How to invest in 2012

It is undoubtedly tough to continue investing hard-earned money into a market that is seemingly floundering in every direction. With every investor and analyst worth his reputation screaming of austerity and careful consideration before making that investment, it is becoming increasingly puzzling to find if any channel can still generate steady revenue without causing copious amounts of stress.

Yet those strands exist, always and unrelentingly, no matter how dismal of a shape the market presents itself to be. The following is a quick guide of how to invest wisely in the year 2012.

Coal

Many experts claim that coal is one of the riskier assets to move your money into at the moment. It is easy to agree with such an assessment at face value, once an average investor finds out about the severe taxes imposed on coal producers due to high greenhouse emissions. These surging taxes, along with the general discomfort that Europe’s debt crisis is wreaking on the investments sector should be ample proof to detract potential traders. Yet Australia is currently emerging as a top coal producing nation, and its recent multi-billion dollar merger between Whitehaven coal and a budding young billionaire is promising to render Australian coal a profitable venture for years to come. Current and future shareholders of the company also have Australia’s long running reputation of coal exporting to fall back on. It is a well-established and self-sustainable industry, one capable of surviving severe economic storms, and this recent merger will only give it extra strength at the core.

Macarthur Coal, another prolific Australian company, is also flourishing as fuel investment strategies turn to more earth-friendly sources of energy. The firm is now gaining attention from several prolific Japanese energy providers who are facing significant struggles in the face of this year’s devastating earthquake.

In short, coal, though less noticeable than crude oil and raw metals, has something more high-profile assets so often lack during less clement economic times: a solid foundation of economic support. Despite the fact that the fuel saw its status dwindle as oil gained steam, its numbers never wavered, steadily earning its keep and rarely disappointing its shareholders. The carbon taxes imposed on the commodity do not seem to deter investors from flocking to the asset, easily making coal an investment to consider in 2012.

Carbon

Climate energy has opened many doors for potential fuels and investments in recent years, none as exciting as carbon farming. Over the past years, we have attempted to remove harmful carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere and instead store it in technologically-advanced reservoirs. Though this process, aptly named carbon sequestration, is still in the process of being perfected and implemented effectively, it did bring the attention of scientists and traders to a naturally-occurring sequestration phenomenon; good old fashioned photo-synthesis.

The process is as old as the grade school lessons that explained it to us for the first time. Photosynthesis absorbs carbon from the air and stores it in tree roots, branches, foliage, soil and countless other natural reservoirs. There are some natural reservoirs, like vast grazing lands, forests and large crop lands that are ideal for photosynthesis, as they are able to contain large amounts of carbon, while their release of the harmful gas is minuscule. This is where the concept and processes of carbon farming are generated.

This investment sector is very new, and so far lacks a substantial clientele in order to build up a strong reputation. Yet it is a viable and exciting new way of both conserving and generating energy, and possesses massive amounts of potential. COZ, one of the very first carbon farming firms, which was only formed this year, managed to survive the year’s tumult without sustaining losses; and in November, their resilience paid off, with the company’s assets soaring more than 300%. What this company essentially does is sell government-approved carbon credits to energy firms looking to counter their high carbon unit output. With energy conservation and general austerity on everyone’s minds, COZ has naturally been doing very well and its prospects for the year 2012 look as bright as ever.

The market for companies looking to reduce their carbon unit output is ever-growing, and that growth is happening at exponentially rising rates. When that market experiences its first boom, forward-looking firms like COZ will be the first to reap the rewards of selling carbon credits. The ambitious company is now under heavy expansion, in order to be able and accommodate its soon-to-explode clientele.

Renewable Energy

The trends energy markets have taken lately have also been extremely bountiful for the renewable energy sector. Yet the state of modern technology may suggest that investments in this particular industry may be overtly rash, rather than inventive and bold.

Wind farms, one of the more prolific branches of green energy, seem to be growing perpetually, yet suffer from space constraints. This technology requires vast amounts of space in order to recoup building losses. Analysts have also expressed their doubts that the hefty, grim-looking structures are proving unpopular with people, who do not seem to be all too excited to see the monolithic farms in their backyards.

Geothermal energy on the other hand is an exciting prospect. This technology absorbs the heat and steam of the earth and its production factories would potentially be no different from a completely carbon-free generating station. This branch of renewable energy is a new one as well, and still needs to prove that it can handle an increase in demand. Revenue from geothermal energy is more or less non-existent at the moment, and most consider it to be a far better theoretical idea than an actual practical investment.

Yet the rapidly growing interest the energy sector is displaying in green fuel should yield geothermal energy all the financial and moral backing it might need to develop fully. It is all too easy to mention the fact that green energy as a whole was considered a ludicrous concept mere years ago, and has now ravelled out into a multi-billion dollar industry, providing traders with a healthy alternative for the traditional crude. Beyond the earth-friendly aspect of this new industry, what makes geo-thermal energy a potential heavyweight contender is the simple fact that it provides a more stable branch of energy investment for those who cannot or do not want to suffer through the notoriously protracted bouts of volatility crude oil so often displays. At any rate, like all budding and innovative strands of energy exploration, this one stands to benefit from great funding in its developing stages, definitely making it worthy of trader attention in 2012.