‘Green’ investments rebounding

Although many “green” investments sank deeper than did the overall market in late 2008 and early 2009, environmentally-friendly stocks and mutual funds now are rising faster than the markets, a new study says.

Green mutual funds and stocks lost 50 percent to 80 percent of their value in the market slump, more than the 40 percent shed by the Dow Industrial Average, says a report from Progressive Investor.

But since early March, clean-technology indexes have jumped 30 percent, outpacing the Dow’s 21 percent increase, and green-building stocks are up 11.6 percent, compared to a 7.9 percent increase in the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ exchanges.

Green mutual funds also are faring well, with few investors selling their shares, while U.S. mutual funds in general have seen a 10-fold increase in withdrawals.

Much of the optimism around green investment is due to the federal stimulus package, 14 percent of which is estimated to go toward clean energy and efficiency, the report says.

Almost half of institutional investors say they are more likely now than a year ago to increase their investments in clean energy, while only 5 percent say they are less likely to put their money in green investments.

And worldwide, more than $200 billion in incentives and spending likely will go toward clean-energy related projects, creating as estimated 2 million jobs in the U.S.

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