Every new year brings fresh challenges. Fortunately, investors can face what’s coming in 2018 by following the two basic principles that guided our returns last year: diversification and a relentless focus on business strength.
Our Model Portfolios turned in a strong performance last year, while the picks and pans that we highlighted in January 2017 and updated in June also fared well: Our picks generated an average total return of 19.6 percent, besting the 5.8 percent gain posted by our pans.
Focusing on best-in-class names kept us out of several of some of the biggest winners in our Utility Report Card, deteriorating businesses whose stocks rebounded because of takeover offers or restructuring efforts.
Of the top 10 performers in our coverage universe, only NextEra Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NEP) featured in the Model Portfolios, though we did have Buy ratings on RGC Resources (NSDQ: RGCO), Alaska Communications Systems Group (NSDQ: ALSK), E.On (Frankfurt: EOAN, OTC: EONGY) and Veolia Environnement (Paris: VIE, OTC: VEOEY) at various points in 2017.
On the other hand, avoiding flailing companies where the investment thesis hinges entirely on a possible takeover helped us to avoid every name on the list of worst performers.
Invest Smarter! Join Conrad’s Utility Investor!
Smart investing. Taking advantage of real opportunities and not fads (and knowing the difference). Finding the companies and stocks that will deliver for the long haul, so investing lets you live instead of investing turning into your life. Roger Conrad has dedicated his career to these principles—and that’s what Conrad's Utility Investor delivers.
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.