Alternative energy mutual funds (MF) have proven to be an excellent investment over the past year or more, but those gains have flattened out as of late. MFs are up 33 percent on average with even the lowest returning fund, Gabelli SRI Green AAA (SRIGX), up 15 percent for the year.
The alternative energy sector is by far beating the overall market. For comparison, as of April 21 the tech heavy NASDAQ was up around 27 percent for 12 months, the S&P 500 by 20 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average only 13 percent.
Alternative Energy ETF Returns
Green exchange traded funds (ETFs) are posting excellent gains overall for the past 12 months, up 51 percent on average. As with MFs, quarterly returns are relatively flat, with the exception of nice gains in First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (FCG) and iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRN).
An indication of how much the fortune of alternative energy ETFs have changed can be found by looking at long-term returns. Currently alternative energy ETFs are down 5.9 percent on average over a three-year time frame. Eight out of 14 funds, or a bit less than half, are trading down. Compare that with a year ago, when alternative energy ETFs were down 15.5 percent on average over a three-year time frame, with more than 70 percent of funds showing a loss. When looking at where annual returns were a year ago, about 40 percent of the alternative energy ETFs were down. On average the ETFs were flat for the year, as compared to the large one-year gains alternative energy ETFs are showing now.