Income-focused investors have been looking for new sources of dividends and interest, since yields are low, low, low. There is an alternative exchange traded note (ETN) investment that many investors could be overlooking.

Master  Limited Partnerships (MLPs) have nice income streams and can also add growth to a portfolio. Ron Rowland for Money and Markets explains that MLPs concentrate on the storage and transportation of energy products, such as tank farms and pipeline companies. [Dividend ETFs: The Time Is Now.]

While you can invest in MLPs directly, ETNs may be a better way to get your exposure. They give your portfolio more diversified exposure and the tax treatment is more favorable. Investing directly in MLPs can generate K-1s, a hassle many investors may not want to deal with. [Ways to Play the S&P 500.]

However, with an MLP ETN, you do not own the companies in the index, you own a bond issued by the bank whose return is tied to the index.

For more stories about ETNs, visit our ETNs category.

  • JP Morgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSEArca: AMJ): Yielding 4.2%; up 38.2% in the last year, up 0.10% year-to-date

  • UBS E-TRACS Alerian MLP Infrastructure ETN (NYSEArca: MLPI): The index is currently yielding 7%

  • Credit Suisse Cushing 30 MLP Index ETN (NYSEArca: MLPN): No yield information available

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.