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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – The rise in gas and oil prices has some looking at other investments including those that have ties to environmentally-friendly companies. The New Alternatives Fund, for instance, is seeing renewed interest. Launched in 1982, it screens for companies that produce nuclear power, oil, and coal burning, as well as implementing other traditional socially responsible investment exclusionary screens such as alcohol, tobacco, weapons, gambling, and animal testing and positive screens such as human rights, labor relations, and anti-discrimination, according to Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire Service (CSRwire). The fund, which has an expense ratio of 1.18% and assets of $59.8 million, holds cash positions in five financial institutions deemed “socially responsible” for their support of community investment, which includes $184 million Self-Help Credit Union; Chicago-based ShoreBank; and Chittenden Bank in Vermont. According to CSRwire, the New Alternatives Fund has “been on a hot streak lately with one-year returns of 21.54%,” citing data from SocialFunds.com. The fund is primarily invested in alternative energy and renewable energy, though it extends to other sectors that are energy-related, such as recycling and natural foods.

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