How the Gabelli Green Growth Fund Got Its Five Stars

Tom Konrad, CFA An interview with John Segrich, CFA, portfolio manager at the the Gabelli Green Growth Fund (SRIGX). When I did my recent past performance comparison of clean energy mutual funds, I found that the Gabelli Green Growth Fund (SRIGX and SRICX) beat all its rivals by a long shot over the last three years, earning a coveted five-star rating from Morningstar.  In general, I'm a skeptic about short-term past performance: If you look at enough funds, sooner or later you'll find one that has had great performance by sheer luck.  Even when a few years'...

The Biggest Unheard Boom of 2006 in Cleantech, Smart Metering, and Energy

Author Neal Dikeman is a founding partner at Jane Capital Partners LLC, a boutique merchant bank advising strategic investors and startups in cleantech. He is the founding contributor of Cleantech Blog, and a Contributing Editor to AltEnergyStocks.com. In one of the less talked about cleantech mergers and acquisitions of 2006 (but one I think will have a deep impact on alternative energy and the smart metering and AMI market for years to come), First Data recently acquired Peace Software, an early provider of IT, billing, and CRM software to the deregulated utility sector, in a bid to get...

Cleantech Venture Capital – Still Rising

As part of our ongoing series on stories on investment in the cleantech sector, we had a chance to discuss the sector with one of the venture capitalists at Emerald Technology Ventures. Scott MacDonald is an Investment Director with Emerald Technology Ventures, a global leader in cleantech venture capital. Founded in 2000 under the name SAM Private Equity, Emerald is a pioneer in this rapidly emerging sector and is focused on innovative technologies in energy, materials and water. With offices in Zurich, Switzerland and Montreal, Canada, Emerald manages three venture capital funds and two venture capital portfolio mandates...

A Clean Energy Inflection Point in 2013? The Best ETF to Play the Trend

Tom Konrad In 2007, it seemed like clean energy was finally becoming mainstream.  Both candidates for the US Presidency accepted the need to act on global warming, even if they did not agree on the degree, and clean energy stocks were rising even faster than the broad stock market. Then came the 2008 financial crisis, and many Americans discovered they had much more immediate worries than the slow but inexorable warming of the planet.  Fossil fuel interests and the politicians who benefited from their donations  played to the new mood by providing a worried populace with the excuse they wanted...

Interview with Ray C. Anderson, of Interface Inc.

Tom Konrad, CFARay Anderson, the pioneering founder and Chairman of Interface, Inc. (IFSIA) was an early pioneer of sustainable enterprise.  We recently had the opportunity to interview him on the benefits he sees for investors from corporate sustainability (full transcript follows.)I've recently been thinking about corporate sustainability (in the green sense) and how it relates to  corporate sustainability (in the business survival sense.)  Since I expect business conditions to be more difficult in the coming years than they have been in the past, any edge in resilience a company might gain from pursuing sustainability may be useful, both on...

A Conversation with Ambassador Sklar on Solar in San Francisco

By Neal Dikeman, Partner, Jane Capital Partners LLC, Founding Contributor, Cleantechblog.com, and Contributing Editor, AltEnergyStocks.com. This week I had an opportunity to have a conversation with Ambassador Richard Sklar, the President of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, on renewables and solar power in San Francisco. This is his second stint at the SF PUC, and besides a time in politics, Ambassador Sklar has served as an executive in and advisor to private manufacturing and engineering firms. I had met him and several of the top SF PUC team at Solar 2006 in San Jose, and had been...

Stock Picks for US Energy Dominance

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. CFA Thursday night (Friday morning in Sinapore) CNBC Asia's Street Signs program must have had an interview cancellation, because they needed someone to give them 3 energy stock picks in response the Trump's "Energy Dominance" speech on last minute notice.  They sent me (and probably a bunch of other people) an email two and a half hours before air.  I did not see it until 20 minutes before the actual interview.  I warned them that I do clean energy, not fossil fuels, but apparently they had no other takers who were awake and able to...

Interview: Jeff Siegel’s Predictions for Renewable Energy and Solar Stocks

by Garfield Hodgson Jeff Siegel, a top renewable energy investor recently took time out from his very busy schedule to grant an interview with Garfield Hodgson of Total Solar Energy (TSE). If you don't know Jeff, he runs the newsletter Green Chip Stocks, an independent investment research service that focuses primarily on renewable energy and organic & natural food markets. TSE: Hi Jeff. Thanks for your time. Can you tell me when you first got started in solar stocks? Jeff: I had actually been an advocate of solar energy ever since I did a high-school project...

