Oil Sands v. Cleantech

Investing comes with risk. This article is a general discussion of the merits and risks associated with these ETFs, not a specific recommendation. Speak to an investment professional and make sure your portfolio is diversified. Tim Nash owns shares of PZD. Tim does not own shares of the other ETF mentioned in this article.

An article in today’s Globe & Mail describes the recent woes of oil sands investors.  High labour costs, regional markets, and pipeline protests are all spelling trouble for companies that have been expanding at rates that are hardly sustainable (by any definition of the word). And the article doesn’t even mention China’s new carbon tax that could change the geopolitical game on climate change.

The Oil Sands Index Fund (CLO) is an ETF that tracks the ironically-named Sustainable Oil Sands Index®.  As you can see from the 3-month chart below, it hasn’t been so profitable lately:



Meanwhile, the green economy has continued its impressive growth.  The PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (PZD) ETF has performed much better over the same period:


Now I realize that 3-months is a very short time-frame, but this could be a signal that the market is starting to recognize that there’s more money to be made in the clean, green economy than in the dirty, black one.

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