How it works
Getting started with Weapon Free Funds
Methodology and companies we screen for
Weapon Free Funds sources financial data from Morningstar, an investment research company. We use Morningstar’s mutual fund and stock data to analyze funds and find military weapon and civilian firearm investments. Our database covers thousands of the most popular mutual funds, the type of investments most common in retirement plans like employer-offered 401(k)s.
How to make your investments match your values
Step one icon
1
Search for mutual funds and ETFs by name, ticker, or asset manager. We have thousands of U.S. equity funds in our database.
Step two icon
2
See your results. For each fund, we track companies that make military weapons, and guns and ammunition for the civilian market.
Step three icon
3
Look for cleaner options. Sort and compare to find funds that fit your investing needs.
Step four icon
4
Talk to your financial advisor or retirement plan manager about weapon free investing.
Mutual funds

Mutual funds are collections of stocks bundled together, sometimes hundreds or thousands of companies. They are some of the most popular investment products for retirement plans, because owning so many company stocks at once helps diversify investment risk. But unless you're a financial professional, it can be difficult to find out just what companies are inside the funds you're invested in. That's where we come in. We examine every holding in thousands of funds to determine if there are investments in weapon stocks.

Socially responsible investing

Some funds actively choose to invest responsibly, by considering environmental or social issues when choosing companies to invest in. If you're thinking about weapon free investing, socially responsible funds can be a good place to start, because they often deliberately avoid companies that make military weapons and civilian firearms. We feature nearly a hundred socially responsible funds in our database.

Responsible investing can offer competitive returns

While people may become interested in responsible investing because of personal values and goals, that doesn't mean they're not looking for a competitive financial return on their investments. Fortunately, the evidence is clear: sustainable and responsible investors do not have to pay more to align their investments with their values, or to avoid companies with poor environmental, social or governance practices. The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment has collected the research.

Finding a fund

Weapon Free Funds sources financial data on equities and mutual funds from Morningstar. Our database contains information on thousands of U.S. open-end and exchange traded mutual funds, some of the most common funds held in 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other retirement plans.

Search for mutual funds using name, ticker symbol, or asset manager. Use the search page to filter funds by investing style, fund family, and more. When you find a fund you're looking for, click on it to see the full results.

We don't have everything in our database — we only screen mutual funds that own direct stock investments, and can only display up to 3,000. Looking for your favorite fund and can’t find it? With more resources, we could include more funds — make a gift today to make a difference.

Screening a fund

For each mutual fund in our database, we examine every holding and determine if it is a stock issued by a weapon company.

We only look for direct stock holdings in weapon companies. That means that holdings that are not stocks, like cash holdings or bonds, are not rated. In the fund's investment profile, we show a "Percent Rated" metric, equivalent to the percent of the fund that is invested in stocks. The higher a fund’s Percent Rated value, the more holdings we were able to examine. A fund with a lower Percent Rated value may have hidden weapon-related investments that our tool cannot account for, in the form of bond holdings or other asset types.

If a fund holds stock in a weapon company

Our analysis checks funds for direct stock investments in two types of weapon companies: military weapons, and civilian firearms.

Within these two types of weapon companies, we divide companies into five separate weapon categories (with some companies belonging to more than one category):

  • Military weapons:
    • Major military contractors
    • Cluster munitition and landmine manufacturers
    • Nuclear weapon manufacturers and servicers
    • Civilian firearms:
      • Civilian firearm manufacturers
      • Civilian firearm retailers

    You can adjust your screen settings to change how the data is displayed for you. The default screen grouping is "All weapons", which covers all five categories across both military weapons and civilian firearms. You can also choose to screen for just investments in the companies from the military weapons categories, or just the civilian firearms categories.

    More details on each screen, including the full lists of companies flagged and the source of the company research, are available below:

    We calculate the fund's weapon grade

    UPDATE: As of August 2019, we've updated the labels for our weapon grades from "low risk / medium risk / high risk" to letter grades of "A / B / F". The grade is still calculated the same way. Read on to learn how we grade funds on weapon investments.

    Mutual funds can have a varying number of holdings, from less than one hundred to several thousand. We calculate the total number of flagged holdings in the fund, and the total amount and percentage of the fund’s assets that are invested in those companies.

    Based on what companies a fund invests in, for each of the three screen groupings (military weapons, civilian firearms, and both military and civilian weapons combined), the fund can earn one of three weapon grades for each screen group:

    A

    Fund has no direct stock investments in military weapon manufacturers, civilian firearm manufacturers, and/or civilian firearm retailers

    B

    Fund has direct stock investments in civilian firearm retailers, but no direct stock investments in military weapon manufacturers and/or civilian firearm manufacturers

    F

    Fund has direct stock investments in military and/or civilian weapon manufacturers: major military contractors, cluster munitions/landmines, nuclear weapons, and/or civilian firearms

    If a fund has a weapon grade of A and does not have direct stock investments in any of the weapon companies we screen for, you'll see a chart like this:

    Five-badge fund chart

    However, if a fund doeshave direct stock investments in any of the weapon companies we screen for, you'll see a chart like this, showing the overall exposure.

    Chart for fund that owns stock in weapon companies

    Next to the chart, you'll see the exposure breakdown for each of the five weapon categories.

    Breakdown of weapon exposure for each of the five weapon categories

    If you click a category that a fund has exposure to, you'll see the chart change to a breakdown of the individual companies in that category that the fund owns.

    Chart for a single weapon category

    You'll also see each investment for that weapon category listed below.

    Holdings for a single weapon category
    We track socially responsible funds

    We use Morningstar's "socially responsible fund" indicator to determine which funds are displayed as socially responsible. Socially responsible funds make investment decisions based on issues like environmental responsibility, human rights, or religious views. A socially responsible fund may take a proactive stance by selectively investing in, for example, environmentally-friendly companies, or firms with good employee relations. They may also avoid investing in companies involved in promoting alcohol, tobacco, or firearms, or in the defense industry. Look for this symbol to find funds that are designated socially responsible.

    Socially responsible fund

    The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is a group advancing sustainable, responsible, and impact investing. Asset managers who are members of US-SIF often have policies to exclude or restrict investments in companies involved in the production, licensing, and/or retailing of weapons. Look for this symbol to find funds that are members of US-SIF.

    Member of US-SIF, the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
    Weapon free action toolkit

    When you're done looking up funds and finding the data you need, what's next? You can learn how to make a change and move your money with our weapon free action toolkit. Whether you’re an individual investor or if your investments are in your employer-sponsored plan at work, our step-by-step toolkit can help. There's an in-depth guide to responsible investing, links to external resources, a sample letter to send to your employer 401(k) manager, and more — everything you need to make a change and get started investing your money weapon free.