Big Returns, But Vice Fund Still Not Nice For Some

At 9%, The Vice Fund is outperforming the Standard & Poor’s 500 by 4 percentage points so far this year, but it’s still having a problem getting people to take it seriously.

At 9%, The Vice Fund is outperforming the Standard & Poor’s 500 by 4 percentage points so far this year, but it’s still having a problem getting people to take it seriously. “People’s first impression when they hear the name is that’s a very ‘nichey’ gimmicky-type product and it’s really not,” portfolio manager Charles Norton of GNI Capital said in an interview with Investment News. The fund has received a five-star rating from Morningstar, but for investors the name Vice may not be so nice. “Once people have a better understanding why this fund makes sense from an investment perspective, the name really won’t matter,” Norton noted. On the other hand, investment in alcohol, gambling and the like has “limited appeal,” says Morningstar’s Russel Kinnel, who adds that the fund has a higher-than-average expense ratio. Still, according to IN, the Vice Fund is ramping up its marketing efforts with direct mail, speaking engagements by Norton and perhaps even quarterly conference calls with managers to praise the virtues of vice.