Parnassus Small Cap Fund

Class No Load (PARSX)
Scorecard
2 / 5 Stars
Lipper
1 1 1 4 4
Zacks Investment Research
3 (Hold)
Standard & Poor's
1 / 5 Stars
TheStreet.com
D (Sell)

#154 in Small Blend

U.S. News evaluated 227 Small Blend Funds. Our list highlights the top-rated funds for long-term investors based on the ratings of leading fund industry researchers.

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Performance

The fund has returned 21.69 percent over the past year, 5.78 percent over the past three years, and 24.51 percent over the past five years.

Trailing Returns Updated 02.28.2014
Year to date -2.6%
1 Year 21.7%
3 Years (Annualized) 5.8%
5 Years (Annualized) 24.5%
10 Years (Annualized) N/A

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Summary

Parnassus Small Cap has busted through barriers and kept on running.

As of March 05, 2014, the fund has assets totaling almost $736.67 million invested in 32 different holdings. Its portfolio consists of shares of small companies.

A commonly held belief is that socially responsible funds start at a disadvantage. After all, since the funds necessarily screen out companies that don't match their values, they have a smaller universe from which to pick attractive stocks. But that hasn't stopped Parnassus Small Cap from leaving the competition in the dust. In 2008, for instance, the fund lost 12 percent less than the S&P 500. Meanwhile, it rocketed to a 42 percent gain in 2009. As of the end of September, the fund's trailing three-year returns landed it in the top 1 percent of Morningstar's small blend category.

Jerome Dodson has managed the fund since its 2005 inception. Dodson looks for undervalued companies that pass the fund's social and environmental screens, and he's shown a penchant for consistently picking winners. By sector, Dodson likes technology companies, with names like Electronics for Imaging, Brocade Communications Systems, and Mentor Graphics occupying prominent spots in the fund's portfolio. Lately, Dodson hasn't been afraid of dipping far down into the market capitalization spectrum. According to Morningstar, 12 percent of the fund's stock holdings are currently micro-caps. The fund has returned 21.69 percent over the past year, 5.78 percent over the past three years, and 24.51 percent over the past five years.

Investment Strategy

Dodson likes undervalued companies with strong business models. Like the rest of the Parnassus funds, this one screens out companies from the alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and weapons-contracting industries, as well as companies that generate electricity from nuclear power. For the most part, the fund's screening process has had a neutral effect on its performance. "I would argue that it doesn't hurt, but it doesn't necessarily help either," says Dodson. 

Role in Portfolio

Morningstar calls the fund a "supporting player."

Management

Jerome Dodson manages the fund.

Fees

Parnassus Small Cap Fund has an expense ratio of 1.20 percent. 

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Risk

Like all stock funds, this one comes with some risks.

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See Also:

Top Parnassus Funds