Renewable and Alternative Energy Mutual Funds Compared

If you can, you are better off in one of the clean energy ETFs, or even a portfolio of individual clean energy stocks (here are 10 clean energy picks for 2009.) However, it you want a mutual fund for the ease of investment, or you are looking to add one to a retirement plan, the Winslow Green Growth Fund comes out on top because of its emphasis on energy efficiency stocks (including these two Geothermal Heat Pump stocks), and its lower expenses.

Shares of Hydrogenics Purchased

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) is a developer of fuel cell technology and hydrogen generation. They are also working with wind farm technology in the generation of hydrogen. Back in January of this year they successfully completed the purchase of Stuart Energy which compliments their product portfolio. Shares of the stock have been under pressure for the last couple of months due to missed expectations on Q1 revenue results. There is also some major concern about an increase in product backlog. In August, HYGS issued their most recent quarterly earnings and are attempting to reassure the...

Vacation, Updated Graphs, and 2 Conferences

Vacation and Meet Me at the Colorado Renewable Energy Conference or the International Peak Oil Conference. Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA I'm on vacation this week, so I'm going to leave you with a preview from a presentation I will be giving at the Colorado Renewable Energy Conference on Aug 29 in Golden Colorado. I'm updating my Investing in Renewable Energy presentations, and I've been able to incorporate a lot of the work Charles and I did on clean energy mutual funds and ETFs since January this year. ETF Holdings Revealed Charles did some in-depth work...

Alternative Energy Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

UPDATE 3/4/2011: An up-to date article on selecting green mutual funds and ETFs can be found here. Mutual funds are often touted as an inexpensive way to achieve diversification.  With declining brokerage commissions, this is often no longer true.  If you are interested in investing in alternative energy, is a mutual fund or ETF right for you? Here are the currently available mutual funds and ETFs of which I'm aware with alternative energy type themes: Fund Name Emphasis Mgmt Style Load? Turnover Ticker Expense Ratio Guinness Atkinson...

Choosing The Right Clean Energy Mutual Fund or ETF

Tom Konrad CFA If you want to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency with just one fund, this is what you need to know. Over the last few months, I've written an extended series of articles looking at clean energy mutual funds and clean energy exchange traded funds (ETFs).  Defining Clean Energy For my purposes, a clean energy fund is one that primarily invests in companies involved in renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation, efficient and alternative fuel vehicles, and companies that are part of the supply chain for any of the above...

Alternative Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs Go In All Driections

By Harris Roen Alternative Energy Mutual Funds, Solid Long-Term Gains Returns for alternative energy mutual funds are virtually flat on average for the past three months, down slightly at a loss of 0.3%. The best short-term performer is Pax World Global Environmental Markets (PGRNX), up 2.1%… Over the longer term, returns for alternative energy mutual funds remain very strong. MFs are up 14.7% on average, with all companies showing double-digit gains on an annualized basis… Returns for ETFs are ranging widely Returns for ETFs are ranging widely, both in the short and long...

2015: a Mixed Year for Alternative Energy Funds

By Harris Roen Alternative Energy Mutual Funds Trade Flat for the Year Alternative energy mutual funds followed the overall stock market this year, closing about flat on average for 2015. The story gets more interesting, though, when you look at gains in the last quarter. Sectors such as solar and wind took a big hit by September, but then rebounded handsomely before years end. Green MFs were up 7% on average for the past three months, with 14 out of the 15 funds trading in the black…   ETFs are Widely Lower 2015 was a year...

The Very Quick Guide To A Green Portfolio

Tom Konrad CFA For many, the decision to get out of fossil fuels is an easy one.  It may be because it's the right thing to do, or because we see the risks of investing in businesses built around an unsustainable economic paradigm.  This article is not about that decision; it's about what to do next. The Green Portfolio: What And Why To a lesser extent, it also depends on what we mean when we say "green."  For simplicity, this article will focus on making your portfolio Fossil Fuel Free (FFF), meaning that the portfolio should...

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...

Shares in FPL and Calpine Purchased

This morning I purchased shares for the mutual fund in two large utility companies that both have extensive research and power generation via renewable energy. FPL Group Inc (FPL) is an electric utility that is primarily based in the South East. This company owns Florida Power and Light and has been in much of the recent news due to hurricane Katrina. FPL also owns FPL Energy which is a division that provides wholesale electric power that is generated from Natural Gas, Wind, Solar, Hydro, and Nuclear. They currently produce more Wind generated power than any company in the...

The Holdings of the Powershares Global Progressive Transport Portfolio ETF (PTRP)

Tom Konrad, CFA I included the Powershares Global Progressive Transport Portfolio (PTRP) as an investment option instead of three stocks in my Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2010, as part of a simplified portfolio for small investors wanting to minimize costs by making fewer trades.  The other Exchange Traded Fund I used in this way was the First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge Smart Grid Infrastructure Index Fund (GRID).  I took a look at the holdings of the Smart Grid ETF here, and they are not exactly what you would expect from the name.  Since it makes sense to know...

UltraPromises Fall Short

When I first came across ProShares' UltraShort ETFs, I thought they were a brilliant idea.  They seem to promise a multitude of advantages for investors: The ability to hedge market or sector exposure without having to go short.  (Going short requires a margin account, and US law prohibits the use of margin in most retirement accounts.) They should have a better risk profile than shorting.  With an UltraShort, you can't lose more than your initial investment.  With true shorting, the potential losses are unlimited.  As the underlying index rises, each percentage gain creates a smaller dollar fall, while...

Calpine Gets Hammered

Shares of Calpine Corp. (CPN) suffered a greater than 20% loss yesterday and is now down almost another 13% today. All of this was caused by a court ruling stating that they will be unable to use the $395 million in cash they received from the sale of oil and gas fields earlier this year for the purpose of buying natural gas to run its power plants. The dispute stems from the Bank of New York's decision in September when, acting as trustee for Calpine bondholders, it withheld proceeds from Calpine's sale in July of North...

Index Funds Are Climate Change Denial

Garvin Jabusch You probably know that index funds have become all the rage in investing over the past several years, as investors flock to their low fees and reject the gospel of active management. But you probably don’t know that investing in a broad-based index fund not only ignores rapid changes in the energy economy but also makes the investor complicit in climate change denial. And just as climate denial ignores the inherent risks of fossil fuels to environment, economy, and society, “set it and forget it” index investing ignores the inherent risks of fossil fuels and related stocks...

Did You Just Buy a Sustainable Mutual Fund? No.

Garvin Jabusch Did you just buy a sustainable mutual fund? No. The answer is no because human economies are still so far from real sustainability that even a highly idealized portfolio of our most sustainable enterprises necessarily still falls short. Ultimately, the best any portfolio can do is mirror the reality of the world, and today, still, even the best representatives of sustainability can be found wanting compared to what will be required if we would like to keep society thriving indefinitely. At best, whatever fund you just bought can only be described as, to a greater or lesser...

Alternative Energy and Climate Change Mutual Funds, Part IV

Tom Konrad CFA Cherry picking the holdings of green energy mutual funds. So far in this series I've concentrated on trying to pick the best of the Alternative Energy and Climate Change Mutual Funds.  This is a difficult task, because while I found in Part III that most of the funds' performance has been better than comparable index ETFs, these mutual funds' costs are quite high, even by the standards of most mutual funds, as I discussed in Part I.  In part II, I tried looking at the sector breakdown of the funds' holdings, to see if...