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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

More Power to Utility Stocks

By Jeffrey R. Kosnett





For steady, albeit modest, growth and above-average dividend yields, it's still hard to top utilities


JewishWorldReview.com | At a home down the street from mine in a leafy Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., work crews just installed a set of solar panels. I don't know the homeowners, who arrived last winter and obviously plan to do less business with Pepco, our electric company, than the rest of the folks on our cul-de-sac do. We're pleased that Pepco (symbol POM), which has an awful storm-related reliability record, is being acquired by Exelon (EXC). But should investors in Exelon worry that people in my neighborhood--or the next one over or the one after that--are galloping to get off the grid? I biked around and saw no signs of that, despite the subsidized loans and state and federal tax credits available for solar installations.


That brings me to the performance of utility stocks, which are having a great 2014. Through May 30, the Dow Jones utility average has delivered a total return of 11.1%, compared with 1.9% for the Dow Jones industrial average and 5.0% for Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. I am not shocked by utilities' stellar results.


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Solar mania is just the latest wrongheaded argument for the idea that traditional electric utilities are obsolete and their stocks are doomed. Solar-power output is growing rapidly, especially in sun-drenchedCalifornia and Arizona. But most of that growth comes from utilities tapping the rays to produce juice for resale, not from the homeowning public adding so much solar energy that it threatens to dispatch LocalPower & Light to the dustbin, alongside Blockbuster Video. Plus, utilities are adding far more generating capacity from natural gas. Their solar efforts are a buffer against the risk that cheap and abundant gas will become unavailable.


There are plenty of other flawed arguments against investing in power comĀpanies. Among them are the likelihood of rising interest rates, the threat of regulators trying to score political points by capping or reducing investor returns, a history of stupid acquisitions, and a perception that the industry is mismanaged because smart people enter more exciting fields. The stock market generalists I question about utilities believe all of the above, so they usually pan the sector. By contrast, utility analysts and managers of utility funds give the companies they follow high marks for solving problems and controlling their appetite for ill-fitting nonregulated ventures.



Valid concerns. Not everything is sunny in utility-land. Duke Energy (DUK) may need to spend $10 billion--the equivalent of four years of profits--to clean up toxic coal-ash ponds in North Carolina that poison rivers and soil. Southern Co. (SO) is building two nuclear reactors in Georgia that are three years behind schedule and more than $2 billion over their estimated $14.3 billion cost. New York'sConsolidated Edison (ED) is picking up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy by "hardening" its system at a cost to the company (read: investors) of more than $1 billion. I don't recommend ConEd, Duke or Southern, all of which trail the Dow Jones utility average so far in 2014. But for steady, albeit modest, growth and above-average dividend yields, it's hard to top utility stocks. Investors can choose from among 55 regulated electric or gas-and-electric utilities. You can gain exposure to the entire sector by buying Vanguard Utilities (VPU, 3.4% yield), an exchange-traded fund. Among actively managed mutual funds, the best choice is Franklin Utilities (FKUTX, 2.8% yield). Choose it if you can avoid the sales charge. If you'd rather invest directly, buy a bunch of utilities to minimize the risk of a Duke-style disaster. My favorites are American Electric Power (AEP, recent price$53, yield 3.7%), National Grid (NGG, $75, 6.1%) and Xcel Energy (XEL, $31, 3.9%).

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Jeffrey R. Kosnett is a Senior Editor for Kiplinger's Personal Finance.



All contents copyright 2013 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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