Mutuals.com, advisor of the Vice Fund, has issued a release noting that one-, three- and five-year performance studies of so-called "sin stock" industries – which include alcohol, gaming, tobacco and defense industries – have beaten the S&P 500. But the fund itself, just shy of a year old, has trailed the S&P 500. The Vice Fund is up 10.7% since the beginning of the year through July 22 and 4% since its launch last Aug. 30, whereas the S&P 500 is up 13% year to date and 8% since Aug. 30.

Although the Vice Fund itself has yet to celebrate its first-year anniversary, Mutuals.com notes that over the past three years through June, the S&P 500 was negative 33.01%. On the other hand, gaming and casino stocks gained 68.36%, alcohol issued gained 32.05%, and the aerospace/defense sector rose 22.71%.

As to why the Vice Fund itself has trailed the S&P, co-portfolio manager Dan Ahrens said: "Our fund has been around for less than a year, and you are comparing it to an index that has lost billions of dollars over the past three years. These vice stocks went up in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and are up another 11% in 2003. Our fund is doing exactly what it is designed to do."

"No matter what the economy’s doing, people drink, smoke and gamble, and unfortunately, there is always a need for defense contractors," added co-portfolio manager Eric McDonald.

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