The Conrad’s Utility Investor Portfolios officially launched on July 31, 2013. Since that time, the Dow Jones Utility Average is off -2.3 percent, including dividends paid.
My Aggressive Income Portfolio is up by 9.3 percent, while the Conservative Income Portfolio has returned 3.3 percent.
Will Santa Claus visit utility stock investors this year? The sector was out of the gate quickly to start the fourth quarter of 2013. But concerns about the “tapering” off of Federal Reserve bond buying quickly slowed things down.
Ready to lock up money for 54 years at just 3.4 percent annual interest? More than a few investors did this week when their funds bought Enterprise Products Partners’ (NYSE: EPD) 7.034 percent bonds maturing January 15, 2068, a barely investment grade BBB- credit.
Fear of rising interest rates again appears to be triggering selling of utility stocks. I’ve shown over and again that the sector’s so-called interest rate sensitivity is a false relationship over any recent period longer than a few weeks. Consequently, lower prices should be viewed as a buying opportunity for recommended stocks.
Barring a real financial earthquake, this will be the ninth year of rising interest rates since 1992.
2013 will also be the eighth of those nine that utilities and other dividend paying stocks finished in the black. The only exception was 1994, when deregulation fears upended electricity and communications.
Utilities also rose eight years when rates fell. All their biggest declines, however, were during years of falling interest rates, particularly 2008.
Utility stock prices ultimately reflect the health of underlying companies. Stocks of financially healthy companies with growing dividends always move higher. But when an economic calamity brings interest rates lower quickly, they can drop in a hurry.
The $48 billion leveraged buyout of the former TXU Corp by KKR & Co. LP (NYSE: KKR) and other private-equity outfits set record in 2007. Now, the company's impending bankruptcy underscores the risks of looking for a quick buck in the utility sector.
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.