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Parnassus Core Equity Fund

I have held Parnassus Core Equity Fund for several years. Can anyone show me what may be considered an equally good fund of the same style. Thank you. Ron


  • edited March 26
    PRBLX is large-blend (actually, at the border between blend and growth) with ESG overlay. M* Performance page shows other Gold rated funds in this category that includes hard to beat indexes and funds from DFA, FMI, Vanguard/Primecap.
  • I hold a large slug of PRBLX/PRILX in my taxable accounr. My 403(b) is 100% in American Funds Washington Mutual R-6 and is one of the funds on the page YBB cited. Can't see the M* 'rating' but it's been a solid performer for me over the past decade-plus. (I don't do index funds)
  • @ron Every time I look at adding PRBLX … I can’t seem to. It’s a very fine fund. It just compares so nicely to FXAIX or an SP 500 index with a lower ER. Some have shown how it falls less when market is in correction but not enough for me and not YTD this year.
  • I should have mentioned, my fund is PRILX, the institutional version, a lower ER. I do own a couple of funds for less added exposure. BKLC, CFAGX, APDRX
  • How about JENSX ?
  • Take a look at managed by Rajiv Jain. It’s a large cap blend fund which has navigated this year incredibly well. I believe he uses active hedging strategies. @Lewisbraham mentioned it a few weeks back. Very compelling fund.
  • carew388 said:

    How about JENSX ?

    I've always liked JENSX allocations but on principle I won't buy funds with 12(b)-1 fees unless there's a really compelling reason.

  • At the moment, I can't think of a cheaper ESG fund in large blend. But I'm open to suggestions.

    For "safety" Vanguard Dividend Growth has been comparable over the years.
  • edited March 26
    PRBLX is growthier now than its history (see the investment style on M*) and likely to stay that way, but hasn't been there long enough for M* to switch its category. Its (5.6%) ytd doesn't look great for large blend, but not so bad against large growth. (I follow SPYG, which is (8.6%) ytd.)

    And PRBLX for sure doesn't look good right now against a large value fund like GQEPX, with its big allocation to the sector of the moment - traditional energy.
  • VEIGX Vanguard Global ESG might be a good choice, although it has foreign exposure. Low fees, ESG and run by managers at Wellington.
  • msf
    edited March 26
    rforno said:

    I've always liked JENSX allocations but on principle I won't buy funds with 12(b)-1 fees unless there's a really compelling reason.

    Not to get too embroiled in 12b-1 fees, but funds participating in NTF programs pay the same fees to the platform whether the money comes from the investors' pockets via a 12b-1 line item, a service fee line item, an undifferentiated "other fees" line item, and/or the management fees line item.

    1998 SEC supermarket letter

    PRBLX / PRILX adds 0.22% as a service fee line item to its retail shares instead of showing it as a 12b-1 line item. PRBLX's 0.84% ER (per prospectus) is virtually identical to JENSX's 0.82% ER (per prospectus). Hard to see a difference. A rose by any other name ...

    PRBLX summary prospectus
    JENSX summary prospectus
  • Good to know that many funds now not listing 12-b-1 fee, but instead include them as other fees. One can consider institutional shares if the minimum is reasonable instead of $1M.
  • edited March 27
    Fidelity now has simplified (or made opaque) its fees. It now shows only the Management Fees and Others, and shows Distribution/Service/12b-1 Fees as 0. The Management Fee now includes the old administration/recordkeeping fees and portfolio management fees (includes the old group fees, fund fees, plus small variable incentive fees in some cases), and it may split that with 3rd parties. So, it has gone from a very complicated old to new system.
  • msf
    edited March 27
    It sounds like you're talking about the fee table in Fidelity fund prospectuses. Is it prospectus disclosures you have in mind? I was not aware that Fidelity ever charged 12b-1 fees (outside of its Fidelity Advisor load funds).

    For example, here's the current summary prospectus for FPURX and the one from ten years ago. They both list just management fees, other fees, and 0% 12b-1 fees as you describe. Fidelity, along with many other families, has always (or at least for many years) been rather opaque about fees in its prospectuses.

