10 Green Energy Gambles for 2009

The credit crunch made me reassess my investing strategy last September.  First, my expectation of the lack of availability of credit for companies without reliable cash flow led me to sell several early stage and troubled companies.   Second, my experience of attempting to re-orient my portfolio in a hurry convinced me that I simply own too many companies.  For the purposes of diversifying company-specific risk, nearly all the benefits can be achieved with as few as 10 companies, if those companies have sufficiently different performance characteristics. In less ideal circumstances, 20-40 companies will usually be sufficient.  I currently own...

Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2009

UPDATE: Here's how this portfolio performed in 2009. Here is a mini-portfolio of ten Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Stocks I expect to do well in 2009.  Last year, I brought you ten speculative picks in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and I evaluated them against clean energy mutual funds and ETFs on Monday.  I chose to go with speculative picks, because I did not expect readers to be interested in the stodgier, value-oriented picks I usually prefer. Given the lessons of the credit crisis, if you still prefer speculative picks, you're an inveterate gambler.  If I get...

Update: Ten Speculations for 2008

A year ago, I brought you  10 Alternative Energy Stocks I thought were worth speculating on for 2008. I revisited these in June, when a balanced portfolio of the 10 was "up 11.4% for the year, compared to the S&P 500 which is down 4.2% and the NASDAQ Clean Edge US Index, which is down approximately 14.3%."   Speculative picks tend to do better than the market as a whole in bull markets, and worse in bear markets, so given the steep drop in markets since then, I would normally expect these more speculative picks to fare worse.  This is...

Trading Alert: EarthFirst Canada (ERFTF.PK or EF.TO)

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on the upcoming Clean Power Call in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC). In a nutshell, the Clean Power Call consists of an auction conducted by the government-owned integrated power company to award long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) to private wind developers. This is the model that has dominated in Canadian wind power so far. The notable thing about this model is that the PPA facilitates access to financing significantly for successful bidders, since the counterparty is a proxy of a credit-worthy government. EarthFirst Canada (EF) (ERFTF.PK or EF.TO)...

My Portfolio’s Latest Casualty And Addition

The Casualty Last Monday, I discussed how I had recently reviewed Railpower Tech with a view to potentially adding to my position on grounds that: (a) the company had a fair amount of cash in the bank, which reduced the need to go to capital markets for financing for a while; and (b) that it was getting badly battered by general market conditions, potentially offering an attractive entry point. Although my portfolio has taken a beating in recent weeks, I remain ready to take small positions in stocks if I feel they are being unfairly bashed, including in...

Performance Update: Sell and Short Recommendations

Investors are getting  bearish these days, which comes as a surprise to me, since I'm used to being in the minority.  I was a bear when I first took the leap from mutual funds and started trading stocks in 1999, and am a bear still.  I wish I'd turned bullish for a couple of years at what I consider to be the large bear market recovery of 2003-2006, but I didn't.  However, since I was (and still am) bullish on commodities since around the same time frame, I can't complain about my returns over the period. This spring, I...

Performance Update: 10 Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap

Unlike my Ten Speculations for 2008, my Solid Clean Energy Companies series will be much more difficult to benchmark.  The intent of the series was to list some "stocks to buy when you think we've hit bottom."  Since I obviously don't know when you think we've hit bottom (My opinion: not yet), I don't know what prices you'd have paid. Instead, I'll look at what would have happened if you bought only those stocks which dropped 10% since I wrote about them, and you bought them at the close that day, in equal dollar amounts.  Here's...

Performance Update: Ten Speculations for 2008

This is the first of a short series of articles I plan, reviewing how my stock recommendations have been doing this year.  I started the year bringing you 10 Alternative Energy Stocks I thought were worth speculating on for 2008, and I'll start this review with those articles, and also give you updates on what's been happening (or not) with the stocks.  Click on the company name a link to the original article where I wrote about the stock. Overall, a portfolio with equal dollar positions in these ten stocks is up 11.4% for the year, compared to the...

