Best Mutual Funds

Best Funds

These are the best mutual funds for women and minorities.


While not technically a mutual fund, like this firm. They show what we mean when we say (as we did a few pages ago) that we think the investment profession as it currently exists is doomed. The current crop of financial scandals only reinforces this opinion.

This firm allows you to put together a portfolio, instantaneously, buy and sell it at once. According to the firm, "FOLIOfn was founded in 1998 by Steven Wallman, a former commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission who was widely recognized during his tenure for advocacy efforts on behalf of individual investors."

We met with Mr. Wallman in DC. He is every bit the committed individual investor advocate as they claim. (In fact, we like the firm so much, we signed up with them. More on that later.)


It's low cost and lower risk investing based on the time-tested strategy of diversification, which can result in higher returns over time.

What is a Folio?

A Folio is a basket of securities. A typical Folio includes 30 - 50 securities. To be fully diversified, you may want to own more than one Folio. Experts agree that diversification is an important investment strategy, as it allows you to lower your risk and increase your returns over time.

FOLIO Investing helps you diversify your risk and increase your returns over time - while saving you both Time and Money!

  • Build your own portfolio or choose one of our many Ready-to-go Folios that meet your investment goals.
  • Create your custom portfolio security by security or diversify instantly with and purchase up to 50 securities in a single transaction.
  • Folios allow you to cut tax bills because you own the individual stocks yourself, you and only you determine when you will realize gains or losses for tax purposes.
  • Pay a low flat fee and trade commission-free. Or pay as you go with our low-cost transactional plan. Choose the path that's right for you!"

The Parnassus Fund

Good web site: not a lot of general investing information. Can invest on-line. Fund performance has declined of late: Year to date return 15.43% as of 11/20/03. High minimum investment: $2,000.00. Symbol: PARNX. Here's how they answered (in bold) our survey:

  1. How long have you been on the internet? 1.5 years (as of 1999)
  2. Do any sections on your site target or seek to serve women and/or minorities? If so, please provide us with the URL's for those sections. Who is a minority? Anyone who is: Asian American, African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, Multi ethnic (a la Tiger Woods), or a woman and resides in the United States. NO
  3. If you are a lending or venture capital institution (a venture capital fund, bank, thrift, or payday loan company), do you have data that shows the number of on-line loans or investments made to women and/or minorities in 1998 or so far in 1999? Could you send that data us? NA
  4. Please tell us about your founders, owners, employees, and partners. Are any of your founders women or members of a minority group? Are any of your current majority owners women or members of a minority group? Any of your senior executives (Chairman, CEO, CFO, CTO, CIO, etc.)? How many employees do you have? How many are women or members of a minority group? Are any of your partners serving women or members of a minority group? (For example, eLoan is partnering with Chinese Cyber City, "the premier Chinese-language web site providing content and services with a focus on technology and investing." Does your firm have any similar partnerships?) CFO is Chinese. Parnassus employs about 14 people. 6 are women. Of the 6, 3 are Chinese and 1 Latin.

Fund Profile:

"Parnassus Fund seeks long-term growth of capital; current income is secondary. The fund emphasizes equities issued by established companies. Management seeks stocks that meet the following three criteria: The stock must be selling at a depressed price compared with both the market as a whole and with its own price history; the issuer must be financially sound with good future prospects; and the issuer must have, in management's judgment, enlightened and progressive management practices. The fund may not invest in companies that manufacture alcohol or tobacco products, are involved with gambling, or generate electricity from nuclear power."

One Market Stewart Tower Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94105

Phone: 800-999-3505

William Michael Cunningham


  • B.A.(Economics)
  • MBA(Finance)
  • A.M.(Industrial Organization)