Pax Passes on Coffee over New Starbuck Partner

Physician's Money Digest, September 2005, Volume 12, Issue 13

It turns out that in the investmentworld, money isn't always everything.Starbucks received the boot from PaxWorld Fund (www.paxworld.com) after theSeattle-based company joined forces withliquor giant Jim Beam to produce a coffeeliqueur in February 2004. Because Pax'sWorld Balanced Fund includes only companiesthat are socially and morally responsible,a coffee chain turned boozepeddler is no longer welcome, and thecompany sold its 375,000 shares ofStarbucks, worth about $23.5 million. Infact, the java giant's environmentallyfriendly policies once made it a Pax darling.However, most gain-conscious shareholderswould probably prefer that thecoffee chain lay off the bottle and stickwith caffeine, or that Pax turn their backson Starbucks' new venture. Naturally, thedecision was not easy to arrive at and noteveryone is likely to be happy with theoutcome: Pax started investing in Starbucks8 years ago, long before shares hadquintupled in value. After selling theirshares in March 2005, the Pax WorldBalanced Fund return dropped from8.84% in fourth quarter 2004 to -1.59%in first quarter 2005, with a year-to-datereturn of 4.13% as of August.