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The twenty first century has certainly been a time when many individuals and corporations have embraced the concept of being environmentally conscious. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the idea has made its way into the investing styles of mutual funds and ETFs.

Value Line’s mutual fund database contains in excess of 20,000 open end funds and covers all environmentally conscious focused funds (as well as those “socially responsible” in other areas). This month, we highlight these funds, profiling nine that specialize in this area of investor interest.

Nine funds are listed below, based on one year return, as of April 30, 2014, with a baseline profile for the top three.

Fund Name: Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund

Ticker: ALTEX

Top Holdings: GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (GTAT), Koninklijke Royal Philips Electronics NV (PHG), Quanta Services Inc. (PWR)

YTD Return: 9.12%

Objective: Long-term growth of capital.

Investment Strategy:
• At least 80% invested in alternative energy and alternative energy technology companies.
• Investments may be made in domestic and foreign issuers with no percentage limits on foreign and emerging market companies.
• Investment holdings are evaluated on a basis of the intrinsic value exceeding the market price.

Fund Name: Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy Fund

Ticker: GAAEX

Top Holdings: China Singyes Solar Technology Holdings Ltd. (HK: 0750), Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Copenhagen: VWS), Mytrah Energy Ltd. (London: MYT)

YTD Return: 3.01%

Objective: Long-term capital appreciation.

Investment Strategy:
• At least 80% invested in alternative energy companies. 
• Investments may be made in domestic and foreign issuers as well as any level of Market Capitalization in excess of $100 Million.

Fund Name: Shelton Green Alpha Fund

Ticker: NEXTX

Top Holdings: First Solar Inc. (FSLR), Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Solarcity Corp. (SCTY)

YTD Return: -0.14%

Objective: Long-term capital appreciation.

Investment Strategy:
• Invest in stocks with business activities in the “green economy.”
• At least 80% invested in U.S. common stocks and ADRs. 
• Utilize quantitative and qualitative analysis on the investment manager’s pre-defined universe of “green economy” companies.

In the table below are the aforementioned nine funds. All data is compiled from the Value Line Fund Advisor database.

Environmentally Conscious Funds Performance at 04/30/2014

 Fund Name 

 Ticker 

 % 1 Month 

 Total 

 Return 

 % 3 

 Month 

 Total 

 Return 

 % 6 Month 

 Total 

 Return 

 % 1 Year Total Return  

 % 5 Year 

 Total 

 Return 

 Annualized 

 Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund 

 ALTEX 

-5.11

5.22

15.36

62.30

3.41

 Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy 

 GAAEX 

-2.61

0.74

-0.49

43.71

-4.12

 Shelton Green Alpha Fund 

 NEXTX 

-5.24

-0.68

7.31

40.34

- -

 New Alternatives Fund 

 NALFX 

-0.68

9.09

11.15

29.05

10.84

 Fidelity Select Environm & Alt En 

 FSLEX 

-0.85

5.44

7.63

25.38

13.67

 Pax World Glb Environm Mrkts Inv 

 PGRNX 

-1.40

2.43

3.87

18.88

15.32

 Green Century Equity Rtl 

 GCEQX 

-0.44

4.47

6.43

18.42

17.26

 Alger Green A 

 SPEGX 

-1.25

1.40

2.79

17.06

15.91

 Portfolio 21 

 PORTX 

-1.44

3.93

2.79

10.81

12.88

 S&P 500 Index 

^GSPC

0.74

6.23

8.33

20.42

19.13

At the time of this article's writing, the author did not have positions in any of the funds mentioned.