Bioenergy, Geothermal, Solar, Wind Power

Investing in Renewable Energy Funds

I’m interested in finding renewable energy funds in which to invest my 401k. Could you direct me to an archived story regarding this and if there isn’t one, when can I expect to see something like that? Thank you for your time. — Chip A., Milwaukee, WI

Chip, Thanks for your note. Below is a list of the current Exchange traded Funds (ETF’s) that are currently trading on the markets and how their performance has been since 6-1-2008 compared to the standard indexes you normally see in the paper.

Obviously they have taken the same sort of beating that the average solar stock has taken (actually a bit less). However, I think it may be the time to take a closer look at the sector now that it has been beaten down and we have a new, very pro solar, administration in Washington.

As I have said in the past, I would make sure that you approach this newly emerging solar sector with caution and with higher risk tolerant capital. In addition, you may want to take a look at each of the listed ETF’s webpage and check to see how each of them are weighted (you can usually click on each ETF’s page and get a listing of the stocks they own and the percentage of the fund in each stock) in regard to solar stocks, some may have too much of certain stock you may feel is more risky or less in line with your investment focus.


ETF Names

Performance %




The WilderHill Clean Energy Index



First Trust Global Wind Energy Fund



Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF



Market Vectors Solar Energy



PowerShares Global Clean Energy Portfolio



PowerShares Wilderhill Clean Energy



PowerShares WilderHill Prog. Energy



PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio



PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio



First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge U.S. Liquid Series Index Fund



Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy Index Fund





Standard Indexes




Dow Jones



Standard and Poors 500