"There is an evolution under way in socially responsible investing. It no longer means just screening out certain securities from portfolios according to ethical considerations (no sin stocks!), but investing with an eye toward hastening the greater good. Social considerations like gender equality, the environment and good corporate governance become yardsticks to measure a company alongside P/E ratios and sales growth," writes Debbie Carlson. While investing with a conscience is commendable, the expense ratios charged by many socially responsible funds are higher than the average mutual fund and much higher than index funds, reducing investment returns. However, SRI investors should consider Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund (VFTSX) with a low expense ratio of 0.25% and minimum investment of $3,000.