Although it received a good deal of media attention upon its creation last year, the Women's Equity Mutual Fund has not received a great deal of attention - or money - from investors.
The fund is a socially conscious investment that puts its money in stocks of companies that it regards as sensitive to women's issues and that treat women employees well.Although it outperformed most other indices in the first quarter of this year when it produced a total return of 3.2 percent, the fund has only about $800,000 in assets and roughly 100 shareholders.
That means it is too tiny to merit a listing in most financial publications and too small to support much of a marketing budget.
To try to attract more investors, the fund has reduced the minimum investment required to open an account to $1,000 from $2,500. It also cut the minimum amount required for subsequent investments to $100 from $500. Women's Equity is a no-load fund with a maximum expense ratio of 1.5 percent of assets.
"What we're hearing by word of mouth is that with such a new fund, it's scary to put in what a small investor views as a lot of money on their first investment," said Amy Domini, a co-founder of the fund, which is sponsored by Pro-Conscience Funds Inc., of San Francisco.
Domini didn't sound discouraged by the slow growth of the Women's Equity fund, noting that things started slowly for another fund she launched, the Domini Social Equity Fund, which now has 1,400 investors and $31 million in assets.
For a prospectus or other information on Women's Equity Mutual Fund, call 800-424-2295.