Exchange traded funds tracking Master Limited Partnerships or MLPs have garnered interest from investors who are looking to boost income in their portfolios.

MLPs are known to be high risk, but with this comes a reward. MLPs  are partnerships that trade like stocks and income gets passed straight on to shareholders. Alerian’s MLP index yields about 6%, triple what the S&P 500 gave back and twice that of a 10-year A-rated corporate bond, reports Jack Hough for The WSJ.

ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (NYSEArca: AMLP) provided shareholders with about a 10% return in 2011, however, the index paid back about 17%. This fund is a strong mix of 25 energy infrastructure MLPs, and can be considered a play on energy. As North American energy transportation dynamics shift, billions in investment dollars will be needed for new oil and natural gas pipeline infrastructure, reports Jim Woods for InvestorPlace. [More MLP ETFs In the Pipeline]

JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSEArca: AMJ) is an exchange traded note for the category.

The structure of AMLP gives an elimination of any K-1 tax reporting. Turns out the fund gives a tax break on income but pays the bill on corporate taxes, which can eat into returns, report Houghs at WSJ.com. [Master Limited Partnership ETFs]

While the income from MLPs is taxable at rates up to 35%, investors often can defer taxes on the bulk of it. That is because MLPs distribute not only cash income but also paper write-offs for their asset depreciation. [MLP ETFs Recover After Steep Drop]

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