Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Investing in Vice

As of 2006, the stock market boasts 150 mutual funds that designate themselves as "socially responsible." This means that investments are only made in companies that meet the ethical standards of fund managers.

But back in 2002, a new investment vehicle quietly surfaced: the Vice Fund. The prospectus of the Vice Fund claims that it favors "products or services often considered socially irresponsible." Investments have been made by various managers in companies linked to alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and military contracts.

This fund and another, the Gaming and Casino fund, both rest on a certain approach: Stocks that exploit the dark side of human nature are a natural for Wall Street, particularly during economic downturns.

Dan Ahrens, former manager of the Vice Fund who moved to start the Gaming and Casino fund, expands on this philosophy in his book Investing in Vice. He believes that bad habits don't change, even through bad economic times. People still indulge in vices regardless of what happens in the stock market; smoking, drinking, gambling. There's financial profit in war.

And, so far, those philosophies have produced results. The Vice Fund has returned positive monetary gains, some reaching beyond 20 percent over five years.

Editor’s Update (2023):

The Fund has reported fairly steady annual total returns, with dividends consistently contributing to the Fund’s overall return. As of June 30, 2022, the Investor Class has a five-year annualized return of 0.74%, and a 10-year annualized return of 6.79%.

Through June 30, 2022, it reports an annualized return since inception of 7.82% versus the benchmark set at 8.32% by the MSCI All Country World Index.3 As of Sept. 9, 2022, it has a dividend yield of 0%.

As of Sept. 9, 2022, the Vice Global Fund had total assets under management of $79.2 million. As of June 30, 2022, top holdings in the Fund included Galaxy Entertainment, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Technologies, and Philip Morris International.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Kay Warren Sees Human Capacity for Evil

Kay Warrrent writes:

The first time I visited Rwanda, I went looking for monsters, albeit a different category of monster—the kind that isn't relegated to B movies. I had ...

[Read More]

The Limits of the Human Will

Many of us act as if repentance is a matter of the will. [But] we can't "will" ourselves into change. We can't "will" ourselves into feeling contrition ...

[Read More]