The Wrongest a Politician's Ever Been — Passing Up a 12,195% Gain?

​​In 2012, an aspiring world leader stood on a stage and called Tesla Inc. TSLA, formerly Tesla Motors, a loser.

The man — Mitt Romney — said in his debate with President Barack Obama:

“But don’t forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years’ worth of breaks, into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers, all right?”

Two of the firms Romney mentioned, Solyndra and Fisker, went bankrupt, but Tesla stock has returned over 12,000% since Romney disparaged it.

You might say two out of four isn’t bad for a prediction. And if you had three investments in your portfolio, and two went to zero, but the third returned 12,000%, you’d probably be pretty happy with that.

In fairness to Romney, predictions are hard. Back in 2012, almost no one foresaw Tesla’s rise — or understood that America’s solar power industry was about to grow by 2,500%.

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This story illustrates both the risks and potential rewards of clean energy investing.

The sector involves above-average risk. Pick a random investment out of three similar opportunities, and there’s a decent chance you lose money.

But if you spread out your capital across an array of promising clean energy firms, while never risking more than you can afford to lose, the results can be transformative.

This high-risk, high-reward approach can often be a strong diversification option. With the growing trend of retail investors getting involved in startup investing, and venture capital hitting record investment volumes in 2021 and early 2022, those benefits are becoming increasingly clear.

This creates an interesting investment opportunity for retail investors to get involved in these high-growth green energy companies on platforms like StartEngine and Wefunder. 

Startups like YouSolar are looking to help overhaul America’s power grid through its patented, fully-integrated solar nanogrid technology. Called the PowerBloc, it’s already gained acclaim in Northern California for its ability to provide uninterrupted solar power for an entire home.

For now, YouSolar’s customers skew more affluent than the country at large, but thanks to historic tax credits and subsidies flowing to the clean energy sector, that could quickly change. 

See more on startup investing from Benzinga.

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