Three Money Managers See LED Industry Shining in 2013; Their Stock Picks

Tom Konrad LED lights on an outdoor tree. Photo by author This is the third article in my series based on my panel of green money managers’ predictions for 2013.  The first article looked at what they expect 2013 holds for the Solar industry, and the second looked at their predictions  for the Smart Grid.  This installment focuses on the LED industry. Jeff Cianci: Faster than Anyone Expects Jeff Cianci is Chief Investment Officer at equity investment fund Green Science Partners. Cianci says “The trend toward LED lighting for...

They’ll Put the Cellulose in Cellulosic Ethanol

One of the keys to staying ahead of the game in money management is lateral thinking.  I start with the trend, and then try to think of industries or companies that might benefit, but are not on everyone else's radar.  With Peak Oil-driven demand for biofuels, regular readers know that I consider the people who produce the feedstock (farmers, and industries whose waste can fairly easily be converted into biofuel) to be the most certain winners.  One direction this chain of logic has taken me is to forestry companies.  I'm far from a forestry analyst, so I decided to...

Money Managers See Value in Clean Energy Sector, but Hesitate to Call the Bottom

Tom Konrad CFA Three green stock specialists see individual stocks at attractive values, but think it's too soon to call the bottom for the sector as a whole. Last month, I wrote that I'm again finding clean energy stocks that I think are bargains, and listed ten.  I was not ready to call a bottom for clean energy, and in fact said I expected the market to get worse before it gets better, so investors should keep some money on the sidelines to wait for more opportunities to emerge. In a little over a month...

Alt Energy Stocks Analyst Tom Konrad On PBS’s WealthTrack

Alt Energy Stocks Analyst Tom Konrad will join a televised roundtable discussion with EnergyTechStocks' Managing Editor Bill Paul and Ardour Global Indexes' Joseph LaCorte this Friday. The discussion will center around the topic of investing in alternative energy. The program, entitled WealthTrack with Consuelo Mack, will air on PBS between November 9th and 12th, after which it will be available for online viewing here.  You can find a listing of stations carrying the show with airtimes at the end of this article. Bill Paul may be familiar to our readers because of the series of articles he wrote following...

US Yieldcos Will Survive

by Susan Kraemer As unrealistic expectations of dividend growth are scaled back, yieldcos are now on a more sustainable path. Weaknesses in the US yieldco model came into sharp relief this summer as share prices fell along with oil and gas stocks. This was in part due to investor confusion about energy stocks but also in response to a flaw in US yieldco expectations. Manager of the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio and AltEnergyStocks.com editor Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA had warned of the looming potential for exactly this kind of market correction in a conversation a...

Hither and Yon: Transmission and Biofuels

In the most recent two installments of Energy Tech Stocks' interview with me cover my views on transmission stocks, and biofuel stocks.  Readers of AltEnergyStocks know that I am a big fan of electricity transmission, a theme I keep coming back to.  You also know that I have a very ambivalent relationship with both ethanol and biodiesel.  So I liked Bill's transmission article, but I just wasn't able to convey to him the subtleties of how I feel about biofuels.  But he got one thing right: the owners of biofuel feedstock are likely going to be the biggest winners....

Interview with Dr. Mike Gallagher, President & COO of Westport Innovations

One of the companies I have followed for some time is Westport Innovations, Inc., (TSX:WPT or WPIVF.PK) out of Vancouver. The technology and product suite allows large diesel trucks to run standard diesels on a 95% natural gas mix, enabling fuel switching as well as significantly improved NOx and PM, as well as CO2 emissions. The company's rapid expansions date from a late 1990s joint venture with Cummins (NYSE:CMI), and Westport has led this market sector since then. I had the opportunity at the recent Greenvest 2007 Conference I chaired in San Francisco to hear...

Three Green Money Managers; Six Green Stocks for 2013

Tom Konrad When I asked my panel of green money managers their predictions for trends 2013, I got enough material for four articles: On where the cleantech sector is heading in 2013, as well as on Solar, Smart Grid, and LED technology. I also asked them for stock picks, some of which I included in the previous articles.  Several had opinions about EnerNOC (NASD:ENOC), which I wrote about here, and two picked LED stocks Veeco Instruments (NASD:VECO) and Universal Display Corp. (NASD:PANL), which I discussed here. Since I just published my annual model portfolio of...
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