Obama's Green Agenda Drives Interest Among Investors
Source: InvestmentNews, Sue Asci (4/12/09)
". . . 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.