9% MLP Yields for 92 Cents on the Dollar (and No K-1!)

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The Contrary Investing Report > NYSE:PAA

“Hey Brett… you joined two partnerships last year?”

What? I didn’t. Or I thought I didn’t. In reality, I did–by buying shares in not one but two master limited partnerships (MLPs).

One of them was Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) and while I can’t recall the other, I can vividly the annoyed look on my accountant’s face like it was yesterday.

Master limited partnerships (MLPs) are required to issue you a K-1 package at the end of the tax year. These are generally headaches for the person who does your taxes (whether it’s you, or a professional).

That year my accountant calmly but sternly asked me to stop buying MLPs in my personal portfolio.… Read more

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Don’t take any stated yields for granted these days! The financial news has been flooded with dividend cuts lately, with Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) and Mattel (MAT) taking the hatchet to their payouts, and telecom Windstream (WIN) dropping its dividend too.

It’s dangerous to buy headline yields – or even supposedly “safe” blue chips with more modest dividends – without looking at the profits funding these payouts. Companies with high payout ratios (how much in earnings, funds from operations and other measures a company pays out in the form of dividends) are a twofold risk:

  1. High payout ratios can lead to a slowing in dividend growth, which means your payout is increasingly likely to fall behind inflation.


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