Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund

Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund

Average Annual Total Returns vs. Indices
As of December 31, 2019
Period Firsthand Alternative
Energy Fund
WilderHill Clean Energy Index S&P 500 Index
Since inception (10/29/07) -2.11% -9.67% 8.55%
10-Year -0.38% -3.78% 13.54%
5-Year 3.61% 5.81% 11.68%
3-Year 13.39% 23.85% 15.25%
1-Year 40.59% 59.22% 31.48%
Q4 '19 (not annualized) 6.07% 17.14% 9.06%
Monthly Performance Update
As of January 31, 2020
Period Firsthand Alternative
Energy Fund
Since inception (10/29/07) -2.11%
10-Year 0.32%
5-Year 4.74%
3-Year 12.29%
1-Year 24.88%
1-Month -0.13%

Datasheet

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 www.firsthandfunds.com.

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 8/31/20.

Growth of a Hypothetical $10,000 Investment

October 29, 2007 through December 31, 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.

Q4 '19 Contributors to Performance

The top contributor to the Fund’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2019 was SolarEdge (SEDG). The solar inverter company posted record results for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, including revenue growth of 26% over the prior quarter. The company’s stock was up almost 14% during Q4.

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems (VWSYF) was another top contributor to fund performance during the quarter. After a mid-year slump, the company’s stock posted a gain of nearly 30% for the quarter, propelled by solid revenue growth and a record order backlog at the close of its fiscal third quarter.

A third major contributor to the Fund’s performance in Q4 was Aspen Aerogels (ASPN), a supplier of insulation products for the energy and building materials industries. In October, the company reported Q3 revenue growth of 48% versus the year-ago period and noted improvements in gross margin and earnings compared with 2018’s third quarter. The company’s stock finished Q4 up 31%.

Q4 '19 Detractors from Performance

Despite delivering gains for the full year 2019, SunPower (SPWR) stock slid in the fourth quarter and was the largest detractor from fund performance during the quarter. The company’s stock peaked in late September and sold off sharply along with other solar stocks. Later in the quarter, the company announced a secondary offering of its common stock, which further depressed the price. SunPower stock finished Q4 off approximately 29%.

Advanced Emissions Solutions (ADES), a provider of emissions control technologies, was another significant detractor from the Fund’s performance during Q4. The company’s stock was punished in November after its Q3 revenue came in 14% below analysts’ expectations and earnings missed estimates by 74%. Advanced Emissions Solutions stock declined more than 27% during the quarter.

A third major detractor from fund performance in Q4 was Covanta Holding Corporation (CVA), an operator of waste-to-energy facilities in North America and Europe. The company’s stock declined ahead of its third quarter earnings report, which generally met or exceeded analysts’ expectations.

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 12/31/19: SEDG (10.81% of TEFQX), VWSYF (4.91% of TEFQX), ASPN (4.41% of TEFQX), SPWR (2.52% of TEFQX), ADES 1.16%OF TEFQX), CVA (2.41% of TEFQX). A complete list of portfolio holdings for Firsthand Funds is available on www.firsthandfunds.com 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.