Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund

Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund

Average Annual Total Returns vs. Indices
As of DECEMBER 31, 2023
Period Firsthand Alternative
Energy Fund
WilderHill Clean Energy Index S&P 500 Index
Since inception (10/29/07) 0.45% -8.06% 9.41%
10-Year 5.21% -0.23% 12.03%
5-Year 14.40% 7.14% 15.69%
3-Year -8.83% -33.68% 10.00%
1-Year -2.31% -22.44% 26.29%
Q4 '23 (not annualized) 6.53% -5.66% 11.69%
Monthly Performance Update
As of January 31, 2024
Period Firsthand Alternative
Energy Fund
Since inception (10/29/07) -0.47%
10-Year 3.28%
5-Year 8.48%
3-Year -15.24%
1-Year -23.34%
1-Month -13.80%


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 2.07%. The Fund's total net operating expenses are 2.00%. 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 4/30/24.

Growth of a Hypothetical $10,000 Investment

October 29, 2007 through December 31, 2023

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.

Q4'23 Contributors to Performance

The largest contributor to the Fund’s performance in Q4 was Aspen Aerogels (ASPN), a supplier of thermal insulation products for industrial and automotive applications. The company’s stock climbed steadily during the quarter, supported by Aspen’s announcement of record quarterly revenues and several customer contracts for its PyroThin electric vehicle thermal barrier.

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) was the second most significant positive contributor to fund performance in Q4. Kratos shares leaped higher in early October, as investor sentiment improved with the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. The stock continued its ascent following better than expected earnings results in early November.

The third largest contributor to fund performance in Q4 Vestas Wind Systems (VWSYF). The company reported during the quarter that wind turbine orders had more than doubled in its third quarter, as compared to the year-ago period, and that it expected to be profitable in 2023.

Q4'23 Detractors from Performance

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer Axcelis Technologies (ACLS) was the largest detractor from the Fund’s performance during the quarter. Despite reporting Q3 financial results that exceeded expectations, the company’s stock slid in Q4 as investor sentiment around the electric vehicle segment sagged.

ChargePoint Holdings (CHPT) was another significant detractor from fund performance in Q4. A December rebound of more than 25% did not save the EV charging infrastructure company from a dismal quarter in which its stock slumped 53%. In addition to cutting its quarterly revenue guidance, ChargePoint announced the departures of its CEO and CFO during the quarter.

The third largest detractor from the Fund’s performance in Q4 was SolarEdge (SEDG), a supplier of microinverters to the solar industry. The company’s stock plunged during Q4 after its financial results and revenue outlook disappointed investors. SolarEdge pointed to softening customer demand, particularly in Europe, for its poor performance.

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 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 12/31/23: ASPN (4.5% of ALTEX), KTOS (4.9% of ALTEX), VWSYF (3.9% of ALTEX), ACLS (5.3% of ALTEX), CHPT (1.1% of ALTEX), SEDG (2.3% 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.