Alternative energy stock portfolios are a great part of a modern investor's financial plan, due to the fac that there is so much upward potential. These make excellent long term growth investment vehicles, and the money put into them by you, the investor, serves to further the cause of implementing the alternative energy power sources that we need as we sail into the 21st century and beyond.

Analysts predict that by 2013, the alternative energy industry will be a $13 billion dollar industry in today's dollars. This figure bespeaks an enormous return on investment. Indeed, if you were to invest in a start-up alternative energy company, you might find yourself having invested in the next Microsoft in terms of return on investment. People are fed up with the rising costs of gasoline—while this alone is not sufficient understanding of the need for developing alternative energy sources, it is a factor which can act as a market maker—meaning for you that investments in alternative energy companies makes a lot of financial sense.

However, this does not mean that you don't first want to do some careful research into alternative energy stocks, perhaps with the help of a financial planner. “A few alternative-energy companies are going after the right markets but that doesn't mean you should go buy every name in the sector. Investors need to be cautious about chasing the stocks,” says Sanjay Shrestha, who is an analyst at First Albany Capital. And if you are an investor, then you know that the problem in this sector is that nearly every single one of the major players in the alternative energy for profit game are start-ups or in the very early stages of growth. This means for you that they have relatively minuscule (even if rapidly growing) sales, and no expected profitability in the near term or history of earnings for you to be able to research. This can lead to some bubbling, as with what happened to the dot-com industry at the turn of the 21st century. Bubbling in the stock market is not a good thing for investors.

Ananlysts and financial planners can play a crucial role in helping you get it right with alternative energy investing. “We don't play around in the tiny cap stocks that have technology and not much revenue—the 'hope' stocks. We invest in companies with clear cash-generation plans in place,” are the words of Ben walker, who is a senior portfolio manager at the Gartmore Global Utilities fund out of London.

Still, the outlook is very positive overall—and healthy. “It is good to see that the number of renewable energy funds and the amount of money flowing into these funds is increasing,” according to chief executive of UK alternative elecricity supplier Good Energy Juliet Davenport. “The renewable generation market is at an important stage in its development; it needs the continued support of the consumer, investor and government to ensure that it reaches its potential and really starts to make a difference to climate change.”