A Buying Opportunity for Alternative Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs?

By Harris Roen Alternative Energy Mutual Funds Trade Down for the Year Alternative energy mutual funds have taken a hit, down 6.5% on average over the past 12 months. Just three of the 15 mutual funds we track are up for the year. The largest gainer, Brown Advisory Sustainable Growth Inv (BIAWX), is only up an anemic 6.2%. Much of the difficulty is due to a drop in solar stocks over the past 12 months. For example, if you look at the top weighted holdings of Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy (GAAEX), nine out of 15...

Strong Returns Continue for Alternative Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs

By Harris Roen Alternative Energy Mutual Fund Returns Alternative energy mutual funds have posted extremely strong returns across the board. Gains have shown a wide breadth, with all MFs up for the last 12-month and 3-month periods. In the past year, all funds are up double digits. A new fund has been added to our tracking system, Calvert Green Bond A (CGAFX). This fund started trading in November 2013, and is the first green open end bond fund designed for retail investors. CGAFX focuses at least 80% of its assets on “…opportunities related to climate change...

What’s Next For The US Natural Gas Fund (UNG)?

Charles Morand Natural gas is the one commodity that has mostly resisted the rally ushered in some three months ago by a growing consensus that the worse may be over for the economy. A number of reasons have been put forward to explain this, including record storage levels and a growing supply base being unlocked through shale gas production in North America.   Yet natural gas' future looks bright: (a) it burns a lot cleaner than coal, making it a superior alternative to meet base- and peakload power requirements in a carbon-constrained world; (b) it...
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Are Aspiration’s Deposits Really Fossil Fuel Free?

Fossil Fuel Free Claims If you are reading this, you've probably also seen advertisements for Aspriation's “Fee-free and fossil fuel free” banking services. Like the advertisements the company's product page encourages visitors to “Earn high interest on what you save with an account that is fee-free and fossil fuel free.“ As a professional green money manager, I know that “fossil fuel free” is in the eye of the beholder. For many mutual funds, “fossil fuel free” simply means avoiding the 200 largest fossil fuel companies, but investing in the 201st largest fossil fuel company, even if its primary business is mining...

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...

Oil & Alt Energy Redux

Charles Morand Last week, I conducted an analysis showing the lack of evidence supporting claims that oil and alt energy returns are strongly correlated (claims that sometimes come from outfits as reputable as Bank of America Merrill Lynch).     I don't want to belabor this topic but I thought I would post the results of another, similar analysis I conducted following comments I received on how to improve the first one. In a nutshell, the comments suggested I do the following: 1) Look at daily correlations or even smaller periods, as "common knowledge" market...

Alternative Energy Funds: 2014 Review

By Harris Roen Mutual Funds (MFs) Falling fossil fuel prices have hampered 2014 returns for alternative energy mutual funds. Returns are slightly down on average for the past three-month, with a third of funds showing losses. Monthly gains fared worse, with only 2 out of 14 funds in the black. One-year returns are flat on average, and range from a high of 8.3% for Gabelli SRI Green AAA (SRIGX), to a low of -14.3% for Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy (GAAEX)…   Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) Alternative energy ETFs had a wide range of returns for 2014,...

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...

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...
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List of Clean Energy and Alternative Energy Mutual Funds

Alternative energy and clean energy mutual funds are open-ended funds that invest primarily (at least 50% of the portfolio) in the securities of clean energy and alternative energy companies.  Closed-end funds are included in the list of alternative energy and clean energy ETFs. This list was last updated on 2/20/2021. Allianz RCM Global EcoTrendsSM Fund (ADGLECO.TT) Calvert Global Energy Solutions Fund Class A (CGAEX); Class C (CGACX) Calvert Green Bond Fund (CGAFX) Ecofin Global Renewables Infrastructure Fund (ECOIX) Erste WWF Stock Environment CZK (AT0000A044X2.VI) Eventide Multi-Asset Income (ETNMX) Fidelity Select Environment and Alternative Energy Portfolio (FSLEX) Firsthand Alternative Energy (ALTEX) Gabelli ESG Fund Class AAA (SRIGX); class C (SRICX) Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy...

Top Performing Clean Energy Funds in 2010

Tom Konrad CFA When Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released their clean energy league tables for 2010, the top of the list was my favorite exchange traded fund (ETF), the Powershares Cleantech Portfolio ETF (AMEX: PZD), with an annual return of 7.6%. Second place was the Winslow Green Growth (WGGFX) mutual fund (7.4% return), which is one of what I consider to be the three best clean energy mutual funds. But the one I consider to be the best, the Gabelli SRI Green Fund (SRIGX) was nowhere to be seen, despite the fact that it returned 12.1% in...

Shares of Mechanical Technology and Medis Technology Purchased

I purchased shares of Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) and Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) this morning for the mutual fund and also my personal portfolio. Both of these companies are working on the miniaturization of liquid fuel cells so that they can power portable electronic equipment like cell phones and laptop computers. Both companies have also secured contracts from the military to research portable fuel cells for military applications. Both companies announced earnings recently and still show no signs of becoming profitable in the near future. However, they have both made progress on trimming their losses. I feel that...

Outstanding Annual Returns for Alternative Energy Mutual Fund, ETF Returns Mixed

By Harris Roen Mutual Funds Annual returns for alternative energy MFs are excellent, up a very respectable 23% on average. Not a single MF is trading down over the past 12 months, with even the smallest gainer up over 14%. Three month returns are more variable, but are still up 4.5% on average. Shorter term returns have all turned negative, though they are in line with recent drops in the broader market. For example, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index are down about 4% for the week, and around 3.5%...

An Actively Managed Green ETF: HECO

Tom Konrad CFA Deepwater Horizon Oil slick, as seen by NASA satellite, May 24, 2010 For a growing number of people, ecological responsibility means more than just recycling and changing our light bulbs.  Many have started to ask, “How much good does saving a few hundred gallons of gas with a hybrid car do, when the mutual funds in your 401k own companies that are allowing 6.6 million barrels of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, or fund misinformation about climate change?” For most, the answer...

ESG5 Summit brief

A conference hosted in NYC in early April, 2019 ESG5 SUMMIT showcased the issues of current concern to institutional asset managers.  ESG as a term is a rebranding of SRI (socially responsible investing) and CSR (corporate social responsibility) now under broad headings of Environment Social & Governance, to reflect that it is more than just an investing style, but is concerned with risk management and value creation.   ESG strategies are being pursued by a range of participants, including public and private pension funds, mutual funds and ETFs, family offices and sovereign wealth funds, and advisors and advocacy groups. The goals are...

Alternative Energy and Climate Change Mutual Funds, Part I

Tom Konrad CFA Understanding the costs of green energy mutual funds. It's been a bit over a year since I last looked at the mutual funds in the Clean Energy sector.  Each year, I comb through their  portfolios for new ideas on where to invest my own funds and those of my green-minded clients, with the added bonus of being able to help readers make better decisions about which fund, if any, is right for them. This year, I looked at the eight mutual funds from AltEnergyStocks' green mutual fund list.  In order of fund size,...
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