Thursday, January 3, 2008

Oil Tops $100 A Barrel

Oil topped $100 a barrel for the first time in history yesterday, but what does that mean for investors? In the world of stocks, it means harder times for those industries reliant upon oil, and even better times for those companies that tend to benefit with oil price increases, namely alternative energy companies. The longer the price of oil stays high, the more companies and governments will spend to find oil alternatives. It also means that energy sources which were not economically feasible before may get more attention (see our article about Rocky Mountain Oil for an example).

For alternative investors, it means that oil exporting countries stand to make even more money. Real estate in Alberta, Canada is already booming, but with oil prices like these, prices might just continue to push upwards. Investing in Edmonton Alberta real estate is something that investors may want to consider. However, the main drawback to this strategy right now is clearly the weakness of the U.S. dollar.

Investors might also want to consider upgrades to their investment properties not only to save money on utility bills, but also to increase the marketability of their properties. By achieving certain “green” classifications, investors can actually increase the value of their property and appeal to buyers and/or tenants who otherwise may not have been interested in the property. Some classifications investors can look to attain for their properties are issued by the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED). “Green buildings generate 3.5 percent higher occupancy rates, 3 percent higher rental rates and have a 6.6 percent improved return on investment,” according to Ashley Katz, communications coordinator at the USGBC.

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