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Portfolio Article

Lessons from a (Slightly) Positive Year

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 10, 2023

Exactly half of our portfolio stocks posted positive total returns in 2022 and half negative. That matches up pretty well with the mostly neutral returns posted by our Aggressive Holdings (up 3.5 percent), Conservative Holdings (up 1.3 percent) and Top 10 DRIPs (up 9.5 percent). It’s also right there with the Dow Jones Utility Average’s 2.08 percent total return for the year. But the overall numbers do mask some pretty massive divergence among individual holdings. The biggest is the 156.5 percentage point difference in performance between our best stock Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) and our worst Algonquin Power & Utilities (TSX: AQN, NYSE: AQN).

Relatively Strong but Proceeding with Caution

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 12, 2022

Even if the stock and bond markets manage a year-end rally of historic proportions, 2022 will go down as one of the more challenging for investors in memory. But with basically three weeks left in the year, the Dow Jones Utility Average is still very much in the black.

Taking Our Cue from Q3 Results and Guidance

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 14, 2022

When the October issue of CUI posted, the Dow Jones Utility Average was underwater nearly -10 percent for the year. Now it’s close to even including dividends. That strong recovery also shows up in a brief scan of stock prices in this month’s Conservative Holdings, Aggressive Holdings and Top 10 DRIP tables. But it wasn’t exactly a buy everything moment either.

What to Do When Everything Gets Hit

By Roger S. Conrad on Oct. 10, 2022

Utilities have been dropping for roughly a month. And despite the sector’s robust long-term outlook, it’s likely we’ll see lower prices still in the coming weeks.

Assessing Risk in a Down Market

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 8, 2022

The S&P 500 rose roughly 18 percent from a mid-June low to its summer high in mid-August. Since then, it’s given back about two-thirds of those gains—and is showing every sign of setting a new yearly low in the coming weeks.

Portfolio Strategy: Getting the Most from the Summer Rally

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 8, 2022

The Dow Jones Utility Average has surged by roughly 150 points since mid-June. That’s a rally not a lot of people expected. And a good bit of the move followed something probably even fewer were looking for: The grand bargain between Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and the White House that became the still-evolving “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.”

Portfolio Strategy: A Look Ahead from the Halfway Point

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 11, 2022

First, let’s look at the record. For the first six months of 2022, the Conservative Holdings returned an average of 4.3 percent. The Aggressive Holdings were up 0.44 percent. And the Top 10 DRIPs—which feature a fair amount of overlap with the Conservative Holdings—were ahead by 5.31 percent.

Portfolio Strategy: Earning Solid Returns in a Bear Market Year

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2022

Is this a bear market rally, or the start of another leg of the bull market that started in March 2009? How you answer that question will probably depend on what stocks you currently own.

In a Shaky Market, Focus on Business Fundamentals

By Roger S. Conrad on May. 9, 2022

Last month, I highlighted five key drivers of the Dow Jones Utility Average’s early 2022 rally past the long-elusive 1,000 mark. Unfortunately, over the past month of so two major negatives have put a lid on upside. One is inflation pressure that’s up-ended the broad stock market, while accelerating the bond market’s decline.

Playing Utilities’ Quiet Rally

By Roger S. Conrad on Apr. 11, 2022

Utilities were the last major sector to make a post-pandemic high. But in late March, the Dow Jones Utility Average smashed through the once unassailable 1,000 level and hasn’t looked back yet.



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