Master limited partnerships (MLPs) and the exchange traded funds that hold these beloved income-generating stocks have not been immune to the shocks being sent throughout the oil market.
However, those declines could be offering income investors favorable entry points into the group, but before rushing in, investors might want to consider ETFs with heavier allocations to general partners or “Gps.”
“The pure-play MLP general partner companies offer a different way to participate in the results of the partnerships they sponsor and manage. The GP companies leverage the growth rates of the LP distributions, providing more of a total return investment potential based on high distribution or dividend growth rates,” according to a 2014 Seeking Alpha post.
The $106.3 million Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF (NYSEArca: MLPX) is a prime example of an ETF with robust general partners. GPs combine for about 70% of that ETF’s holdings. Additionally, MLPX holds some companies that are not classified as general partners or traditional MLPs, helping the fund avoid some of the thorny tax issues associated with MLP ETFs.
Due to the corporate tax liabilities, MLP ETFs could come with a greater expense, which would eat away at overall returns. [The Active Approach to MLP ETFs is Working]
Alternatively, hybrid MLP ETFs, or non-C-corporation MLP ETFs, have reduced direct MLP holdings to under 25% to meet regulatory rules and hold other energy infrastructure stock through subsidiaries as a way to avoid double taxation. [Hybrid Energy Infrastructure ETFs Could Outperform MLPs]