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No. of Recommendations: 1
INTRO Here's my semi-annual exercise to see if I remember why I own the stocks I own, and so I can check back and see if their stories have changed. I post in case it helps others too.

Real Goods Solar
RSOL (market cap $0.020B)
Real Good Solar installs solar power systems on municipal, commercial, and residential buildings. They no longer have the DIY catalog (last I checked). They target the markets of a few key states that subsidize such alternative energy efforts. Because they are primarily a construction-type company, their financial ratios tend to be low. Price-to-Sales is less than 0.15. Yearly revenues are up more than 50% in two years, which is a nice growth curve. Their business is the easiest to describe of all of my investments. Unfortunately, their stock price seems to be tied to politics more than profits. Subsidies are political negotiating chips, which creates uncertainties.

The bigger picture is simpler. Subsidies or no, the need for clean, alternative energy sources is increasing. These systems are complicated enough, and their installation is non-recurring, that it makes sense for people and organizations to hire companies like Real Goods. The long run picture is favorable. Short term caveats are powerfully distracting.

I do this exercise to follow a company's story and my interest in it as an investment. I miss the DIY side because individuals convince themselves of the need, and those who want solar power for non-monetary reasons are less price sensitive. Maybe such a revenue stream would be beneficial at a time like this. Pardon my idle and moot speculation.

DISCLOSURE LTBH since the mid-2008 IPO. I might buy more if I had sufficient discretionary funds. Unfortunately, I may have to sell if I can't find a job or sell my house.
(I've also collected links to the other discussion boards and my other stocks over on my blog
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