Many energy companies have assets that generate a consistent income over time. For instance, a natural gas pipeline will transport a predictable amount of gas through it each year, generating very stable revenues. These stable revenues often lead to a distribution of earnings to shareholders in the form of a dividend. Unfortunately, investors are double taxed when standard corporations issue dividends – once when the company earns the revenue (corporate income tax) and once when the dividends are paid out (personal income tax). Master limited partnerships (MLPs) solve this problem by eliminating double taxation for revenues derived from qualified sources – as determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. These sources include almost all activities associated with the production, processing or transportation of oil, natural gas and coal assets in the U.S. [for more MLP news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Income investors groaned at the news of the Fed’s recent decision to hold rates in their near-zero rate rut until late 2014. That could mean nearly three years until we see an uptick in interest rates which points to three years of scrapping for steady income around markets as interest rates of 0.25% are less than enticing for most investors. But for those who live and die by dividend yields, there are still a number of options available, especially in the commodity space. Investing on the equity side of commodities can offer low correlation (though not nearly as low as the direct commodity itself) while providing a handsome income stream [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].