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Mark Henshaw
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Mark is the Editor for Eco Investor Guide - Eco Investor Guideā€™s mission is to advance public awareness and provide the information for making informed investment decisions in the Eco sector. Our aim is to be the number one source for market news, research, opinion, analysis and investment... More
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  • Green Funds 1st Quarter Wrap-up 0 comments
    Apr 8, 2010 1:54 PM | about stocks: FAN, KWT, PHO, PUW, PWND, TAN

    First quarter return data was out last week for mutual funds and ETFs, and our list of green sector funds had some interesting results. The two biggest gainers in green funds, by a nose, were both managed by Green Century: Green Century Equity Fund (GCEZX) up 4.81% for the quarter and Green Century Balanced Fund (MUTF:GCBLX) up 3.41%.

    The trailing one year return leader was the PowerShares WilderHill Progressive Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:PUW) up an astounding 73.59%. Last quarter’s leader the Gabelli SRI Green Fund (MUTF:SRIAX) dropped to third place with 67.76% for the trailing one year return.  The PowerShares Global Progressive Transportation Portfolio ETF (PTRP) took second place with a one year return of 72.4%. Impressive yes, all outperforming the S&P 500 (49.77%) but still short of climbing back into positive territory for the three year period.

    Both of Green Century fund’s have a wide green focus on companies that are in the business of solving environmental problems and who demonstrate a strong environmental performance record, which helped them to their lead position.  Pure play funds, especially in the solar sector, lost ground the first quarter. The Van Eck Market/Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:KWT) was down -16.38% and Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy Index ETF (NYSEARCA:TAN) was down -16.49% the first quarter.

    Wind funds had a difficult quarter as well, with PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio ETF (NASDAQ:PWND) down -14.52% and First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Index ETF (NYSEARCA:FAN) down -11.45%.

    Lesser known water funds have been the surprise of the year. While not as exciting and newsworthy as solar and wind, the issues of clean and available water will become more important over the coming years. The Robeco SAM Sustainable Water Fund (SMWNX) was up 2.08% for the quarter and 58.78% for the trailing one year. The PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio ETF (NYSEARCA:PHO) was the third place quarterly leader overall at 3.38% and up 47.13% for the trailing one year.

    Another significant development, The Winslow Green Solutions Fund (WGSLX) was closed and consolidated into the Winslow Green Growth Fund (WGGFX) at the close of the quarter. Winslow states,

    “As green business has become more mainstream, our universe has come to encompass a growing number of larger, well-established companies.  The Winslow Green Solutions Fund was launched to focus on these larger green solutions companies; however, we have found that many of these larger companies also fit perfectly within the mandate of the Winslow Green Growth Fund.  As a result, we have determined that the Winslow Green Growth Fund is fully capable of providing exposure to our full investment universe, and have decided to focus our resources on the management of this single investment vehicle.”

    In all, a fascinating first quarter for Eco funds and we can expect even more interesting developments as the year continues. Especially as President Obama, with healthcare behind him, begins to bring energy and climate issues to the forefront.

    Disclosure: None
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