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We Asked 1,000 Readers Why They Invested In Plug Power, FuelCell

·3 min read

Every week, Benzinga conducts a sentiment survey to find out what traders are most excited about, interested in or thinking about as they manage and build their personal portfolios.

We surveyed a group of over 1,000 readers on why they invested in Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ: PLUG) and FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ: FCEL).

Before sharing exactly why they chose to invest in clean energy manufacturing, respondents were given the opportunity to share their 2020 and 2021 trading history with each stock.

Over the last year, which clean energy manufacturing stocks have you traded or invested in? Select all that apply.

EV stock

% of respondents who have traded or invested in the stock

Plug Power

77%

FuelCell Energy

64%

What Are Plug Power And FuelCell?

Plug Power provides hydrogen fuel cell turnkey solutions for the electric mobility and stationary power markets in North America and Europe.

The clean energy company focuses on proton exchange membrane fuel cell and fuel processing technologies, fuel cell and battery hybrid technologies and related hydrogen storage and dispensing infrastructure.

Plug Power has garnered an abundance of attention from investors in 2020 for its GenDrive system, a hydrogen-fueled PEM fuel cell system that provides power to material handling electric vehicles.

FuelCell Energy designs manufactures, sells, installs, operates and services fuel-cell products, which efficiently convert chemical energy in fuels into electricity through a series of chemical reactions.

According to FuelCell, its systems are catered to meet the needs of customers across several industries, including utility companies, municipalities, universities, government entities and a variety of industrial and commercial enterprises.

The Biden Administration

The first of two main reasons for investing in clean energy manufacturing: Many respondents suggested the Biden administration’s embrace of clean energy will provide favorable business conditions for fuel cell manufacturers.

Many from this group of investors simply believe fuel cell systems are the best renewable energy option for the future, and green energy legislation from the Biden administration will push stock in companies like Plug Power and FuelCell to new heights as a result.

Is It Altruistic To Buy Stock In Clean Energy?

Several respondents from this week’s study said they want to do their part in promoting a healthier Earth by buying stock in Plug Power and FuelCell, and said the development of fuel cell systems will provide a greater, greener future for generations to come.

Now, before questioning or admonishing someone for proudly claiming their first and foremost reason for investing in clean energy stock is to increase the probability of a greener future and not financial gain, does the motive behind the investment actually matter if the companies are doing the right things?

Let's consider how the behavioral economics concept of altruism fits into the world of investing in clean energy.

We'll use TheBEHub's definition of altruism: when people make sacrifices to benefit others without expecting a personal reward, they are thought to behave altruistically.

In practice, altruism is most commonly referred to in pro-social behaviors including volunteering, philanthropy and helping others in emergencies.

So circling back to the investment proposition behind many of our respondents, altruistic behavior is defined as a behavior benefiting others (a company or cause) at a cost to the altruist (potential investment losses).

All in all, there’s not a lot of 21st-century literature out there discussing whether buying stock in an enterprise a given trader or investor believes could help the state of the world improve needs to be altruistic to make the greatest possible impact.

We won't go too far down the rabbit hole, but it's food for thought: would society be better off, in the case of investing, if altruism was more widely practiced among its members?

This survey was conducted by Benzinga in March 2021 and included the responses of a diverse population of adults 18 or older.

Opting into the survey was completely voluntary, with no incentives offered to potential respondents. The study reflects results from over 1,000 adults.

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