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Investing Topics: Master Limited Partnerships

New Year, Same Challenges

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
For the 39th time since 1969, the Dow Jones Utilities Average rallied in the fourth quarter. But this upside didn’t prevent the benchmark from finishing the year with a 3.1 percent loss, the index’s first negative return after a positive January since 1987. Fortunately, the primary catalyst for the loss—uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve would start raising interest rates—no longer exists. And just like the beginning of the 2004-06 tightening cycle, utility stocks have gained ground despite weakness in the broader market. But last year’s challenges remain in play for 2016. Energy prices have yet to find a bottom. Non-investment grade debt has become crushingly expensive to refinance, tightening capital markets for all but the strongest companies. Emerging markets continue to struggle. And any international currency not pegged to the US dollar find itself under pressure. The Quality Grades for the 214 essential-service companies tracked in our Utility Report Card provide insight into the spectrum of risk and help investors to avoid the riskiest names.

New Year, Time-Tested Strategy

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
By most measures, last year was a difficult time for income-seeking investors, as anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike since 2006 weighed on sentiment toward dividend-paying stocks. Here’s our strategy for 2016.

Higher Standards

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
Our proprietary quality grades help investors to assess the spectrum of risk across the more than 200 essential-service companies covered in our Utility Report Card.

Misery Loves Company

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
Five new members joined the Endangered Dividends List this month.

Four Stress Tests for Your Portfolio Holdings

By Roger S. Conrad on Oct. 12, 2015
How comfortable would you be holding your stocks in a bear market? With the bull market show its age—including consistently bad breadth—this question has taken on new urgency as the year winds down.

09/29/15: Digesting Yesterday’s Big Midstream Deal

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 29, 2015
Energy Transfer Equity LP finally prevailed in its pursuit of Williams Companies. Here's our take.

Managing the Downside

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 13, 2015
Only time will tell whether recent volatility in US equities will develop into a full-on bear market. In the interim, here’s a plan that will keep you invested and generate a steady stream of dividends. We’ll also highlight strategies to avoid the destructive behaviors that seem rational during selloffs great and small.

Making Calculated Moves

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 11, 2015
In the second half of 2015, our investment strategy remains focused on the long term and opportunistic in the near term.

What’s Working Now

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 10, 2015
The bear market in energy stocks continues. But there are still plenty of ways to lock in above-average yields and build long-term wealth with our favorite essential-services stocks.

Dishing the Dirt on the Utility Sector’s Spin Cycle

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 14, 2015
Utilities have announced a number of spin-offs over the past 12 months. Some are worth your while; some are not.

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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