Most people wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and take a train to work. They sit in a cubicle or an office under flourescent lights, printing report after report, drinking lattes and praying for 5 o'clock. After a trainride home or commute in the car, you get home and blast the AC in the summer heat, take out the trash, heat up microwave dinner, watch TV, and go to sleep.
When you think about it, that's a lot of opportunity for green. There's also a lot of room to become an emo kid and decry life, but that's not for us to say really. Think about it: imagine that every time you flush the toilet, you own the company that treats and cleans that water. Imagine as you're sitting underneath compact flourescent bulbs that light your cubicle, you own a piece of the company making that bulb. Imagine when you take out the trash, you own the company that recycles the contents.
It's surprising with all the talk about green in the media, there is very little mention of one of the most central green industries: your life. In the long term, sustainable living solutions make perfect sense in a green portfolio. From water recycling to waste recycling to green transportation, the things we do every day are equally as important (if not more so) than the bigger picture items like energy. If you're a DIYer, watch for future posts about individual ETFs to make your own green living component. Fortunately, Winslow Management has already done the hard work for the retail investors looking for a quick stop solution, the Winslow Green Solutions Fund:
Inception: November 1, 2007
Asset Type: Mutual Fund
Smug Category: Total Green
Included in Smug Asset Pool?: Yes
YTD -14.42%Min Investment: $2,500
Min Retirement Investment: $2,000
Minimum Additional: $50
$2,500 to $24,999.99: 0.00% of offering price
$25,000 to $99,999.99: 0.00% of offering price
$100,000 or more: 0.00% of offering price
Management Fees: 0.90% for 2007
12b-1 Fees: 0.00%
Other fees: 1.00%
Redemption Fee: 2.00% (Total Annual Fee: 1.90% (actual fee capped at 1.45% until 2009)
Let's get the bad out of the way first: WGSLX is a young fund, so consider yourself warned. It's already down almost 15% YTD, but that's not a good reason not to feel good about the long term. Lastly, and most egregiously, is the annual fee of 1.45%, which is higher than I like. Worse per perspectus the fee has been capped at 1.45% until April 2009, which means the startup costs are high and you're getting it at a premium.
With the bad out of the way, let's get to the good. Winslow is another long running company in the style of NALFX, trading their first fund, WGGFX, privately since 1994 and publicly since 2001. They have a history of great performance, with annualized 10 year numbers for WGGFX over 13%. So there is reason to believe the same management team that's been analyzing green for so long will be capable of performing in the new fund (note: past performance not indicative of future results... ha!). More importantly, the industry is an excellent long term prospect. Winslow has stricter controls than many green funds in terms of narrowing its asset pool, and that works to their advantage as it focuses on companies with a real long term commitment to sustainability. Also, if you look at their portfolio holdings, it's clear they are positioning themselves to invest in everyone, not just obvious green investments.
So feel smug and give it a look. As always, see my disclaimer to the right of the page.