A Good Green Fund

It's a risky fund, but Winslow Green Growth has a fine record and a veteran manager who does a good job of picking small, fast-growing "green" companies.

Investing in "green" stocks or funds can be treacherous. Most companies that specialize in solar or other renewable energy sources currently trade at nosebleed prices. "The solar stocks and the corn ethanol names have had big moves very much like the dot-com stocks did," cautions Jack Robinson, manager of Winslow Green Growth fund (symbol WGGFX), probably the best fund that specializes in this narrow sector.

Consider two companies. SunPower Corp. (SPWR) traded in the mid $20s a year ago. On May 2, it closed at $57. Brokerage analysts covering the stock estimate that the company will earn $1.05 a share this year -- putting its price-earning ratio at a lofty 54. Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) is expected to earn 32 cents this year, giving it a P/E of 46.

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Steven Goldberg
Contributing Columnist, Kiplinger.com
Steve has been writing for Kiplinger's for more than 25 years. As an associate editor and then senior associate editor, he covered mutual funds for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine from 1994-2006. He also authored a book, But Which Mutual Funds? In 2006 he joined with Jerry Tweddell, one of his best sources on investing, to form Tweddell Goldberg Investment Management to manage money for individual investors. Steve continues to write a regular column for Kiplinger.com and enjoys hearing investing questions from readers. You can contact Steve at 301.650.6567 or sgoldberg@kiplinger.com.