3 Top ETFs For Earth Day

By David Fabian,

Shutterstock photo

Earth Day is an annual celebration of environmental awareness and the need for socially responsible action that preserves our planets resources.

With that in mind, there are a number of exchange-traded funds that fit into the category of eco-friendly offerings.

The First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Fund (NASDAQ: QCLN ) is designed to track the performance of clean energy companies that are publicly traded in the United States .

This includes emerging technologies such as solar power, biofuels and advanced battery systems.

Currently, QCLN has over $185 million in assets dedicated to 50 companies that are in pursuit of profitable solutions to green energy initiatives.

As an added bonus, the recent performance of this ETF has been phenomenal. Through March 31, QCLN notched a one-year return of 83.69 percent.

See also: Drug ETFs Surge On M&A Activity

Another ETF that belongs in the Earth Day conversation is the PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (NYSE: PZD ).

This fund is designed to track the leading clean tech companies, from a broad range of industry sectors that offer the best investment returns.

One of the advantages of PZD is that the 61 underlying holdings represent a true global index.

These worldwide stocks are focused on reducing consumption of natural resources and conscious of any potential negative impacts on the environment or public health as well. Through March 31, PZD notched a one-year return of 28.64 percent.

Finally, the iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (NYSE: DSI ) provides access to a broad range of stocks that have been screened for positive environmental, social, and governance characteristics.

The 400 U.S. companies in this index provide diversified exposure to businesses that value positive contributions to society.

While DSI may not be seen as a pure play on green technology or renewable energy, it does merit consideration as a basket of stocks with socially responsible characteristics.

This ETF is also the cheapest of the bunch with an expense ratio of just 0.50 percent.

Each of these funds represents an opportunity to access companies that are making strides to preserve the environment or provide positive contributions to the community.

That makes them a perfect fit for Earth Day enthusiasts and socially-conscious investors alike.

© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , ETFs , Investing Ideas
Referenced Stocks: DSI , PZD , QCLN

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