The issue of divestment from Iran hasn't yet become a prominent concern among socially responsible investors, says Daniel Allen, senior vice president at Mark J. Lane Wealth Group, a Chicago firm that puts together socially responsible investment portfolios.
"I don't think there's a clear consensus at this point" about how to divest from Iran, Allen said.
The foreign policy implications of Cindy McCain's investments came up last month, when the Associated Press asked McCain's campaign about her investments in mutual funds that own shares in companies doing business with Sudan. McCain has criticized the Sudanese government for killing civilians in Darfur.
Last year, Obama said in a statement that he sold about $180,000 in his holdings in a different Vanguard fund, the Wellington Fund, because the fund owned shares in Schlumberger a French oil-services company that does business in Sudan. Wellington also owns shares in companies that do business in Iran, including Schlumberger, Royal Dutch Shell and Syngenta, a Switzerland-based agribusiness company.
Obama transferred the $180,000 in the Wellington fund to the Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund. That index, which is meant to invest in socially responsible companies, screens for investments in businesses that work in Iran, Vanguard spokesman John Woerth said in an interview.