Given the current Presidential administration’s bias towards fossil fuels, solar power may seem like a strange place for investors to look for opportunities, but stocks in the industry have easily outperformed the broader market over the last year. The Invesco Solar ETF, TAN, is up 58% over that time, easily beating the S&P 500, or any other index you care to mention. I guess that demonstrates a point that I often make. Politicians, and presidents in particular, have a lot less influence on markets than most people, and especially they themselves, think. Their policies are geared towards short-term political advantage, while investors look at long-term trends and consider their impact decades out.
Those long-term trends favor solar. The policies of any administration will change after at most eight years, but power companies look a lot further ahead than that. With the cost of solar power continuing to fall and greater efficiency, investment in the area continues, regardless of who sits in the White House.
However, not all solar companies are equal, at least in the short term.
Back in June, as news broke about an exemption from tariffs for bifacial solar panels, I wrote here that I liked the prospects of SunPower (SPWR) on the news rather than my usual go-to U.S. solar stock, First Solar (FSLR). That worked out even better than I expected. I said in that piece that SPWR could even double over time to hit its previous highs around $16. Not even I…