If the Vice Fund is any indication, sin is in. Since the beginning of the year, the fund, which invests in the gaming industry, alcoholic beverage makers, tobacco companies and defense contracts, has posted a 23% gain, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Charles Norton, portfolio manager of the Vice Fund, said the fund’s name is more than just a catchy title. While he himself rarely drinks or gambles, Norton said, “This is a very serious investment strategy, and there is more to it than the name might imply.” He said the fund provides investors a solid defensive strategy, as its holdings are not affected by changes in the economy.a
“People will see the fund and think it’s one thing that it’s really not. We’re not doing this to make any sort of political statement or social commentary,” Norton said. “We’re not advocating these behaviors in any way. Our job is to study the fundamentals behind these businesses and try to make money for our investors.”
While the U.S. casino industry is not growing as fast as it did in the last decade, he added, there are fantastic opportunities abroad. “Macau is chapter one is Asia. Singapore will be coming in 2009, and I think we’ll see expansion into Japan, as well,” he said.