Americans are looking to financial advisors to help them participate in green investing, according to the results of the second annual survey on environmental investing by Allianz Global Investors.

Sixty-eight percent of all survey respondents agreed they would need to consult a financial advisor for help investing in the environment. Even though the market has been performing poorly, 78% of those who have a financial advisor said they are still looking to him or her to bring them interesting investment opportunities. But of those who would consider investing, 85% said their advisor had yet to recommend an environment-related investing opportunity.

"This is a rapidly evolving, high-growth sector of the market, so investors are looking for help to smartly and profitably participate," said Brian Gaffney, managing director and CEO of Allianz Global Investors Distributors. "Innovation in environmental technology is occurring at an increasing pace and on a global scale, so evaluating the opportunities may be difficult for individual investors."  

Last year, clean energy stocks fell as much as 70%. Many of the stocks are of smaller companies that have limited operating histories and may be at a more vulnerable stage of growth.

The Allianz survey, conducted in mid-December, found that:
78% of investors believe we are likely to see more policies to promote business investment in the environment in the first year of the Obama Administration than we did during the entire Bush Administration.
78% of investors believe environmental technology has the potential to be the "next great American industry."
Nearly all investors (97%) say exploring alternative fuel sources for the future will remain important even with declining gas prices.

Conducted for the second year in a row, the poll of 1,264 adults examined investors' understanding of and attitudes toward the environment. GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, a division of GfK Custom Research North America, conducted the poll via the Internet between December 12 and December 19. Participants had to be age 25 or older and have primary or shared responsibility for investment decisions in households with financial assets of at least $100,000. The sample was weighted to match the characteristics of the total online population in terms of gender, age, household asset level and region, according to the U.S. Census.  The same methodology was used for the survey conducted December 14-20, 2007, which yielded 1,003 completed interviews.