Editor's note: This story first appeared on CNNMoney.com in March 2007.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Everyone wants to know where to put their money in alternative energy.
A bet on alternative fuels is really a bet that oil prices will go higher, analysts say.
That's natural given high oil prices and increasing talk about an energy crunch. And big money is already moving in. Many analysts are comparing the flood of venture capital and institutional money to the dot.com days.
What can a retail investor do? We asked several pros what to look for -- and what to watch out for -- when diving into renewable energy.
Do your homework: Just like the dot.com boom, and the railroad boom a century before it, many start-up renewable companies won't make it.
"Make sure there is some substance behind the smoke," said William Buechler, president of Barclay Partners Asset Management, a California-based company that controls $250 million in assets.
"You can't get excited on the hope of the industry and ignore the fact that they still need to make money."
Buechler says a company with a price to earnings ratio over 50 is probably overvalued in this sector.
He says to watch cash flows, and to see who the clients of the company are to make sure they are solid.
He pointed to companies that do business in California, where there are mandates to use renewable energy, as firms which probably have a solid client base.
Watch oil . and oil politics: It's not all about core business models or market forces.
The viability of your investment will depend in large part on the price of oil.
Many analysts say alternative energy needs to have oil over $50 a barrel for it to be commercially viable.
So a bet on alternative fuels is really a bet that oil prices will go higher, said Neal Dingmann, an energy analyst at Dahlman Rose & Co., a New York-based energy investment boutique.
Or, it's a bet that the government will keep or raise subsidies, which most technologies like wind, solar and biofuel still need to compete.
And then there is the possibility of mandatory carbon limits, which would further help alternatives.
Of course, if oil goes back to $30 a barrel, the whole sector may fade away.
Diversify: Spread your investments between wind, solar and biofuels, the experts advise.
And don't just pay attention to the small companies with big ideas. Big companies GE, BP, DuPont and Archer-Daniels-Midland are players in the sector too.
The fact that a fairly small portion of their earnings come from alternatives (with the possible exception of Archer) insulates them from downturns, the pros point out. On the other hand, range of operations also prevents their stock from benefiting greatly when good times hit one particular sector.
Think long term: Most models for success in the sector rely on government subsidies keeping companies afloat until they can gain enough scale to become competitive. Or until oil prices move substantially higher. Or until there are financial penalties for carbon emissions.
Even if these things were a sure bet (which they aren't), none will happen overnight.
"It's a rapidly growing market, but be patient," said Scott Brown, chief executive at New Energy Capital, which invests in alternative energy projects like power plants.
Brown said that in the short term commodity prices for things like oil and corn --the base stock for ethanol in the U.S. -- are likely to remain volatile.
But in the long term, "If you're looking at 10 years out, now is probably a good time to buy," he said. E-mail to a friend
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Aim of this section is to learn how to use reflexive verbs.
Ich erinnere mich an den Urlaub.
Sie interessiert sich fьr Deutsch.
Wir freuen uns auf November.
I remember the holiday.
She is interested in German.
We are looking forward to November.
What are "reflexive Verben"?
"Reflexive Verben" are special verbs which require a pronoun to complete the sentence.
The term "reflexiv" is easy to explain:
In sentences with "refexive verbs" the subject and the object (=pronoun) are the same person.
The object (=pronoun) reflects back to the subject.
"Ich" is the subject of the sentence. I'm acting. I wash.
"waschen" is the reflexive verb of the sentence.
"mich" (=> ich) is the object of the sentence. Someone does something with me. Somebody washes me.
"Ich" is the subject of the sentence. I'm acting. I concentrate.
"konzentrieren" is the reflexive verb of the sentence.
"mich" (=> ich) is the object of the sentence although I must admit that's quite difficult to understand
because how can somebody or something "being concentrated"?
It's logical that somebody can wash me or move me or shave me but concentrate me.
Well this leads us to the insight that:
Whereas in English there are just a few reflexive verbs (e.g. wash oneself, enjoy oneself)
German has many reflexive verbs even though they are not really logical in many situations.
Which are the reflexive pronouns?
If you check the chart carefully you see that the reflexive pronouns are almost the same as the personal pronouns.
