Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund

Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund

Average Annual Total Returns vs. Indices
As of June 30, 2019
Period Firsthand Alternative
Energy Fund
WilderHill Clean Energy Index S&P 500 Index
Since inception (10/29/07) -2.61% -11.13% 7.97%
10-Year 1.12% -4.17% 14.69%
5-Year -0.95% -2.36% 10.71%
3-Year 12.54% 16.85% 14.21%
1-Year 14.25% 19.91% 10.41%
Q2 '19 (not annualized) 15.46% 11.40% 4.30%
Monthly Performance Update
As of July 31, 2019
Period Firsthand Alternative
Energy Fund
Since inception (10/29/07) -2.45%
10-Year 0.93%
5-Year 1.17%
3-Year 11.78%
1-Year 11.08%
1-Month 1.78%


The Fund's performance information assumes reinvestment of all dividends and includes all Fund expenses, but does not reflect the impact of taxes. Performance data quoted represent past performance, which is not a guarantee of future results, and current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. Both the return from and the principal value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate so that any investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. To obtain performance as of the most recent month-end, please contact Firsthand Funds by calling 1.888.884.2675 or go to

The Fund's total gross operating expenses are 2.15%. The Fund's total net operating expenses are 1.98%. Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Investment Adviser has agreed to reduce its fees and/or make expense reimbursements so that the Fund's total annual operating expenses (excluding independent trustees' compensation, brokerage and commission expenses, short sale expenses, litigation costs and any extraordinary and non-recurring expenses) are limited to 1.98% of the Fund's average daily net assets up to $200 million, 1.93% of such assets from $200 million to $500 million, 1.88% of such assets from $500 million to $1 billion, and 1.83% of such assets in excess of $1 billion. The current expense waiver is in effect until 8/31/19.

Growth of a Hypothetical $10,000 Investment

October 29, 2007 through June 30, 2019

Chart represents the growth of a hypothetical $10,000 investment from Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund inception date until the end of the quarter indicated. Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund performance assumes reinvestment of all dividends and includes all Fund expenses but does not reflect the impact of taxes.

Q2 '19 Contributors to Performance

SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) stock soared 66% in Q2 2019, making SolarEdge the largest positive contributor to the Fund’s performance during the quarter. In May the company reported record revenues for its first fiscal quarter of 2019, though expenses related to recent acquisitions weighed on its earnings. Revenues from the company’s solar-related business climbed 21%, relative to the year-ago period.

Aspen Aerogels (ASPN) was another strong contributor to the Fund’s performance in Q2. The manufacturer of aerogel insulation products announced in April its winning of a large contract to supply aerogel insulation to a new liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal being constructed in Thailand. The contract is expected to result in incremental revenues of $35 million to $40 million between Q2 2019 and Q4 2020.

The third largest contributor to fund performance during the quarter was energy management company Itron (ITRI). Itron stock gained 34% in Q2 after the company in early May reported revenue and earnings for Q1 2019 that exceeded analysts’ expectations.

Q2 '19 Detractors from Performance

The largest detractor from the Fund’s performance during the quarter was 3M (MMM). The company’s stock was down 16% for the quarter, after the company issued disappointing financial results for the first quarter and cut its stock buyback program. First quarter results reflected declining operating income in each of its five business segments. The company also announced the acquisition of wound care company Acelity during Q2.

Another detractor from the performance of the Fund during Q2 was Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF), a vertically-integrated cannabis supplier. We completed our initial purchase of Curaleaf stock in mid-April 2019, and the shares were down more than 25% from that time until the end of the quarter. During the quarter, the company announced financial results that fell short of analysts’ expectations, as well as the acquisition of several complementary cannabis businesses.

Among the few portfolio companies with negative performance during Q2 was Cree (CREE), which was relatively flat for the quarter, but finished down 2%. During the quarter, the company closed the previously announced sale of its lighting business to IDEAL INDUSTRIES and also announced plans to invest $1 billion to expand silicon carbide (SiC) manufacturing capacity.

Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund is subject to greater risk than more diversified funds because of its investments in fewer securities and because of its concentration of investments in the alternative energy and energy technology sectors. Specific risks associated with these investments could cause the Fund's share price to fluctuate dramatically. The Fund's investments in small-cap companies present greater risk than investments in larger companies. The Fund invests in several industries within the alternative energy and energy technology sectors and the relative weightings of these industries in the Fund's portfolio may change at any time. Equity investing involves risks, including the potential loss of the principal amount invested.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) represents an unmanaged, broad-based basket of stocks and is typically used as a benchmark for overall market performance. The WilderHill Clean Energy Index is a market-weighted index of 53 companies in the cleaner fuel, energy conversion, energy storage, greener utilities, power delivery and conservation, and renewable energy harvesting sectors. The indices' performance figures assume the reinvestment of all dividends (except where noted), but do not reflect the impact of taxes. Additionally, because an investor cannot invest in an index directly, indices' performance figures do not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual mutual fund portfolio.

As of 6/30/19: SEDG (7.6% of ALTEX), ASPN (4.3% of ALTEX), ITRI (6.1% of ALTEX), MMM (3.0% of ALTEX), CURLF (1.2% of ALTEX), CREE (7.8% of ALTEX). A complete list of portfolio holdings for Firsthand Funds is available on and is updated 45 days after the end of every calendar quarter. The portfolio holdings discussed are subject to change.

The information provided should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell a particular security and there is no assurance that, as of the date of publication, the securities purchased remain in a Fund's portfolio or that securities sold have not been repurchased. Also, you should note that the securities discussed, even if they have been purchased by a Fund, do not represent a Fund's entire portfolio and, in the aggregate, may represent only a small percentage of that Fund's holdings. There can be no assurance that any Firsthand Funds will buy, sell, or hold any particular security after the date referred to in the discussion.