October 26, 2010 > EarthTalk(r)
From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine
Dear EarthTalk: What are some good resources out there for learning about investments that help the environment?
-- Rob Johnson, Sherman Oaks, CA
The best green investing resources are available online, many for free. One good place to start is the Green Money Journal, which features a wide range of informative and free articles to help the individual investor make sense of the panoply of choices available when it comes to investing with the Earth in mind. Publisher Cliff Feigenbaum, also co-author of the book, "Investing With Your Values" (New Society, 2000), has been running the publication, first in print and now online, since 1992, and makes sure that each quarterly issue is chock full of tips and strategies for making a statement while making a buck.
Another great resource is SustainableBusiness.com's online Progressive Investor newsletter. Publisher Rona Fried keeps each issue fresh with advice from leading green portfolio managers and other experts, and reports on trends in renewable energy and energy efficiency, green building, recycling, organic foods, healthy lifestyles, and more. Individual issues cost $21 or subscribers can get five issues for $112.
There are now also many green investing blogs. Tune in regularly to the Green Investing Times, which offers green investing strategies and tips as well as news and views on developments in the so-called "CleanTech" sectors. The Green Chip Stocks website also tracks news about clean and green companies. BusinessWeek's Business Exchange blog features a live stream of up-to-the-minute posts pertaining to green business. For another perspective entirely, check out sites like Treehugger.com and Sustainablog, each which has unique takes on the latest and greatest in green technology and trends.
Some of the general finance and investing websites have also put together pretty good sections on green investing. Investopedia's special feature on green investing offers dozens of articles, question-and-answer features, and commentaries covering the gamut of options when it comes to investing with one's values. The Motley Fool also runs information regularly pertaining to green investing.
If you don't want to spend your days tracking the markets, you could leave it to the experts like the portfolio managers at Portland, Oregon-based Portfolio 21 Investments. The firm puts investor dollars to work supporting companies "developing cleaner and more efficient energy solutions, products designed to be reused and rebuilt, and processes that eliminate the need for toxic inputs while producing little or no waste." The firm's global equity mutual fund is open to individual investors willing to put in at least $5,000, while the minimum on retirement accounts is only $1,000.
There are other green mutual funds out there, too, of course, that screen the stocks they pick according to environmental and social responsibility standards. Domini, Calvert, Sustainable Asset Management, Pax World, and MMA Praxis all have offerings targeting specific industries and general green performance.
CONTACTS: Green Money Journal, www.greenmoneyjournal.com; Investopedia, www.investopedia.com/features/green-investing.aspx; Motley Fool, www.motleyfool.com; Progressive Investor, www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/progressiveinvestor.main; Green Investing Times, www.greeninvestingtimes.com; Treehugger, www.treehugger.com; Sustainablog, www.sustainablog.org; BusinessWeek's Business Exchange Green Investing, http://bx.businessweek.com/green-investing/blogs.
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