Investing the Green Way

By: elementaryfinance

So you’re green?  You live in one of those houses that is dug out of the side of a hill with solar panels everywhere.  You ride a bike in the summer and drive an electric car in the winter.  You grow your own food, pump your own water, and not one drop of oil will ever be in your home.

While you may not be that green, maybe you believe strongly in reducing your carbon footprint or think that green is going to make you some major green.  How do you invest in green?  What is out there for your money?

There aren’t any green bank accounts but there are green mutual funds and stocks*.  First, let’s look at mutual funds:

1.)    Winslow Green Growth Fund (WGGFX)-  All green.  Companies like Chipotle, Green Mountain Coffee Rosters, and First Solar.  (First Solar is one of the most successful solar companys out there right now.)  Although the management fees are high, this mutual fund has a great track record of success.

2.)    New Alternatives Fund (NALFX)- Almost all green.  This fund also has a very good track record and great management.  Companies like Whole Foods and Owens Corning are in this fund.  This is not a “pure play” fund but still quite green.  (A “pure play” would be any company who has no involvement in anything that isn’t green.)

How about if you are a stock person?  Keep in mind that to find pure plays that are green, you have to go mostly small cap.  (A small company)  Right now, small cap stocks are extremely risky so only invest a small amount of your money (around 10%) in these small cap stocks.

1.)    General Electric (GE)- Not very green.  GE is involved in a lot of industries but they are also one of the largest manufacturers in the Wind Turbine industry.  In fact, Boone Pickens has placed an order for 667 wind turbines for his “Pickens Plan”  Not very green but a good company to anchor your portfolio for the long term.

2.)    Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE)-  Almost all green.  This company builds natural gas fueling stations and provides natural gas to cities and individuals on the west coast.  Although depressed in value right now, this will be a leader if natural gas vehicles become more commonplace.  That’s the bet, though and why stocks like this are so risky.

3.)    Quanta Services (PWR)-  About 50% green.  So, you are Boone Pickens and you have 667 wind turbines in the middle of the United States and you are making bookoo amounts of power.  How are you going to get all of your power to the homes and city power grids?  You call Quanta Services.

4.)    First Trust Global Wind Energy (FAN)- Mostly green.  This is not a stock.  It is traded as a stock and the value changes like a stock but it’s actually a collection of stocks all put together called an ETF.  The fund invests in wind energy companies all over the world.  This is a very risky investment but if you’re in it for the long term, you will make some money.

These are only a couple of the many green companies and funds out there.  Beware! Alternative energy is not currently not popular because the price of oil is so low.  Most of these companies are very low in value.  That may be a buying opportunity but they may have lower yet to go.  Be careful.

So your green and need to invest now?  My suggestion is to look in to a mutual fund or two.  Stocks may be too risky right now but President Obama has been public in his support for alternative energy so many investors are beginning to give green another look.  So get to work, start researching and if you aren’t sure, leave a comment.  We’ll help you!

* Please do not take these as recommendations to buy.  These are names to research or ask your financial advisor about.
About the Author:
Tim is the author of the blog, elementary-finance.com. The goal of this blog is to educate those who have a desire to learn the basics of finance.


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One Response to “Investing the Green Way”

  1. I found your blog on Google, I am very excited about this blog, I am also very excited about green homes, I will be checking on your blog very soon

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