Socially responsible investing has gone far beyond the days when mutual funds did not invest in tobacco or alcohol comAlternative Energypanies. Socially responsible investing never really caught on much in the past since many of the funds did not have the best of returns. Usually the companies that were invested in were established companies and rarely involved companies on the cutting edge of technology. However,
today that is changing. Alternative energy mutual funds and exchange traded funds provide those that invest in them both a socially responsible investment and the opportunity for sizable gains.

Alternative energy funds are considered socially responsible by many because the intent of alternative energy is to remove the dependence on foreign oil and the potential environmental damage done by oil companies. Since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this past year, alternative energy funds have garnered great interest.

Alternative energy companies also have the possibility of providing large returns. The companies involved in the areas of solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, ocean energy, etc are emerging companies with great possibility for gains if they can somehow establish themselves. They are also quite risky for this same reason. Many of the companies in the renewable energy sector and green energy
sector have many hurdles to overcome in order to become a successful, money making company. It is difficult to know which ones will emerge on top. Therefore, it is better to invest in a mutual fund or an exchange traded fund. The funds help lower the risk on any one particular company failing. However, if the industry is going to succeed there are good profits to be made.

You can do your own research to find a fund to your liking but here are a few names to get you started in the right direction. The most popular mutual funds are most likely Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund, FirstHand Alternative Energy Fund and Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy Fund. A few ETFs that you may want you to consider are VDE, PBD, and PBW. You can go to Google Finance or Yahoo Finance and do some research on them. There are a few others for you to consider as well that you can find in your own personal research.

If you believe that alternative energy sources have a future you may want to diversify your investment portfolio and include one or more alternaive energy funds. As with any investment, do your due dilligence and research and realize that all forms of investing involve the possibility of loss of money.