Obama's Green Agenda Drives Interest Among Investors

Source:

". . . investors are continuing to express interest in green investing, even though financial advisers are cautious."

Driven by the Obama administration's commitment to climate change and environmental concerns, investors are continuing to express interest in green investing, even though financial advisers are cautious.

Nearly half the advisers, or 47.8%, who responded to an InvestmentNews survey on green investing, said that their clients have asked about green-investing opportunities.

The political climate is driving the interest, said Jennifer Hartman, principal of Greenleaf Financial Group LLC of Los Angeles, which has $10 million in assets under management. "Public policy is definitely making it more mainstream," she said.

But despite an increase in government support for a green agenda, more than half of the advisers surveyed said that they don't think it is that important to include green investments in a portfolio. Of the 516 advisers who responded, 58.3% said it was "not too important" or "not at all important" to include green investments in a portfolio, while 41.7% said it was "somewhat" or "very important."

When asked why they wouldn't be likely to recommend green investing to clients, advisers said that performance was a bigger concern. A full 25.7% of the advisers surveyed said that government subsidies aren't enough to make green investing a good long-term investment. And 25% of respondents said that green investing was a fad.

Another 13.9% said that the green-investment sector was too volatile, and 7.8% said that the technologies and industries that are common in green investing weren't viable. The industries working on alternative-energy concepts in particular are still too new, advisers said.

Still, some advisers see opportunities to turn a profit in the medium term.

The administration plans to double the nation's renewable-energy capacity in three years. As part of the $787 billion economic stimulus package, President Obama included more than $150 billion for the green economy, with funding for energy transmission to focus on renewable technology, green job-training programs, clean-energy projects, energy efficiency programs and climate change research.

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