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: Intro, and Honorable Mentions

With the recent market declines, the start of the year may not have been the best time to publish ten speculative stock recommendations.  Considering the S&P fell 6% in the month of January, I find it quite surprising that an equal-weighted portfolio of those picks is up over 6% for the same period (using the prices I quoted in the original articles.)  If the market as a whole continues down, I expect it to drag those speculative picks with it.  Small, profitless companies tend to be hurt more than others in market declines, and to benefit more from booms.  ...

How Green are Your Earnings?

What Constitutes an Alternative Energy Company? There's a debate going on in the clean energy investment community about which companies are "green" enough to merit our attention.  Before the filming of my WealthTrack appearance, I got into a discussion with Ardour Global Indexes' Joseph LaCorte.  The Global Alternative Energy ETF (NYSE: GEX) is based on the index he manages.   The format of the show includes a top pick from each of the guests at the end of the show, and Mr. LaCorte was hoping that I'd pick GEX, since I had previously told him that it was...

Give the Gift of a Future This Christmas: Five Sustainable Companies For Your Kids...

A Carbon Conundrum for Christmas Do we have to choose between happy kids this Christmas, and a happy future for those kids?  Practically everything we buy has a negative environmental impact.  If green consumption is an oxymoron, so is green giving.  Are we left with only greener giving?  It often seems that the only way to be truly green is to be like the Grinch (before his heart-enlargement) and not give anyone anything.  And skip the tree while you're at it. It's a hard decision, and while there are many Green Shopping Advisories telling us that we can buy...

Our Blue Chip Alternative Energy Stock List

The market has fallen sharply, and Solar stocks have fallen even more following rumors that Congress will pass the Energy Bill without the Production Tax Credit or Investment Tax Credit.   Given this volatility and Renewable Energy's reputation for profitless startups, now might seem like an excellent time for a risk adverse investor to abandon the sector altogether.   Not so.  Even if all tax credits and other incentives for Renewable Energy were to be removed, the underlying drivers of Alternative Energy remain firmly in place: Rising energy prices and decreasing reserves, the need to reduce our Greenhouse gas emissions to avoid...

Two Canadian IPPs For Your Portfolio

Most alternative energy investors are aware of North American wind power's very bright growth prospects. In past articles, we discussed encouraging projections for the US and Canadian (PDF document) wind markets between now and 2015. While onshore European capacity is fast being exhausted, North America is only beginning its foray into wind and some major capex can be expected in this space over the coming years. Besides solid expected growth, another phenomenon is currently impacting the wind industry; consolidation. This is a global movement that is affecting all of the power gen sector, and that has no-doubt been...

Alternative Energy Stocks Portfolio Update

It's been six weeks since I last provided readers with an update on the Paper Portfolio.  According to the guidelines I laid out there, stocks are added to the portfolio when Chares or I mention them positively for the first time (leaving out ones for which Yahoo! finance does not have historical data, which are mostly pink sheet stocks.)  Here are the ones we've added since then. Stock Article Date Added Price Price 9/5/07 DOW Investing in energy Efficient Homes 7/24/07 $47.20 $42.20 OC Investing in energy Efficient Homes 7/24/07 $33.00 $24.26 ...

The Alternative Energy Stocks Paper Portfolio

Here at AltEnergyStocks we try to give the best advice to help our readers sort quality alternative energy investments from the simply overvalued and the dangerous poseurs.   How well are we doing? Putting Play Money Where our Mouth Is. As regular readers know, both Charles and I invest in many of the same stocks we recommend. I take a broad portfolio approach, with small stakes in almost everything I think is interesting, and larger stakes in companies I'm more bullish about, while Charles has a highly focused portfolio consisting of a small number of companies he expects to perform...

Portfolio For A GHG-Regulated World

Investment opportunities connected to climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation are a popular topic of discussion on this blog. Most of the time, however, the companies we discuss are relatively small, often unknown to most investors and overall pretty speculative. Yesterday, I came across an interesting article on Seeking Alpha entitled "Investing In a Greenhouse Gas-Regulated World" - the title says it all. The article looks at the question of investing in a GHG-constrained world from a conventional portfolio management perspective, and therefore argues for a low weighting in pure-play cleantech or carbon finance stocks, and...