Best of the Panelist

Have you been itching to buy FirstSolar (FSLR), but nervous to get on board with the stock going hyperbolic? If yes, Barrons just did a front page story on how FSLR "may get singed." Given the stock's unbelievable run over recent weeks, investors are likely to bag some profits ahead of the Quarter 2 earnings release on July 30. Barrons feels that recent developments in Germany are negative for FSLR, and that FSLR is incorrectly perceived as being a thin-solar technology that will miss out on the "Solar 2.0" boom.

One of the trends in ethical and environmental investing right now includes alternative energy ETF investing. ETFs allow you to buy and sell funds on the stock market, much as you do stocks. One of the newer offerings in terms of alternative energy ETFs is the Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX), based on the stocks of 30 companies that are involved in alternative energy, making it both highly green and highly risky.

Microfinance is the business of providing very small loans, or "microloans", to poor communities around the world in an effort to spur local entrepreneurship and community development. With most loans valued at less than $100, this is oftentimes all that is needed to jump start economic growth in impoverished areas, but one of the major challenges that the microfinance industry is facing right now is how to raise $300 billion to reach the required geographies.Even though we all felt pains of guilt after watching An Inconvenient Truth, they only lasted long enough to convince us to conserve fuel by driving the speed limit on the way home and not long enough to remember to carpool to see the sequel. The Biblical principle our Pious Panelist believes applies to this situation is "The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." It's what Jesus said to Peter when he could not stay awake to pray with him.

For those of you who would like a monthly rundown of what happened in the world of socially responsible investing and corporate social responsibility, one place to go is the "Stocks with Scruples" column in Motley Fool. This is a great place to keep up-to-date on Coca-Cola's multiyear partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation to conserve and protect freshwater resources, Calvert's launch of the Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund, which invests in companies that are alternative energy market leaders, and BHP Billiton's new approach to climate change, which stresses the accelerated action necessary to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions.