Roger S. Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth.
Roger built his reputation with Utility Forecaster, a publication he founded more than 20 years ago that The Hulbert Financial Digest routinely ranked as one of the best investment newsletters. He’s also a sought-after expert on master limited partnerships (MLP) and former Canadian royalty trusts.
In April 2013, Roger reunited with his long-time friend and colleague, Elliott Gue, becoming co-editor of Energy & Income Advisor, a semimonthly online newsletter that’s dedicated to uncovering the most profitable opportunities in the energy sector.
Although the masthead may have changed, readers can count on Roger to deliver the same high-quality analysis and rational assessment of the best dividend-paying utilities, MLPs and dividend-paying Canadian energy names.
Investors shouldn’t automatically assume that dividend-paying equities are inherently safer than tech stocks or other cyclical fare. When an income-oriented stock cuts or eliminates its dividend, investors not only suffer a diminution of income but also a significant loss of principal during the subsequent selloff. Understanding a company’s underlying business and its growth prospects are essential to separating the winners from the losers.
Utilities pay some of the safest and highest dividends on Wall Street. But they’re stocks, not substitute investments for bonds.
Those who’ve tried to treat them like bonds have consistently underestimated their returns in bull markets, as well as downside in bear markets. Similarly, those who’ve bought when interest rates were falling and sold when rates have risen have routinely paid too much and sold too cheaply. And occasionally as in 2008, they’ve had their heads handed to them.
It’s been mere days since Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) announced it will buy Vodafone PLC’s (London: VOD, NYSE: VOD) 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. And scores of articles and opinions have already been posted.
That’s understandable. At roughly $130 billion, only Vodafone’s takeover of Mannesmann and AOL’s (NYSE: AOL) purchase of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) rank larger in dollars. And both of those deals went off at the inflated valuations of the 1999-2000 generational top for technology and telecom.
August was a down month for utilities and other essential services companies—likewise the broad stock market. That continues a trend beginning in late April, when fears first stirred of an end to Federal Reserve easing.
Since then, the Fed has not changed policy. But the markets have acted as though much higher interest rates are a done deal. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury Note yield has nearly doubled. And expectations are we’ll see it at 4 to 5 percent, as the precursor to a dramatic, across the board rise in rates.
Big picture themes always grab investing headlines. Success, however, flows from knowing what’s up with individual companies.
Regulated water utilities, for example, are on their face the very simplest and uniform of businesses. Yet so far in 2013, returns from the 10 companies I track in the Utility Report Card have ranged from a 26 percent gain to barely breaking even.
It’s practically an article of faith among short sellers that betting against wireline phone companies is close to a sure thing.
That’s likely to prove disastrous, however, in the case of Consolidated Communications (NSDQ: CNSL), the only company in the sector not to cut its original dividend.
Roger's favorite utilities for investors seeking superior price appreciation by taking calculated risks.
Harness the tried and true wealth-building power of rising dividends.
Nothing compounds wealth like reinvesting a rising stream of dividends.
Warning: Falling Dividends.
Roger's current take and vital statistics on more than 200 essential-services stocks.