Doing well by doing good is an often-elusive investment goal, but George Schwartz seems at least to have figured out how to do well by not doing things he believes are bad.
His five-star Ave Maria Mutual Funds focus on ethical investing and have performed strongly, usually approximating or topping their benchmarks.
The fund is as its name might imply: An effort to profit through a thesis that follows moral guidelines consistent with those of Mary, the mother of Jesus, specifically and the Catholic faith in general.
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More specifically, the fund family follows certain tenets—call them the Four Commandments—when choosing companies to include in the fund. The list consists primarily of "don'ts" rather than "do's."
"When our analysts and portfolio managers are managing these funds, they try to find the best investments to meet the objectives of each fund," Schwartz, a co-manager of Ave Maria funds, said during a chat with CNBC.com at the Schwab IMPACT 2013 conference in Washington.
"In doing so, they screen out certain companies—about 150—that violate some of the core teachings of the Catholic Church," he said.