PBD: PowerShares Global Clean Energy is Worth a Second Look

PBD climbs the rankings of Don Dion's PowerShares Momentum Tracker.

Williamstown, MA, June 19, 2008 --(PR.com)-- PowerShares Global Clean Energy, which shot up 26 positions on Don Dion's PowerShares Momentum Tracker in the last two and a half months, offers one of the most expansive takes on clean energy investing. The fund’s portfolio recently included holdings from every continent except Antarctica, with around 20 countries represented altogether. http://www.fidelityadviser.com/readMe_PS.asp

PowerShares Momentum Tracker is part of Don Dion's Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters. Fidelity Independent Adviser reaches over 100,000 subscribers through weekly and monthly publications that focus on mutual fund and ETF investing.

In the lastest issue of PowerShares Momentum Tracker, Dion took a look at PBD, PowerShare's clean energy fund.

Clean energy has become increasingly important to investors as November’s election approaches and gas prices skyrocket. Floods in the midwest have caused a flurry of concern about corn, which is used to produce ethanol. The price of corn futures reached an intraday high today, as traders tried to evaluate the damage that flooding has caused to this year’s crop.

The stocks in PBD’s portfolio are very different from those found in conventional energy ETFs. In fact only about 2% of the fund’s assets recently were invested in stocks in the energy sector, according to PowerShares. Shares of firms involved in the wind power, solar power, energy storage and biofuels industries make up the bulk of PBD’s portfolio, and many of those companies are more associated with the industrials, information technology or utilities sectors than energy.

PBD’s international breadth might serve investors well in the near future. For one thing, many of the world’s most innovative and fastest-growing alternative energy firms are overseas. Their stocks fly under the radar of clean energy ETFs that invest solely in stocks traded in U.S. markets.

Moreover, foreign governments have pushed investments in clean power more aggressively than the U.S. has. In fact, on the same day the IEA released its report, U.S. senators killed a global warming bill that would have required polluters to purchase permits to produce carbon emissions. Things are likely to change no matter who ends up in the White House next year, but for now it seems unlikely that the U.S. government will help spur any substantial increase in domestic spending on clean energies. And if the U.S. economy continues to drag, PBD’s exposure to a range of international markets may help offset losses from domestic stocks.

To understand what makes PBD distinct from other clean energy ETFs, it helps to compare the fund with PowerShares Wilderhill Clean Energy (PBW)—a similar but much more concentrated and narrowly focused fund. PBD’s portfolio recently included 88 holdings, with about a quarter of its assets invested in its top 10ten stocks. Meanwhile, PBW’s portfolio included only 47 holdings, and its top 10ten accounted for about 36% of assets.

So far in 2008, PBD’s approach to clean energy has fared better than PBW’s. Both funds took massive dives in January, but by June 6, PBD was down only about 8% for the year while PBW had fallen more than 20%. The discrepancy between their performances caused PBD to be ranked 30 spots higher than PBW on the PowerShares Momentum Tracker Table last week.


This week will mark the one-year anniversary of PBD’s inception, so the fund still has little history with which behind it to judge it by. One thing that appears certain, however, is that this fund holds the potential for extreme volatility. PBD offers exposure to dozens of up-and-coming clean energy firms that appear to hold great growth potential. But the future of clean energy is likely to be shaped by unpredictable political, environmental and technological developments—so investors would be wise to take a cautious approach.

Period* Mkt. Return (%) +/- Index Return**
1 -week -4.27 -4.16
1 -month 1.08 +1.82
3 -months 13.27 +13.29
YTD -11.67 -11.17
*Through 6/11/08
**Index: S&P 500
Source: Morningstar

Top 10 Holdings*

Energy Conversion Devices 3.03%
REpower Systems 2.84%
Nordex 2.78%
Vestas Wind Systems 2.64%
Theolia 2.48%
ErSol Solar Energy 2.46%
Babcock & Brown Wind Partners 2.42%
Zoltek 2.42%
EDF Energies Nouvelles 2.41%
Greentech Energy Systems 2.30%
*As of 6/05/08
Source: Powershares.com

About Don Dion, publisher of PowerShares Momentum Tracker:

Don Dion is the publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors Don’s commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the United States and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers. http://www.fidelityadviser.com/

Mr. Dion is also president and founder of Dion Money Management, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Dion Money Management manages more than $850 million in assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. A licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine, Mr. Dion has more than 25 years’ experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management. http://www.dionmm.com/

Dion Money Management, LLC
Donald R. Dion
1-800-432-7447 ext. 191