What Are Pax World Mutual Funds?

woman looking at small green house

Pax World Funds are a family of mutual funds that invest according to sustainable investing principles and are among the oldest SRI funds in the United States.

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Pax World was founded in 1971 by two men with a well-defined mission. Luther Tyson and Jack Corbett, who had worked on peace, housing and employment issues for the United Methodist Church, wanted to make it possible for investors to align their investments with their values. At the same time, they wanted to challenge corporations to establish and live up to specific standards of social and environmental responsibility.

Their vehicle was the Pax World Fund. Launched on August 10, 1971 with $101,000 in assets, it was the first publicly available mutual fund in America to use social as well as financial criteria in the investment decision-making process.

Little could Tyson and Corbett have imagined that their Fund, now called the Pax World Balanced Fund, would help give birth to the Sustainable Investment industry.

Now run by Joe Keefe, Pax World manages the following mutual funds:

Pax World Balanced Fund

The is a no-load fund with a $250 minimum for individual investors. As a balanced fund, it typically keeps about 60 percent of its assets in securities and 40 percent in debt. The primary objective is to seek income and conserve principal. A secondary investment objective is long-term growth of capital. Pax World Balanced was the largest SRI fund in the US for many years, but now has less than $2 Billion in assets as the firm has slipped in size in recent years.

Pax World Growth Fund

The Pax World Growth Fund is a no-load fund that invests primarily in equity securities of companies that the managers believe have above-average growth prospects. The fund managers invest in small, medium and large-cap companies, looking for opportunities in growth industries, economic sectors that seem likely to grow faster than the overall rate of GDP growth and companies with accelerating sales and earnings growth rates. The minimum investment is $250 for individual investors.

Pax World Small Cap Fund

invests in companies with market capitalizations within the range of the Russell 2000 Index, which is approximately $262 million to $2.5 billion. The managers place at least 80 percent of net assets in common stocks, preferred stocks, and securities convertible into common or preferred stocks. Assets are invested in growth and value stocks. It is a no-load fund with a $250 minimum investment for individuals.

Pax Ellevate Global Women's Index Fund

Pax in recent years brought in , formerly a senior executive at Bank of America, and launched  which claims to be the first fund to "invest in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women's leadership."

Pax World High Yield Bond Fund

The 's primary objective is to seek high current income. Typically at least 80 percent of its assets are in junk bonds - high-yield, fixed income securities that are rated below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group or below Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service. Among the instruments it buys are convertible bonds, preferred stocks, zero-coupon, pay-in-kind, deferred-payment and other high-yielding securities. It is a no-load fund, with a minimum investment of $250 for individual investors.

Pax World Global Environmental Markets Fund

The Pax World Global Environmental Markets Fund seeks to invest in companies focused on improving the environment through services and technologies in areas such as alternative energy and energy efficiency; pollution prevention and control; and waste technology and resource management.

Launched in March of 2008 as the Pax World Global Green Fund, the fund invests in companies of all market capitalizations, domestic and international, growth and value. It is a no-load fund with a minimum investment of $250 for individual investors.

Pax World Management Corp., the investment adviser for Pax World Funds, is located in Portsmouth, NH.