This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Add Green Funds to 401(k)s, Group Urges

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Making green by going "green" is the goal of The Renewable Energy Initiative, an effort to entice more investors to clean energy.

Providing the 50 million Americans with 401(k) plans and IRAs increased opportunity to invest in renewable energy could generate more than $350 billion in new investment over four years, the group says, as well as providing a boost to the overall economy, job creation and lower energy costs.

The initiative is in the midst of a campaign to encourage companies across the country to add existing publicly traded renewable energy funds to their 401(k) investment menus.

A March poll found that 89% of Americans support increased wind and other forms of renewable energy production, but less than 1% of 401(k) plans and IRAs offer the opportunity to invest, according to Ken Beitel, a TREI organizer based in Denver.

In response, TREI has promoted its mission by declaring this "National Renewable Energy 401(k) Month," making the announcement at the Annual International Conference on Energy, Logistics and the Environment, sponsored by the Global Commerce Forum.

Mainstream investments in wind and solar, notably by Google (GOOG - Get Report) and Yale University, has been a boon for their cause, Beitel says.

"Having Google invest $5 billion in offshore wind projects helps demonstrate the financial viability of the industry," he says, although he feels more outreach is needed. "What we are seeing right now is that most people don't know that publicly traded renewable energy funds exist. They don't know that they can be added to a 40(1)k plan, and most people don't realize the huge commercial nature of the renewable energy sector. Over the last two years, more than 40% of new electricity has been generated by renewable energy, including solar and wind, but people tend to think it is responsible for just 1% to 2% of new American electricity."

Beitel suggests that investors allot no more than 5% of their retirement portfolio.

Demand for "green" investments could attract younger investors, he adds.

"Currently only about half of 401(k) plan providers offer a renewable energy choice," he says. "Right now we see incredibly low participation rates for people in their 20s, just when it would be most advantageous for them to make a contribution to their retirement. By adding a renewable energy choice, this may prompt more people to invest."

Among the frunds TREI suggests as worthy of consideration for 401(K) plans and IRAs: Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund (CGAEX); Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy Index (PBW); PowerShares Global Wind Energy (PWND); PowerShares Cleantech (PZD); PowerShares Global Clean Energy (PBD); Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy; Market Vectors Solar Energy (KWT) and Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (TAN).

-- Written by Joe Mont in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joe Mont.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/josephmont.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:



Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Get more stock ideas and investing advice on our sister site, Stockpickr.com.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
GOOG $630.38 0.00%
AAPL $113.29 0.00%
FB $91.01 0.00%
TSLA $248.48 0.00%
YHOO $33.14 0.00%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 +1.21 0.06%
NASDAQ 4,828.3250 +15.6170 0.32%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs