In the recent crude oil sell-off, investors did not distinguish MLPs from other energy-related assets and dumped the asset as crude oil prices plummeted.

MLPs primarily deal with the distribution and storage of energy products, so their business model is less reliant on the commodities market since MLPs profit off the quantity of oil and natural gas they are able to move around. Consequently, MLPs have historically shown a weaker correlation to energy prices over longer periods as MLPs act more like energy toll roads, profiting on the volume of oil moving through their pipelines.

Some market observers are concerned that some of the holdings in AMJ, AMLP and other MLP exchange traded products could follow Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI) and slash dividends as an avenue for conserving cash.

Alerian MLP ETF