Just the er/sie/es and the sie (pl.) form is new to you.
Dative or Accusative?
The next question is how do you know
if the reflexive pronoun takes the dative case or the accusative case.
The answer is easy:
If you are unsure about this check again the topic: Die 4 Fдlle.
There is even an easier way to find out the case.
If there is just one object then reflexive pronoun takes the accusative.
If there are two objects then the reflexive pronoun takes the dative.
In the first example there is just one object (mich=direct object). So, the reflexive pronoun must take the accusative.
In the second example there are two objects: "mir" (=indirect object) and "Hдnde" (=direct object).
So, the reflex pronoun must take the dative.
Word order of reflexive pronouns
In statements the reflexive pronoun follows the conjugated verb (=main verb in typ1-sentences / =helping verb in typ2-sentences).
In questions the reflexive pronoun follows the subject.
List of reflexive verbs
sich bedanken (A)
sich benehmen (A)
sich befinden (A)
sich beschweren (A)
sich bewerben (A)
sich entscheiden (A)
sich entschuldigen (A)
sich entspannen (A)
sich erinnern (A)
look forward to
sich (krank/wohl) fьhlen (A)
sich gewцhnen (A)
sich hinlegen (A)
sich interessieren (A)
sich konzentrieren (A)
sich langweilen (A)
sich ьberlegen (A)
sich unterhalten (A)
sich verbessern (A)
sich verlassen (A)
sich verlieben (A)
sich verloben (A)
sich verspдten (A)
sich verstehen (A)
sich vorbereiten (A)
prepare / get ready
sich vorstellen (D)
sich wьnschen (D)
special verbs to describe the daily routine
sich abtrocknen (A)
sich anziehen (A)
sich ausziehen (A)
sich (die Haare) bьrsten (D)
brush (one's hair)
sich (die Haare) fцhnen (D)
blow dry (one's hair)
sich (die Haare) kдmmen (D)
sich rasieren (A)
sich (die Beine) rasieren (D)
shave (one's legs)
sich schminken (A)
sich umziehen (A)
sich (die Harre) waschen (D)
sich (die Hдnde) waschen (D)
wash (one's hands)
sich (die Zдhne) putzen (D)
brush (one's teeth)
If you want to know which verbs are reflexive verbs just look for the "sich".
In dictionaries the "sich" precedes reflexive verbs. We also will use this in future to mark reflexive verbs.
I added in brackets the case (A) = accusative / (D) = dative to make it easier for you
to choose the correct reflexive pronoun from the chart.
Braley cancels meeting with Senator Kerry Quad-City Times
Democratic congressional candidate Bruce Braley has asked John Kerry not to campaign with him Thursday in the Quad-Cities as planned, citing the flap between the White House and the senator over his remarks concerning Iraq.
Life Chain prays for those unexpectedly pregnant Quad-City Times
Pat Reagan, of Davenport, sat in a lawn chair, rosary in hand, Sunday while she participated in the 16th annual Life Chain along Middle Road, Bettendorf.
Teens arrested in string of area burglaries Quad-City Times
Four Davenport teens have been arrested in connection with about eight вЂњsmash-and-grabвЂќ burglaries that have occurred in the city the past two weeks, police said.
Гўв‚¬ЛњDatelineГўв‚¬в„ў profiles ReynoldsГўв‚¬в„ў murder Quad-City Times
The story of Adrianne ReynoldsвЂ™ murder is to be profiled Saturday in an episode of вЂњDateline NBC,вЂќ a magazine-format news program aired locally on KWQC-TV6.
Candidates are proud of political stands Quad-City Times
An unabashed social conservative, state Senate candidate David Hartsuch is hammering the same themes of moral decay during the general election campaign season that propelled him to an upset of longtime incumbent Sen. Maggie Tinsman in last springвЂ™s primary.
Briefly Quad-City Times
Staff and wire reports More than 500 Quad-City area residents will gather on the Ben Butterworth Parkway in Moline this morning to raise funds by participating in the annual AmericaвЂ™s Walk for Diabetes, and you can join them if youвЂ™re an early riser.
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Through alternative programming and differentiation, Bettendorf Middle staff District wide, Bettendorf schools have a daily attendance rate of 95.8%.
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