Alternative Energy ETF

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DEFINITION of 'Alternative Energy ETF'

An exchange-traded fund that invests in companies engaged in industries serving alternative energy production and research. Some companies found within alternative energy ETFs may only receive a portion of their revenues from alternative energy goods and services, while other (typically smaller) companies are wholly engaged in alternative or clean energy production. The underlying group of securities used to passively invest assets within these funds varies widely depending on the issuer. Some include many stocks while others have a narrower focus and are thus less diversified.

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BREAKING DOWN 'Alternative Energy ETF'

ETFs focused on alternative energy stocks represent a strong "green" investment, but the space is still in the beginning stages of commercial viability. Investors should expect to see high volatility as certain processes and technology rise to the forefront while others prove to be unsuccessful. Alternative energy has two important tailwinds funding its growth: the limitation of the world's natural resources and higher demand by environmentally conscientious consumers. Examples of ETFs in this space would include stocks from solar energy companies and "clean" fossil fuel production corporations.

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