New York, NY – Marking the third anniversary of the Domini Social Bond Fund (NASDQ: DSBFX), Founder and CEO Amy Domini of Domini Social Investments said, “The Domini Social Bond Fund shows how a conventional financial vehicle, like a bond mutual fund, can be used to do extraordinary work for underserved communities. The Fund provides a way for investors to meet their financial goals while making a real difference in people’s lives.”
The Domini Social Bond Fund is a highly innovative way for individual investors to participate in a variety of community development initiatives across the United States.
“Bond funds are a natural fit for promoting community development,” said Ms. Domini. “By buying CDs with community development banks and credit unions, the Domini Social Bond Fund is channeling investors’ money directly to where it can be put to work in struggling urban and rural communities.
“The community development banks and credit unions in our portfolio help low-income individuals and institutions finance first-time home purchases, create daycare centers, refurbish churches, and start up and expand family businesses. In addition, they often provide valuable training and empowerment to those who have not previously dealt with mainstream financial institutions.”
Domini Social Investments will host a press conference by telephone on July 31, beginning at 2:00 pm EDT, to discuss the social and financial performance of the Domini Social Bond Fund. To participate, phone 1-800-569-1949 and enter the participant passcode, 315675. All print, broadcast,
or electronic journalists are welcome to participate.
Self-Help Credit Union, one of the 27 community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the Domini Social Bond Fund’s portfolio, is achieving not just one success story but many, as it helps to revitalize the entire Walltown neighborhood of Durham, North Carolina.
Working with concerned residents and a neighborhood church, Self-Help has bought and renovated almost 50 rundown mill houses to be sold at affordable prices to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. Each house is converted from a two- to a one-family home and is thoroughly upgraded, from its plumbing and electrical systems to its porches and yards.
Objective and Performance of the Domini Social Bond Fund
Launched in June 2000, the Domini Social Bond Fund is submanaged by ShoreBank of Chicago, Illinois, the country’s first community development bank. “ShoreBank’s experience as a leader in community development made it a good choice for this fund,” said Ms. Domini.
As of June 30, 2003, the Fund had grown to more than 4,200 shareholders and $48 million in assets.
Average Annual Total Return Domini Social Lehman Brothers
as of June 30, 2003 Bond Fund Intermediate Aggregate Index
One Year 8.44% 8.72%
Three Years 9.41% 9.52%
Since Inception 9.46% 9.93%
The Domini Social Bond Fund is an intermediate-term investment-grade bond fund that devotes up to 10% of its portfolio to direct investments in community economic development. But as Steven D. Lydenberg, Domini’s Chief Investment Officer, explains, “The Domini Social Bond Fund’s support for community development goes well beyond its commitment to CDFIs. The Fund invests in mortgage-backed securities issued by institutions like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae, which play a vital role in providing liquidity in the secondary mortgage market for affordable housing. The Fund also invests in bonds issued by corporations that have strong social stories, and in bonds issued by states and municipalities for a variety of revitalization efforts.”
As of June 30, 2003, approximately 46% of the Fund’s portfolio was invested in direct obligations of U.S. government agencies and government-sponsored entities, 21% in mortgage-backed securities, 19% in corporate bonds, 8% in state and municipal bonds, and 7% in community development investments.
Investors can learn more about socially responsible investing and the Domini Social Bond Fund by visitingwww.domini.com, or by phoning Domini Social Investments at 1-800-762-6814.
About Domini Social Investments
Domini Social Investments manages more than $1.5 billion in assets for individual and institutional mutual fund investors seeking to create positive change in society by integrating social and environmental criteria into their investment decisions. Its flagship fund, the Domini Social Equity Fund (NASDQ: DSEFX), was the first socially and environmentally screened index fund and is the nation’s largest socially responsible index fund. The Fund seeks to include companies with positive records in community involvement, the environment, diversity and employee relations, and excludes companies deriving significant revenues from alcohol, tobacco, gambling, nuclear power, and weapons contracting. In addition to the Domini Social Equity Fund, the company also offers the Domini Social Bond Fund (NASDQ: DSBFX) and an FDIC-insured money market account (in partnership with ShoreBank), both of which focus on community economic development.
Additional information on Domini Social Investments is available on the firm’s website, www.domini.com. Domini’s eighth annual Proxy Voting Guidelines & Shareholder Activism booklet is also available free of charge by calling 1-800-762-6814.