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New Tech Fund Has Social Conscience

A new technology fund that promises to invest in Internet companies, is also socially responsible, putting it in a class of its own among technology funds.

The fund, called the Alpha Analytics Digital Future Fund, is being planned by the Alpha Analytics Investment Group of Los Angeles, an investment adviser that uses quantitative research for its group of socially-responsible mutual funds, according to SEC documents.

According to a database on the web site,, there are no socially-responsible funds that are pure technology funds. However, many of the companies that tech funds invest in, companies like Microsoft and AmericaOnline, do not make money off tobacco or nuclear power anyway.

The group also runs a small-cap and a value fund and none of the funds invest in companies that derive more than four percent of their revenues from tobacco or nuclear power.

The Digital Future Fund will invest

in information technology companies, including companies involved in telecommunications, software, semiconductors, networking equipment and the Internet, according to a prospectus filed with the SEC on Oct. 11.

The Alpha Analytics Investment Group was created in July, 1998 by Robert Gipson, an attorney in Los Angeles. Gipson's brother, John M. Gipson, is a former NASA scientist in Washington, D.C. who now is the full-time portfolio manager of the small-cap fund, the Alpha Analytics Small Cap Quant Fund. The other existing fund is the Alpha Analytics Value Fund, which is sub-advised by Cambiar Investors of Englewood, Calif. That fund posted a 12.90 return from Dec. 31, 1998 to Sept. 30 of this year, putting it in the top one percent of large-cap value funds tracked by Morningstar of Chicago, according to Alpha Analytics.