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.

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...

Options on Clean Energy ETFs

In my recent article about Green Energy Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), I said that there were two main criteria investors should consider when choosing one (the fund's expense ratio, and its investment universe.)  This is true for investors who are looking for a single investment in alternative energy, but if you are a more sophisticated investor or speculator, there's another important criterion: Is there a market for exchange traded options on the ETF? I personally love selling (a.k.a. "writing") options.  If the stock market is a casino, option sellers are the house.  Longtime readers will recall my article last...

Alternative Energy Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

UPDATE 3/4/2011: An up-to-date article on selecting renewable energy ETFs can be found here. For investors looking for diversified exposure to Alternative Energy, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are the best option.  I have not found any statistical evidence that actively managed alternative energy  mutual funds can beat the market (and hence justify their higher fees,) so lower expense ratios make ETFs compelling.  Since last year, the wide variety of Alternative Energy ETFs also makes it possible to even speculate on subsectors.  People who expect Solar, Wind, or even Carbon Trading  to do better than Alternative Energy...

Clean Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs: Does Active Management Pay?

UPDATE 2/23/09: Here are in depth looks at available Clean Energy ETFs and Clean Energy Mutual Funds. In my articles about Clean Energy Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), I usually say: Given the complex nature of the technologies, and the sparse coverage of many of the companies by industry analysts, there is still considerable room for active management in .  Many investors buy Renewable Energy stocks for emotional reasons, so an understanding of practical behavioral finance may lead to excellent buying opportunities in quality companies. My recent update on the not-so-bad-as-might-have-been-expected performance of my...

Solar Stocks As the Best Play On The Cleantech Revolution? (Part II)

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a recent report claiming that solar PV was going to be at the fore of the "cleantech revolution." I've never doubted solar PV's potential. What I like most about it, besides the fact that it's the most abundant energy form on Earth, is the ability for solar technologies to be deployed either through the building stock as a load-abatement measure or in large arrays of panels as solar parks. No other power generation technology can be scaled simultaneously through these two routes. Besides investments in Energy Conversion Devices (ENER)...

Wind Energy ETFs: A Comparison

Three weeks ago, I wrote on the year ahead for the US wind sector and said I would analyze the two new wind ETFs now available to US investors: the First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Index Fund (FAN) and the PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio (PWND). While I don't currently have a position in either ETF as I expect headwinds in the US (no pun intended) to place downward pressure on some of the global wind stocks in the next few months (the US accounted for 27% of global installed capacity in '07), I still intend to...

Clean Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs

UPDATE 3/4/2011: An up-to-date article on selecting green mutual funds and ETFs can be found here. by Tom Konrad For new investors looking to green their portfolios with clean energy, the first thought is usually mutual funds.  The following three are available in North America: Mutual Funds Expenses New Alternatives Fund (NALFX) 0.95% + Sales load Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy Fund  (GAAEX) 1.64% ...

New Wind ETF FAN Cools Off Sunburned Portfolios

Update:You can find a comparison of FAN with PWND. a more recent wind ETF here. Since I last covered clean energy mutual funds and ETFs, the sector has seen the launch of two solar ETFs (KWT the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF from VanEck,  and TAN, the Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy ETF.)   Continuing in the tradition of cute ticker symbols, First Trust's new global wind energy ETF is FAN. I recommend that investors stay away from the (very expensive) green energy mutual funds, and invest either in one of the ETFs, or if they have...

Investing In Renewable Energy 101

UPDATE 3/4/2011: An up-to date article on selecting green mutual funds and ETFs can be found here. Why Invest in Renewable Energy? Given all the attention that renewable energy is getting in the news over the last couple years, investing in renewable energy has become a hot topic.  People are drawn to renewable energy for one of several reasons: To fight Global Warming To prepare for Peak Oil. To improve Energy Security and local economies. To cash in on the above trends. The beauty of investing in renewable energy companies is that these goals are not...

Alternative Energy ETFs – A Good Way To Invest in a Booming Sector

UPDATE 2/23/09: Here are in depth looks at available Clean Energy ETFs and Clean Energy Mutual Funds. Alternative energy is undoubtedly the future and we are just entering the early phases of what will be the next booming industry. Even if the growing consensus over global warming isn’t enough to change human behavior, we really don’t have much choice in the matter. Fossil fuels are becoming more difficult and expensive to find and extract from the earth. Couple lower supply levels with rapidly increasing demand from nations such as China and India and you have the perfect...

Introduction to Investing in Renewable Energy

UPDATE 3/4/2011: An up-to date article on selecting green mutual funds and ETFs can be found here. Why Invest in Renewable Energy? Given all the attention that renewable energy is getting in the news over the last couple years, investing in renewable energy has become a hot topic.  People are drawn to renewable energy for one of several reasons: To fight Global Warming To prepare for Peak Oil. To improve Energy Security and local economies. To cash in on the above trends. The beauty of investing in renewable energy companies is that these goals are not...

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...

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...

Endesa Reports 52 Percent Rise in Profit

ENDESA (ELE) reported a 52 percent increase in third-quarter profit Wednesday and said it will distribute almost 2.12 billion euros ($2.48 million) in dividends for the year. The company said it will pay out nearly 2 euros ($2.34) a share in dividends for 2005. The increased dividend is an attempt to ward off a hostile takeover attempt by Gas Natural. The stock way paying an almost 4% dividend yield and this move takes the divendend up near 12% with the special payout. Today I purchased the second third of my planned holdings for ELE 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...
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