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Domini Social Equity Fund ®

Fund Information

Daily Price (NAV)
as of 11/24/2015
Symbol DSEFX
Daily NAV Change $0.07 (0.16%)

Key Documents


Investor Shares Overview

Socially and environmentally concerned investors have social, as well as financial, objectives. The Domini Social Equity Fund seeks to meet these objectives by offering a diversified stock portfolio for long-term capital appreciation that is consistent with social and environmental priorities.

Investment Objective

The Fund seeks to provide its shareholders with long-term total return.

Investment Strategy

The Fund invests primarily in stocks of U.S. companies that meet Domini Social Investments’ social and environmental standards.

Subject to these standards, Wellington Management Company, LLP, the Fund’s subadvisor, seeks to add value using a diversified quantitative stock selection approach, while managing risk through portfolio construction.

Shareholder Activism

The Fund also advances its social and environmental objectives through proxy voting, dialogue with corporations, and the filing of shareholder resolutions

Social and Environmental Standards

Domini evaluates the Fund’s current and potential investments against its social and environmental standards based on the businesses in which they engage, as well as on the quality of their relations with key stakeholders, including communities, customers, ecosystems, employees, investors, and suppliers.

Domini may determine that a security is eligible for investment even if a corporation’s profile reflects a mixture of positive and negative social and environmental characteristics.

Investor Profile

Who Should Invest:

  • Investors seeking long-term growth of capital.
  • Investors committed to the Fund's socially responsible investment standards.

Who Should Not Invest:

  • Investors unwilling or unable to accept moderate to significant fluctuations in share price.


Investor Shares Performance

Month-End Returns as of 10/31/15
YTD1Yr3 Yr*5 Yr*10 Yr*Since Inception (6/3/91)*
S&P 5002.70%5.20%16.20%14.33%7.85%9.30%

Quarter-End Returns as of 9/30/15
YTD1Yr3 Yr*5 Yr*10 Yr*Since Inception (6/3/91)*
S&P 500-5.29%-0.61%12.40%13.34%6.80%8.98%

Calendar Year Returns

Quarterly Returns
3rd Qtr 2015-8.33%-6.44%
2nd Qtr 2015-2.20%0.28%
1st Qtr 20151.11%0.95%
4th Qtr 20143.27%4.93%
3rd Qtr 20141.52%1.13%
2nd Qtr 20145.69%5.23%
1st Qtr 20142.86%1.81%
4th Qtr 20139.47%10.51%
3rd Qtr 20137.20%5.24%
2nd Qtr 20132.75%2.91%
1st Qtr 201310.19%10.61%

*Average annual total returns.

On 11/30/06, the Fund changed to an active management strategy. Past performance through 11/29/06 represents the former passive investment strategy, and is not indicative of future results.

Annual Expense Ratio: Gross: 1.20% / Net: 1.20%. Per current prospectus. Domini has contractually agreed to cap Investor share expenses to not exceed 1.25% until 11/30/15, subject to earlier modification by the Fund’s Board of Trustees. See prospectus for details. The Funds’ performance would have been lower had these fees not been waived.


Ten Largest Holdings as of 10/31/15
Apple Inc.6.5%
Microsoft Corp.4.7%
AT&T Inc.3.9%
Merck & Co. Inc.3.2%
Gilead Sciences Inc.3.1%
Alphabet Inc. Class A3.0% Inc.2.8%
MetLife Inc.2.8%
Consolidated Edison Inc.2.7%
PepsiCo Inc.2.6%

Sector Weightings as of 9/30/15
Information Technology24.0%
Consumer Discretionary12.7%
Health Care12.1%
Consumer Staples8.1%
Telecommunication Services6.4%

View the most recent quarterly holdings report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Portfolio Overview

Socially screened, mid- to large-capitalization domestic equity fund.


Investment Style:


Weighted Average Market Capitalization:


Portfolio Statistics

  DSEFX S&P 500
Price-to-Earnings Ratio (projected) 12.3 14.1
Price-to-Book Ratio 2.1 2.6
Beta (projected) 1.01 --
R-squared (projected) 0.97 --
Market Cap Asset Weighted Avg. (Millions) $113,607 $127,938
Total Number of Holdings 132 500

All data as of 9/30/15 unless otherwise noted.


The Price/Earnings Ratio is a stock’s current price divided by the company’s trailing 12-month earnings per share. The Price/Book Ratio is used to compare a stock's market value to its book value. It is calculated by dividing the current closing price of the stock by the latest quarter's book value per share. The P/E and P/B ratio of a fund is the weighted average of the price/earnings and price/book ratios of the underlying stocks in a fund’s portfolio. 

R-squared measures how a fund’s performance correlates with a benchmark index’s performance and shows what portion of it can be explained by the performance of the overall market/index. R-squared ranges from  0, meaning no correlation, to 1, meaning perfect correlation.

Beta is a measure of the volatility of a fund relative to its benchmark index. A beta greater (less) than 1 is more (less) volatile than the index.


Investor Shares Performance Commentary

The Fund invests primarily in mid- and large-cap U.S. equities. It is managed through a two-step process designed to capitalize on the strengths of Domini Social Investments and Wellington Management Company, the Fund’s subadvisor. Domini creates an approved list of companies based on its social, environmental and governance analysis, and Wellington seeks to add value and manage risk through a systematic and disciplined portfolio construction process. Download Commentary as a PDF.

