My coverage universe of MLP ETNs and ETFs has fallen over time and some of those once covered no longer exists - and my lack of interest in the topic has caused me to fail to seek replacements. I currently have four in my coverage. But that is enough to tell something of a story.
This is one of those idiosyncratic, but important numbers. There are sectors where "sector average" is a good thing - and sectors where it is not. For example, I have found from personal experience that beating the REIT average is a hard thing to do (I never owned a data storage or personal storage REIT - and that may be a factor). I have found that beating the Health Care average is a hard thing to do (I only own dividend paying stocks in that sector).
On the other hand, I have found that beating the industrial sector is easy - and that may be due to being over weight in packaging and transportation - and a focus on investing "with forward CAGR projection awareness". I have tended to do superior to the sector average in regional banks due to a focus on owning banks with superior dividend coverage and superior book value growth.
And I have tended to beat the MLP sector average due to (1) a focus on CAGR projection awareness that is confirmed in the DCF projections and distribution coverage ratio; (2) having sufficient investments in BDCs to the point where I did not have a need to buy yield in my MLPs and (3) constantly being under weight in E&P MLPs, G&P MLPs and propane MLPs. The focus in point one also kept me under weighted in the large cap MLPs that were going nowhere - or in the wrong direction.
In sum, there is a logical reason why I out perform the average in some sectors and fail to out perform in others. I strongly suspect that it (the logical reason) is something best seen in hindsight. But if you invest for enough years, one can turn some of one's hindsight into a bit of foresight.
So now that I have explained why I do not own MLP ETNs and EFTs - let look at the year to date numbers:
MLP ETNs & ETF 6-30-17
|ETN||___The_Full_ETF_or_ETN_Name___||Price||Price||Div||Div||Div||Div||Div||Div||Div||Price||Pr + Div||Div|
|(AMJ)||JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index||31.61||29.70||0.4990||0.5355||0.5379||0.5060||0.4990||0.4610||0.4940||6.65%||-6.04||-2.92||-8.16|
|(AMLP)||ALPS Alerian MLP ETF||12.60||11.96||0.2400||0.2990||0.2400||0.2400||0.2400||0.2250||0.2150||7.19%||-5.08||-1.67||-10.42|
|(MLPG)||UBS E-TRACS Alerian Natural Gas MLP ETN||25.92||25.17||0.3690||0.4660||0.5070||0.3500||0.3690||0.3680||0.3560||5.66%||-2.89||-0.15||-29.78|
|(MLPI)||UBS E-TRACS Alerian MLP Infrastrctr ETN||28.41||26.66||0.4410||0.4956||0.4920||0.4470||0.4410||0.4310||0.4390||6.59%||-6.16||-3.07||-10.77|
Half of the coverage universe had dividend growth in Q2. All have had significant falls in the dividend over the last 12 months.
A lot of my fellow MLP investors are investing for income. If the income over time is falling, that should add a lot of color to your decision to use a 'sector average investment' in your personal portfolio.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.