how Facebook’s (FB) Sheryl Sandberg would view this fund, but the Pax World Global Women’s Equality Fund (PXWEX) seeks to outperform the MSCI World (Net) Index by investing in companies that advance the cause of gender equality. Founded in 1993, the 20-year-old fund has only attracted $45 million in total net assets, an indication investors want performance over noble causes. Like any other large-cap fund, it performs fundamental analysis to identify quality companies with reliable earnings.
PXWEX differs because it assesses each company to see how many women sit on the board and are part of senior management. Finally, it applies an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) screen to narrow the field, ending up with 70 to 90 stocks. Split almost down the middle between domestic and international equities, its biggest holding is the Royal Bank of Canada (RY) at weighting of 2.47%.
In terms of performance, PXWEX is up 18.4% year-to-date through Dec. 12, which lags the S&P 500 but handily beats its MSCI WAFE benchmark. However, its long-term record is a little more spotty. Morningstar gives it three stars likely because its expense ratio (1.24%) is about average, as is its performance. Nothing jumps out as particularly concerining; however, if you’re after performance, you can definitely do better.
As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.