Green funds return 22.95% through July 31, outperforming the S&P 500

Average fund performance was of 22.95% compared with the S&P 500’s 10.97%

Aug 10, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

By Sue Asci

For green investors, patience is not only a virtue, it is a source of profits.

The performance of environmentally conscious mutual funds surpassed the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index this year after faltering late last year, according to data from Lipper Inc. of New York.

Of the 26 green funds tracked by Lipper, 22 outpaced the index by nearly 12 percentage points from Jan. 1 through July 31.

The funds posted an average return of 22.95%, compared with 10.97% for the S&P 500 for the same time period.

“A lot of the gains [were] because the funds took unprecedented hits in the fourth quarter,” said Jonathan Kreider, fiduciary research analyst at Lipper.

“Some of [the performance] is a rebound from the [fourth quarter]. Also, oil has increased in price, which bodes well for green-type investments.”

However, the funds were pummeled in the fourth quarter of 2008, which is why the 12-month returns were poor.

While the S&P 500 lost 19.96% over the trailing-12-month period through July 31, green funds lost an average of 31% over the same time period.

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