In the battle of good and evil, evil is winning -- at least in the mutual fund world, over the past year, and when you compare the results of these three funds:
- The Noah Fund
(FUND:NOAHX), which invests according to religious views
- The Timothy Large/Mid-Cap Growth Fund
(FUND:TLGAX), which does the same
- The Vice Fund
(FUND:VICEX), which invests in. bad stuff
Here are some more details, comparing the funds with the S&P 500, the performance of which you could roughly match via an index fund:
|2003 return||3-yr. return||Expense ratio|
What conclusions might investors draw from this? Well, for starters, they might assume that Vice investing is the way to go. But they'd probably be wrong -- because these results are short-term ones and therefore not too meaningful. 2003 might just have been a good year for vice. It happens.
One thing to notice is the kind of expense ratio that the good and evil funds sport. Realize that whatever you're aiming to earn via an investment in these funds will be reduced by the expense ratio each year. Making matters worse, the Noah fund has a front-end load of 5.5%, which means it eats up 5.5% of your initial investment at the outset. Invest $5,000? Whoops, it's $4,725 now -- the fund just stuffed $275 into its pockets when you deposited your money.
Look at the specific holdings of the funds and you might scratch your head a little, too. The Vice fund invests in Anheuser-Busch
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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Microsoft.