Monday, September 28, 2009

A Better Way to Play Green Stocks?

I'm intrigued by the results, if I don't forget I'll have more next week.
From Tom Konrad at AltEnergyStocks:

My Quick Clean Energy Tracking Portfolio continues to outperform all benchmarks and expectations... is it luck, or did I stumble onto a better way to invest in green energy stocks?

I continue to be stunned at how the portfolio which I intended as an easy way to duplicate green energy mutual fund performance at much lower cost continues to blow those green mutual funds out of the water. I last published an update on this portfolio at the end of May, and was shocked to find that it had beaten the funds it was intended to replicate by over 20% in 3 months. The trend continues... it's now almost 7 months later, and the portfolio has widened its lead over the mutual funds by 30%.

Winners and Losers

In May, I hypothesized that the out performance might have been due to how I constructed the portfolio: I chose five stocks from the top holdings of the mutual funds which had performed worst over the preceding three years. I did this because there is a fairly well-documented winner-loser effect [pdf], that shows systematic price reversals in stocks that show long-term gains or losses. In particular, stocks showing long term losses are more likely to make gains in following years than long term winners.

I tried to test if the out-performance was solely due to winner-loser effects by going back to my original data and seeing how a portfolio constructed with winners rather than losers would fare. To my surprise, the "winners" portfolio also significantly outperformed the mutual funds (by 10% over 3 months). I've updated the performance of the "winners" portfolio as well, and it also has increased it's gains compared to the mutual fund portfolio, and is now outperforming by 15% over 7 months.

Winner-loser effects seem to be playing a role, but at most, they explain about a quarter of the out-performance of the "Losers" portfolio so far. There may be other, as yet unknown, causes of the superior performance of the "Losers" portfolio....MORE