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Investing Topics: Defensive Stocks

Electric Utilities: Eyes on Washington

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 21, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency's ongoing crackdown on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants continues to dominate the headlines. But investors shouldn't overlook the importance of utility-regulator relations at the state and local level.

Utilities: Treat Them Like Stocks

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 6, 2013

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.

Four Trends to Bet On

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 30, 2013

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.

Verizon Communications: Should You Buy It Now?

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 5, 2013

Verizon Communications' (NYSE: VZ) second-quarter results demonstrate why its stock trades at a premium, but investors should wait for a pullback before adding to their positions .

Bond Bargains and Booby Traps

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 15, 2013

Utilities and essential services stocks are known for their long-run stability—both all-weather business strength and low share price volatility. But even they pale before the unmatched reliability of utility bonds.

Southern Exposure

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 5, 2013

The recent pullback in shares of Southern Company (NYSE: SO) represents a buying opportunity.

Win Both Ways with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 28, 2013

The pullback in master limited partnerships after the Federal Reserve announced plans to scale back quantitative easing gave investors an opportunity to buy Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMP) at a favorable price.

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ABOUT ROGER CONRAD

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