    If you're talking about information that's in the SAI (e.g. group fees), at least some of that is still provided. The current SAI for FPURX reports that the actual 2021 management fee of 0.3745% was comprised of a group fee of 0.2245% and an individual fund fee of 0.15%. Similarly, the current SAI reports that in 2021 Puritan paid $2,315,707 for pricing and bookkeeping services. (One could look up the average AUM to calculate a percentage.)
  • edited March 27
    As @MikeW says, GQEPX is worth consideration. For its first three years of existence M* classified it as LCG and gave it low marks in its comparison group. Recently, ISTM, Jain has embraced a value discipline, a development M* recognizes in its style box. I wonder if the reported 143% turnover reflects this shift. I don’t have snapshots of the fund’s earlier portfolio holdings that might facilitate a comparison. In the event, PBLRX is 30 times bigger with only 40 positions, so it’s unlikely to be able to pivot as GQEPX seems to have done. It’s also obvious that Jain has no ESG mandate to follow; you get tobacco in his fund. I tend to like funds with smaller asset bases and concentrated holdings, criteria that Jain’s fund meet. By way of disclosure, I still hold AKREX, even though its AUM have mushroomed; it does still have a very concentrated portfolio. I think Jain is a very good LCG EM manager and my reason for not owning his fund is that I don’t see the value in EM stocks that some analysts appear to see.
  • edited March 27
    Any opinion about Jain's new fund GQHPX, GQHIX, which is doing pretty well now?
  • @finder: good timing for Jain. Quality dividend funds are in the sweet spot.
  • edited March 27
    Rajiv Jain was featured in Barron's 11/22/21 Part 1 & 10/25/21 Part 2.
  • Sorry, but based on test trades, GQEPX is not available at Fidelity, and GQEIX has a $500,000 minimum initial purchase requirement.

  • @finder yes I’ve been watching that one too. That one has also done quite well but only been around for a year or two. A stronger tilt towards value than GQEPX. Also small asset base. I’m more inclined to select GQEPX because I think Jain will move to invest that fund in more growth when he sees opportunities there. My impression is that both funds use hedging strategies which has helped performance. I don’t know that for sure though
  • GQEPX ntf at Schwab $100 minimum.
  • edited March 27
    And also at Schwab, GQHPX has transaction fee ($49.95) and min is $2,500.
  • Does anyone sense or know if Fidelity is becoming more restrictive in providing NTF status to funds? I've notice oftentimes smaller and newer funds are transaction fee with them, higher minimums for institutional shares, and oftentimes not available or available much latter then Schwab.
  • Yes,Fidelity is more restrictive, 2 examples: VARAX ntf Schwab, Sales Charge at Fido; HMEAX ntf Schwab, tf at Fido. Schwab minimums are lower, but holding period is 90 days vs 60 days at Fido.
  • I generally agree with the general impression that it can be harder or more expensive to purchase more third party funds at Fidelity than at Schwab. But it really depends on how you're looking to purchase and which funds in particular you are interested in.

    Individual examples don't say much one way or the other. BVEFX, TF at Schwab, NTF at Fidelity. MAAGX, unavailable at Schwab, NTF at Fidelity.

    Fidelity offers several institutional class shares (with TF) at reduced mins when purchased in IRAs. This is hard to find if you don't have a Fidelity account to submit test transactions. TIBIX is one example. $2.5M min in a taxable account, $2.5K in an IRA. If you want this in a taxable account, you'll have to go to Schwab. But if you want it in an IRA, Fidelity will accommodate you. And it will charge only $5 to make incremental purchases, as opposed to $49.95 at Schwab.

    If you're interested in getting the latest and greatest fund, it does seem more likely that it will show up earlier at Schwab than at Fidelity. Ultimately, it comes down to looking at funds on a case-by-case basis.
  • I see a lot of suggestions here as substitutes, but not a lot of ESG ones. To ignore Parnassus Core Equity's ESG focus is to ignore its style.
  • edited March 30
    ESGV ... well, except it's so comparable the chart lines are barely distinguishable, so maybe not something an investor dissatisfied w/ PRBLX would be interested in.

    ESGV has enough volume now that it's fairly easy to trade, if that's a distinction that would make it more attractive versus PRBLX.

    To Lewis's point, Parnassus dumped all fossil fuels some time ago. Although they've never had much in traditional energy directly, they did usually keep an exposure to nearly purely fossil-fired utilities. Two of those they'd held for years, I know very well, since they operate in my state: NWE and MDU.

    I was never so happy with Parnassus when they sold; NWE in particular is right at the bottom of the list of regulated utilities to be admired. The guys (they're all male) in the corporate suite there have been trying to double down on coal and rip off ratepayers, while refusing to invest a single penny more in solar and wind, not to mention trying their best to destroy the solar home and business sub-economy.

    Anyhow, the lack of fossil fuel investment is very likely a reason PRBLX doesn't look all that great ytd, given that traditional energy is the sector of the moment.
  • Many good points have been made. Lewis point on ESG and ignoring their style is fair. AndyJ - interesting reading and perhaps you are correct re: energy sector and that is why they are trailing this year.

    M* analyst note 3/22: "The strategy’s lack of energy exposure has hurt as those stocks have soared because of supply-issue fears surrounding the conflict in Ukraine. Given that Parnassus does not invest in fossil fuels because of its ESG focus, this underperformance is not surprising as almost 6% of the index is allocated to those companies. " <- I guess fund holders will have to accept the ESG "costs" and understand the impact on performance.
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