Kinetics Asset Management, the company that brought us the first Internet fund, is planning to launch the Water Infrastructure Fund, Dow Jones reports. It will invest in U.S. and foreign companies that supply water infrastructure and related natural-resources businesses.
There are, in fact, a number of other water-focused funds, primarily due to a United Nations resolution to provide at least 50% of the people who currently don’t have safe drinking water this valuable resource by 2015. The U.N. estimates this will cost governments $10 billion to $30 billion above and beyond what they already spend on purifying water.
“Anytime that amount of money is being spent, there are going to be profits,” said Ian McPherson, president of Criterion Investments, a VenGrowth Asset Management affiliate, which debuted the Criterion Water Infrastructure Fund in February. The largest fund is the Euro Pictet Water Fund, which has $4.2 billion in assets. There’s also Sextant Capital Management’s Global Water Fund, a hedge fund, and Powershares’ Water Resources Portfolio, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the Palisades Water Index.
But some experts warn against these narrow-niche funds. “This kind of narrow specialization is not the kind of thing we like to see in funds,” said Morningstar analyst Lawrence Jones. “Specializing in just water is even more norrow than something like a natural resources fund.”