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Utilities are Bear Market Champions So Far

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 8, 2022

Stocks’ summer rally swung into reverse starting mid-August. And with the Federal Reserve pushing hard against stubbornly high inflation, it’s unlikely we’ve seen maximum damage or duration of what’s looking more and more like a real bear market.

Among the very few pockets of strength are regulated utilities. Even as the S&P 500 is again at a -17 percent year-to-date loss and income benchmark iShares Select Dividend ETF is in the red by -1.6 percent, the Dow Jones Utility Average is well in the black with a 5.66 percent total return.

Utility Values: Holding Guidance is the Key

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 8, 2022

The Dow Jones Utility Average has returned roughly 6 percent year to date. That compares with a -12 percent decline for the S&P 500, even after the past month’s torrid rally. Re-shoring of investment to the US, growing popularity of domestic businesses, low relative valuations and utilities’ well-earned reputation for resilience are four good reasons for outperformance. And as the feature article highlights, benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 are a solid fifth.

Top Quality Utilities: Your Antidote for Rising Recession Risk

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 11, 2022

Earlier this month, a prominent Wall Street firm noted retail investors aren’t buying stock market dips, for the first time in quite a while. That’s absolutely understandable with the S&P 500 underwater nearly -20 percent so far in 2022, and many of last year’s high-tech favorites much deeper in the red. Utilities and essential services stocks too have had their share of ups and downs. But despite a great deal of uncharacteristic volatility, the Dow Jones Utility Average is still slightly in the green year-to-date, including a basically flat performance since the June issue of CUI posted.

When the Bear’s Ravaging the Averages, Look to Best in Class Stocks

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2022

Jagged daily volatility has become the rule for stocks this spring, including dividend payers backed by the steadiest of businesses. That’s historically been a classic sign the market has entered a bearish phase.

But if you have the courage, energy and wisdom to pick your own stocks, it’s hardly a sign to head for the hills. In fact, opportunities abound for both buying low and selling high.

Inflation Shapes Performance In a Still Pricey Stock Market

By Roger S. Conrad on May. 9, 2022
The S&P 500 is down more than -13 percent year-to-date, as inflation worries have begun to morph into recession fears. But despite jagged volatility, the Dow Jones Utility Average remains in the black for 2022. In fact, 18 CUI Portfolio stocks are still priced above maximum recommended entry points, with Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX) in partial profit taking territory.

Utilities are Popular Again, Here’s How to Take Advantage

By Roger S. Conrad on Apr. 11, 2022

The Federal Reserve is getting serious about reining in inflation. And the kind of big money that never rests for long has apparently decided US utility stocks are an ideal haven.

The happy result: After lagging the past couple years, the Dow Jones Utility Average has pushed out to a 10 percent year-to-date return. That’s even as the S&P 500 has retreated -5.5 percent and the Nasdaq 100 is down -12 percent. 

Utilities Holding Steady, But Watch for Shifting Ground

By Roger S. Conrad on Mar. 14, 2022

After briefly rising over 1,000 for the first time, the Dow Jones Utility Average is in the black this year. That means essential service companies, including big communications stocks, are outperforming pretty much everything this side of oil and gas.

Electric, gas, energy infrastructure, water and communications service providers are the kind of substantial, reliable, dividend paying companies investors like to hold in turbulent times. And early 2022 certainly qualifies, with the highest inflation in 40-plus years, a diminished but lingering pandemic, continuing supply chain disruption and now a full-on war.

Seek Superior Dividend Growth to Beat Inflation

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 14, 2022

Stocks with sustainable 5 to 7 percent annual dividend growth: That’s how we’ll beat the current 40-year high in inflation, which pretty much caught the world’s central bankers napping.

The best place to hunt for companies to do that job is my Utility Report Card coverage universe—and particularly the stocks I recommend in the Conrad’s Utility Investor Portfolios.

Normally six months into a new quarter, the vast majority of companies I track would have released earnings and updated guidance. End-year filing requirements will extend the Q4 reporting period well into next month. But from what I’ve seen so far, the best in class are well on track to continue raising dividends faster than the current rate of inflation—and some much faster like Conservative Focus stock NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE: NEP) at 15 percent plus.

A Solid 2021 in the Books: Here’s How To Have Another in 2022

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 14, 2022
Through the first nine months of 2021, the Dow Jones Utility Average was up barely 1 percent. But after their fourth best Q4 since 1969, utilities’ 2021 return was actually 5 percentage points higher than the yearly average since 1993. It was also a good year for the three Conrad’s Utility Investor Portfolios. Top 10 DRIPs gained 19.5 percent on average, Aggressive Holdings 17.2 percent and Conservative Holdings 12.8 percent. Readers observing the discipline of recommended entry and partial profit taking points fared even better.

Bear Market Values in a Wobbly Market

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 13, 2021
Welcome to the 101st issue of Conrad’s Utility Investor. And here’s to the next 100 plus! With another coronavirus variant emerging and inflation the highest since 1982, it’s small wonder stocks are wobbling. But despite broad market uncertainty, the Dow Jones Utility Average is performing better than it has all year, up 8 percent since the end of September. Utilities are the rare sector where earnings and dividends have grown into bull market prices. That’s no guarantee they won’t sell off if the stock market heads down. But investors with a longer-term horizon can buy the best in class at prices ensuring 10 percent plus annual returns, provided companies stay strong on the inside.



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 b