From his solar-heated swimming pool to the custom hybrid car he's having built, Robert Wilder appears a model citizen in the green revolution.
There's one big difference: It's making him rich.
Wilder, 47, is co-founder of the WilderHill Clean Energy Index (ECO) of environmentally sound companies that has become a barometer for the investment craze of trying to cash in on global climate change.
Think of it as the Dow Jones industrial average of global warming. More than $800 million is riding on the index, Morningstar says, since it's the basis of the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio exchange traded fund, a basket of stocks similar to a mutual fund. That dwarfs the $44 million in the Sierra Club Stock index mutual fund, created in 1998 with the marketing power of the global environmental protection group.
The WilderHill index appeals to investors' desire to save the Earth and make money doing it.