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...

As Goes January? What the Pullback in Green Mutual Funds Means

By Harris Roen Alternative energy mutual funds and ETFs have pulled back from some of the fantastic gains seen in 2013. There is a saying in the investment world that “as goes January, so goes the year.” Is it time to bail on this sector, or on stocks in general? Perhaps, but wise long-term alternative energy investors should avoid rash steps at this juncture. Alternative Energy Fund Returns Mutual Funds are down about 4% on average year-to-date, and are basically flat for the past three months. Despite this, alternative energy mutual funds are up 22.7%...

Alternative Energy Mutual Fund and ETF Year End Update

By Harris Roen Alternative energy investing was very profitable in 2013. This article reviews how green mutual funds and ETFs performed in 2013, what stocks were most favored by these funds, and forecasts where funds should go in 2014 and beyond. Alternative Energy Fund Returns 2013 has been the year of the comeback for alternative energy mutual funds and ETFs. As of close last week, green mutual funds are up 37% on average. Without exception, not one of the 13 mutual funds ended down for the year. ETFs did even better on average, up 43%, with 14...

Alternative Energy Funds In The Lead

By Harris Roen Alternative energy MFs and ETFs posted record gains in the past 12 months. Guggenheim Solar (TAN) and Market Vectors Solar Energy (KWT) are the top two performers out of more than 1,500 ETFs. Firsthand Alternative Energy (ALTEX) and Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy (GAAEX) are in the top ten for over 28,000 mutual funds. Mutual Funds Returns overall have been spectacular for alternative energy MFs. Even the lowest performer is up 27% in the past 12 months. The best performers are those strongly invested in solar, specifically ALTEX and GAAEX,...

Alternative Energy Outperforms All Other Sectors in September

By Harris Roen Alternative energy MFs racked up extremely robust gains in the past year. Returns range from a low of 16%, to a high of 64% for a mutual fund that is heavy into solar investments. ETFs also did well, but returns are much more variable. They range from a loss of 34% for a carbon ETF, to more than doubling of a solar ETF. Mutual Funds Returns remain excellent for alternative energy MFs overall, with average mutual fund up 32.3% for the year. Not a single fund posted a loss in...

Alternative Energy Mutual Funds Post Stellar Performance, ETFs Variable

By Harris Roen Mutual Funds Alternative energy MFs have had stellar returns in the past three and 12 months, all showing gains in the double digits. ETFs have also done well on average, but returns are much more variable, as detailed below.   Returns remain excellent for alternative energy MFs overall, with annual returns ranging from 54.5% to 15.8%. The average MF is up 31.3% for the year, and not a single fund posted a loss in the past 12 months. Three-month and one-month returns also look goodeven the funds that did not make...

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...

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%...

Alternative Energy Funds Post Solid Gains

By Harris Roen Mutual Funds Performance for MF’s have been outstanding, following a surge in solar stocks, energy efficiency companies, and other alternative energy sectors. Over the past 12-months the average alternative energy MF returned 30.3%, and not a single fund was down for the year. Three-month and one-month returns were similarly spectacular, gaining 10.5% and 7.3% respectively on average, also with no losers. I expect this trend to continue, as many of these alternative energy sectors are bouncing back from the overly pessimistic levels of 2012. Exchange Traded Funds ...

Alternative Energy Mutual Funds Outpace ETFs

By Harris Roen Investors love Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). They trade like stocks, and are an easy way to diversify within a certain sector. Over the past year, though, alternative energy investors would have been much better off putting their money in regular mutual funds. The results are detailed in the April edition of the Alternative Energy Mutual Funds & Exchange Traded Fund report. Performance for alternative energy mutual funds were very good for the past 12 months, averaging 11.7% for the eleven funds covered by the Roen Financial Report. In fact, eight...

Alt Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs Shine, But Risk Remains

By Harris Roen Mutual Funds (MFs) All of the alternative energy MFs were up handsomely in the past three months. The biggest gainer was Firsthand Alternative Energy (ALTEX), up 27.3% for the quarter, which also moved ahead in its ranking. Even the lowest three-month gainer, Brown Advisory Winslow Sustainability Fund (BAWAX), was up an impressive 9.2%. One-year returns were more variable, ranging from a gain of 18.0% for AWATX, to a loss of 11.7% for ALTEX. This has much to do with the solar holdings in these funds. For example, companies in ALTEX...

Alternative Energy Funds Deliver Stunning Quarterly Returns, But Beware the Risks

By Harris Roen The Roen Financial Report closely covers the universe of almost 30 alternative energy Mutual Funds (MFs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). We use a proprietary ranking method to pick the best funds, looking at measures that include fees, risk, tax liability, and the financial health of individual holdings within each fund. Subscribers can see the complete list of funds, including rankings and technical breakdowns, in both Excel and PDF format by clicking here . Mutual Funds Alternative energy MFs showed improving ranks for this February update. In all, three funds were bumped up to...

Top Alternative Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs for 2013

By Harris Roen The Roen Financial Report closely covers the universe of almost 30 alternative energy Mutual Funds (MFs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). We use a proprietary ranking method to pick the best funds, looking at measures that include fees, risk, tax liability, and the financial health of individual holdings within each fund. In the latest round of rankings, all top rated funds retain their premier slots. Subscribers can see the complete list of funds, including rankings and technical breakdowns, in both Excel and PDF format, by going to roenreport.com/mfsetfs. Mutual Funds (MFs) 2012...

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...

Should “Green” Funds Invest in Fossil Fuels?

Marc Gunther Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking Rolling Stone story (Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math) and 350.org’s “Do the Math” divestment campaign raise important and difficult questions about fossil fuels. One that is starting to roil the world of socially-responsibly investing is this: How should mutual funds that strive to be “green” or “sustainable” or “socially responsible” deal with the fossil fuel companies in their portfolios? Should they divest, as McKibben argues? That was the topic of a column I wrote last week for the Guardian Sustainable Business, which generated some noteworthy responses. It’s part of the British newspaper...

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...