Total Returns as of September 30, 2015

3rd Qtr
Since Inception
DSEFX 1.05% -6.19% -3.29% -8.33% -9.35% -6.39% 10.16% 11.26% 5.61% 8.07%
S&P 500 2.10% -6.03% -2.47% -6.44% -5.29% -0.61% 12.40% 13.34% 6.80% 8.98%

Market Overview

The third quarter of 2015 was a challenging one, as fears of a global economic slowdown took hold.  Early in the quarter, Greece dominated financial news as it defaulted on its payment to the International Monetary Fund, increasing worries over its future in the European Union.  This concern abated upon passage of tough austerity measures by Greek parliament, and German lawmakers voted favorably on negotiations of a third bailout package.  However, shortly thereafter, concerns about slowing growth in China began to emerge.  These fears escalated upon China’s surprise devaluation of its currency in August, sparking worries of global disinflation, declining growth expectations, and widespread currency devaluations.  Falling commodity prices and uncertainty surrounding the timing of the first interest-rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in nearly seven years added to these worries.

Amidst this backdrop, the S&P 500 declined, resulting in negative returns for the quarter, as well as the year-to-date period.  The decline from its recent high on May 21 to its August low resulted in its first correction (decline in excess of 10%) since 2011. However, U.S. economic news was solid, as economic growth was better than initially estimated, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 2008, and housing market data was encouraging.

Fund Performance

The Fund underperformed the S&P 500 return of -6.4%, with Investor shares declining 8.3%. A positive contribution to relative performance from sector allocations was more than offset by negative stock selection. Weak security selection in the information technology, consumer discretionary, energy, and financials sectors was more than enough to offset stronger selection in the materials, utilities, and health care sectors.

Energy was the worst performing sector this quarter, as weaker oil prices and growing concerns over production levels from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) weighed on sentiment. While the Fund benefitted from a relative underweight to energy stocks, this contribution was more than offset by negative security selection. The largest detractor from relative performance was FMC Technologies, which declined 25.3% over the quarter. The oil service equipment provider reported disappointing second quarter results, with the slump in oil prices weakening demand for the company’s onshore oilfield services in North America. Oil States International, an oil-and-gas-service provider, was another significant detractor, with the non-benchmark position declining 29.6% amid a sharp decline in second quarter results on a year-over-year basis.

Google was also a significant detractor to relative performance. The firm soared earlier in the quarter after announcing that it was changing its name to Alphabet and would begin reporting results across two segments—its core “Google” search-engine and advertising business and its “Alphabet” business for other technology projects. However, the Fund did not establish its new position until after the announcement, and the stock dropped 8.5% during the period held by the Fund.

Other significant detractors this quarter included department-store retailer Kohl’s, which trailed consensus earnings estimates for the second quarter, and announced that it now expects 2015 profit to be at the low end of its forecasted range; Scripps Networks Interactive developer of lifestyle television and media platforms, which saw its shares fall by 24.3% for the quarter; and Cummins, manufacturer of engines and power-generation systems, which lost 16.6% this quarter.

The quarter’s best performance came from the more traditionally conservative utilities sector. Consolidated Edison, Inc. (“Con Ed”) was the top contributor to the Fund’s relative performance, with a return of 16.6%. In September, Con Ed announced that subsidiary Con Edison Development had acquired a 50-percent stake in the Panoche Valley Solar Farm in Central California. Construction on the project is set to begin by the end of the year and will further expand the company’s growing renewable energy portfolio.

Other top contributors this quarter included restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, which rose 19.1% with new store openings and menu price increases driving growth; and Southwest Airlines, which rose 15.5% as it posted strong second quarter profits, beating analyst expectations.  

Making a Difference

Domini engages in direct dialogue with corporations in our portfolios and files shareholder proposals on a broad range of social, environmental, and corporate governance issues. Shareholder activism — the practice of active ownership — lies at the heart of what we believe responsible investing is all about. Here are a few ways your investment in the Domini Funds has made a difference. For more stories, click here.

Domini Reaches Agreement with Four Companies

In addition to using social, environmental and governance standards to select our investments, each year the Domini Social Equity Fund submits shareholder proposals to corporations in its portfolio, addressing a broad range of social and environmental issues.  Since 1994, the Fund has submitted more than 250 proposals to more than 95 major corporations.

Addressing Corporate Tax Avoidance

One of the most important areas of corporate social responsibility has gone largely ignored, until now. The headlines are filled with stories of aggressive strategies by corporations to minimize or eliminate their tax payments, primarily through the use of offshore tax havens. Countries around the world are losing billions in tax revenues, all in the name of shareholder value.

Tax avoidance weakens societies and threatens long-term wealth creation. That is why Domini is taking a lead role in asking corporations to adopt more responsible and transparent tax strategies.

Sustainability Reporting at Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill recently made headlines with a divisive online animated short depicting a lone scarecrow in a dystopian fantasy world trying to provide an alternative to unsustainable factory-processed food. This video is part of a bold marketing strategy that is contributing to an important conversation about our food system, as Chipotle attempts to make a name for itself as a more environmentally friendly fast-food restaurant “dedicated to creating a sustainable, healthful and equitable food future”...