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March 31, 2011
Appleseed Fund Launches Institutional Share Class
    by Robert Kropp

Designated by Morningstar as the top performing mid-cap fund over the past three years, the Fund invests in sustainable companies while excluding sin stocks and too-big-to-fail banks.

The Appleseed Fund, which invests in undervalued companies that balance profitability with consideration of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) impacts, announced that it has launched an institutional class of shares. Trading on NASDAQ, the institutional class requires a minimum investment of $100,000.

The Appleseed Fund also excludes companies with substantial revenues from the tobacco, alcohol, pornography, gambling, or weapons industries. In 2010, it became the first mutual fund to announce that it would not invest in too-big-to-fail banks as well, but would focus on regional banks instead.

At the time, portfolio manager Adam Strauss stated, "Instead of an industry structure where the largest banks are serving the economy by lending capital, US policies and regulations favor the largest banks, which have proven themselves incapable of fiscal rectitude."

"Given the failure of regulators to prevent the previous credit crisis and the subsequent failure of legislators to break up the massive and very much interconnected banks that helped to create the crisis, it is incumbent on depositors and investors to vote with their wallets. Until the financial system is truly restructured, the Appleseed Fund will avoid investments in Too-Big-To-Fail banks," Strauss continued.

A mid-cap value fund with net assets of $150 million, the Appleseed Fund is managed by Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management, a Chicago-based investment manager with more than $750 million in assets under management. Pekin Singer launched the Fund in 2006.

During the three year period ending December 31, 2010, the Appleseed Fund was designated by Morningstar as the top performer among 360 mid-cap value funds. In the three year period, the annualized total return for the Fund was 11.2%, compared to -2.8% for the S&P 500 Index.

The top categories in the Fund's portfolio as of December 31st were cash equivalents, pharmaceuticals, and gold trusts. The top holdings at the time were Pfizer, SPDR Gold Shares, and John B. Sanfilippo & Son.


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