Sustainable Investment: 5 Stocks To Watch

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Investing is a great way to start developing a nest egg for retirement or saving for your children’s college education. Many people struggle with investing, however, because the popular stocks are costly and some leading companies pursue unsustainable business practices that don’t reflect shareholders’ priorities.

Since more individuals are committed to investing based on social values, this can put you in a difficult position if you’re one of them. How can we base our investments on our ethical priorities?

The answer is: Do your homework. There are plenty of publicly traded stocks that are committed to environmentally friendly practices, including big names like Tesla and smaller firms such as Terraform Global.

By researching stocks that emphasize sustainability, you can uncover names that are poised to make a big difference in the world.

Starting Small

For new investors or those of us without a lot of capital, penny stocks are a great way to get started. But don’t be misled: Penny stocks don’t actually sell for a penny.

All stocks priced below $5 are treated as penny stocks relative to the rest of the market. Because of their comparatively low price, these stocks can be unusually lucrative: A small bump in sales could conceivably triple your outlay in just a few days.

This is a great way to turn a profit without risking a lot. One excellent penny stock that’s doing innovative work in sustainable energy is Solazyme (SYZM), traded on the Nasdaq.

Solazyme has a one-year high of $3.52, which makes it a financially accessible stock, and the company specializes in the use of algae to create oil and other biomaterials. That algae could also help turn your greenbacks into gold.

A Little More Than a Penny

Some of the best stocks in the green-energy sector are a little bit above the official penny stocks range, but are still reasonably priced. In this category you’ll find Terraforma Global, which closed out last year at $5.59.

This company is doing impressive work supporting sustainable energy projects in places like Brazil, China, and India. It’s noble and risky work, and the firm is currently benefitting from support by SunEdison.

If you’re willing to accept some volatility in your investments, Terraforma is a solid choice with strong founding principles.

Trina Solar is another company trading at a reasonable price. As of this writing, the stock is selling for about $8.76 per share; and unlike Terraforma, which is committed to risky projects, Trina Solar recently restructured to increase its global presence while also increasing its profits.

It’s also a great time to get in on Trina Solar because many experts agree the stock is undervalued at the moment. You can get in before other investors push up the price to reflect the company’s true value.

Go Big or Go Home

For investors who are ready to go all in on high-performing, sustainably minded operations, big names like First Solar and Tesla qualify.

First Solar is a complex of companies that not only manufacture solar panels, but is also involved in investor-owned utilities and other independent energy undertakings. So it makes sense that the company is trading for more than $45 a share, a substantial investment for most traders.

Tesla is one of the biggest names on the market. If you’re not clear about prices and need a sense of scale, Tesla’s stock is currently trading at around $225 a share, while Apple is valued at only about $97.

The company, which manufactures electric vehicles, has been in the news a lot lately (though not always for positive reasons). If current trends persist and the outfit recovers from the first self-driving car crash — and most believe it will — Tesla could hit sky-high prices in the next few years.

Values-based investing is going to become an even more central investment consideration in the coming years. Thus, anyone currently factoring it into his or her investments is on the cutting edge.

By investing in these companies now, you’ll be positioned to earn hefty dividends as these stocks gain prominence. When it works, being a prescient early adopter is a highly profitable role.