While broad markets have had a pretty good 2013, there have been a few sectors that have easily led the way higher. In particular, the clean energy world has had a banner year, with broad gains seen in a number of stocks in the sector.
This space has been assisted by a trend towards growth stocks by a variety of investors as a risk on trade has gripped broad markets as of late. Furthermore, high oil prices and more efficient alternative energy applications have made clean power more viable, adding even more interest in the sector.
Thanks to these trends, clean energy ETFs have been star performers, pretty much across the board. However, a few have really taken off in the past few months, and we have highlighted the best performers in this space for those looking to ride the strong momentum wave in the clean energy ETF world a little longer:
Van Eck Global Alternative Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:GEX)
This ETF follows the Ardour Global Index, giving investors exposure to about 30 companies across the globe that are engaged in some aspect of the clean energy world. The fund charges investors 62 basis points a year in fees, while volume is a little light, suggesting that total costs may be a bit higher.
GEX is heavy in industrials, as these represent 40% of the fund, though technology (24.5%), consumer discretionary (16.2%), and utilities (14.2%) all receive big chunks as well. In terms of countries, the U.S. dominates at just over half the portfolio, while individual holdings are led by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Eaton Corp (NYSE:ETN), and Cree (NASDAQ:CREE).
For performance, the ETF has added about 15.2% in the past three months, while it has skyrocketed by over 72% in the trailing one year time frame.
PowerShares Global Clean Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:PBD)
This ETF tracks the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index, charging investors 75 basis points a year in fees for the exposure. In total, the ETF has about 100 companies in its basket, while assets under management come in at just over $75 million.
The fund focuses on companies that are engaged in greener and renewable sources of energy, or firms that focus on technologies that facilitate cleaner energy. Top sectors include technology (36%) and industrials (29.5%), while assets are well spread out; no single company makes up more than 3% of the total fund.
There is a well spread out profile from a country look too, as the U.S. takes the top spot at 37.4%, while China (12.9%) and Denmark (5.2%) round out the top three (see all the Alternative Energy ETFs).
In terms of performance, PBD has added 15.7% in the past three months, while it has added just over 48% in the past one year time frame.
First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Index Fund (NYSEARCA:FAN)
For a concentrated play on the wind power industry, FAN may be an excellent choice, tracking the ISE Global Wind Energy Index. This benchmark provides exposure to roughly 50 companies, charging investors 60 basis points a year in fees.