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Sustainable Investing During a Stagnant Economy

Published 01-14-03

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New York, NY - Even in this stagnant economy there are plenty of investment opportunities for the "green investor," according to the latest issue of Progressive Investor.

What do the experts suggest as good stocks to invest in?

"What's most important right now," exhorts Eric Prouty of Harkness & Hill, "is for investors to stick with companies that have enough money on hand to get them through these dry times."

Ken Scott of Walden agrees. Since small cap stocks are where sustainable investors find most opportunities in line with their objectives, he cautions investors to keep only a portion of their assets there, and to be well diversified by sector and by specific companies.

The Healthy Living category continues to stand out as "recession-proof" with companies like Whole Foods (WFMI), United Natural (UNFI), Horizon Organic (HCOW) and Gaiam (GAIA) as good prospects. There are also companies that focus on saving energy like Itron (ITRI) or cleaning up air pollution - IMPCO Technologies (IMCO), among others.

Jack Robinson of Winslow draws a comparison between the Clean Energy sector and Healthy Living companies. Today, the Healthy Living companies are profitable, but 7 or 8 years ago they were just emerging and coming into their own.... just like the alternative energy sector is today.

"Every emerging growth company stumbles at some point," he points out. The wind turbine stocks are beaten down because they over-expanded expecting huge growth in the US market, which hasn't materialized yet. For example, Vestas (VWS), the largest wind turbine manufacturer, is profitable, but they planned for 50-60% growth, when it's going to more like 25%. It's just a growing pain."

And Ballard, the leading fuel cell company, certainly has enough money to get through this period.

The Progressive Investor is a monthly financial newsletter available by subscription. Each issue draws on a group of world-class sustainable investment analysts for their insights and opinions on viable investments in the "green" business sector.

Contributing analysts and advisors for this feature:
Eric Prouty, Principle & Senior Technology Analyst, Adams, Harkness & Hill;
Jack Robinson, Managing Director, Winslow Management;
Ken Scott, Portfolio Manager & Social Research Analyst, Walden Asset Management;
Terry Foecke, Principal, Materials Productivity, Inc.

The Editor is Rona Fried, Ph.D., CEO of

Excerpts from this issue will appear in the March/April issue of Solar Today Magazine, published by the American Solar Energy Society:

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