Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Investor Sanity Check

For those of you that have stuck with me for the past year or so, you know that I can get pretty snarky. I get sarcastic, play with satire, conduct "tests", and so forth. Based on the content of this post, I am compelled to issue the following:


As you read this, you may think I am conducting a test. Or that the other shoe will drop. Or that there is a "right" answer to be presented at a later date.

The reason for this post is for you to answer the question: Am I missing something?

Let me explain.

Regarding global warming, I give up. Not that I believe in global warming, not at all. Having a business sense, however, I can watch trends and sense where businesses and political organizations are heading. I'm not ready to say that the "green" industry is a hit, but the number of people and organizations jumping on the bandwagon have led me to look into investment opportunities.

Based on what I've either casually or intentionally read over the past year, I've realized that there could be some positive gains on my hard-earned money for my family. Not that I want to get in on the ground floor; I am not wealthy, so I don't have the capital to risk by being a wholesale investor (not that I'm actually qualified to be one). You won't see me invest in IPOs or subsequent stock issuances. Bonds, maybe, but my preferred investments are of the retail variety: stocks and mutual funds. In other words, I won't help a company get started, but I'll trade on the exchanges.

Thus, my growing interest in green industries. I've monitored fuel cell companies for over a year. Recently, I started looking at the carbon credit exchange programs mentioned by Al Gore to learn more about them. If the gravy train is moving on, I figured that folks that have some money to invest ought to have a way to do so.

Here's where I am stuck. I haven't found that way. A number of Google searches have educated me on what "carbon credit investing" is, but it doesn't seem to present a market, per se. It looks to be an inter-company and inter-country exchange, brokered by well-meaning, well-placed individuals. But I can't find how or where average Joe can get involved.

Hence, my request. Is something right under my nose that I'm missing, or am I reading this right, that the average Joe has no play in this game? Please send links that answer the question in either direction.



Jonathan said...

Bounce whatever you do with the SEC, etc. Check these links out:







Rick said...


Interesting articles. Both reference an "open market" or "public trading" but make no mention of how the market works in this instance.

Still looking....

Scott said...

"Carbon credits" are an abstract, untouchable thing. Stay away.

If you're looking to green for your green, invest your money in real companies with real products and services. There are plenty of publicly traded alternative energy companies out there to choose from.

Scott said...


White Guilt comes to rush hour. In this incarnation, it's called "Carbon Guilt" or "Emmision Guilt."

Here's a site I found while looking for "carbon credit" on google.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty "green" guy, but this is bordering on some kind of codependent type thing...

Rick said...


Interesting. I didn't understand the "white guilt" comment until I visited the TeraPass site. I'm going to e-mail them about what it takes to invest in their organization. I'm thinking of doing the same with their partner organizations.

I'm may contact the FTC and SEC as well about these type of organizations.

BTW...those alternative fuel companies don't have the stock returns I'm looking for. I've watched a number of them for over a year now. Performance is subpar, while the gas and oil companies are still doing well.

BTW #2...financial services are abstract, too - insurance, options, futures, etc. - but they still make worthwhile investments to those who understand them. I'm trying to understand this.