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EMLP Generated the Highest Total Returns among the Top MLP ETFs

Rekha Khandelwal, CFA - Author

Jan. 7 2018, Updated 9:54 p.m. ET

EMLP’s total returns

The First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure Fund (EMLP) generated total returns of 42% over a five-year period, the highest among the top five MLP ETFs that we are discussing in this series. While the Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF (MLPX) managed to generate positive total returns of 8% over the past five years, the Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP), the Global X MLP ETF (MLPA), and the Infracap MLP ETF (AMZA) generated negative total returns over the same period.

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EMLP holdings

The First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure Fund invests primarily in MLPs, pipeline companies, utilities, and other energy infrastructure companies. Nearly 38% of EMLP’s portfolio is currently invested in electric power and transmission companies. Nearly 24% of its portfolio consists of natural gas transmission companies while crude oil transmission companies account for nearly 16% of the portfolio.

Enbridge Energy Management (EEQ), TransCanada (TRP), and Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) are EMLP’s top three holdings. They account for 6.7%, 4.6%, and 4.3%, respectively, of its portfolio. The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.95%.

AMZA’s total returns

As the above graph shows, the Infracap MLP ETF (AMZA) underperformed other ETFs over the five-year and three-year periods. MLPA underperformed peers in 2017. The Alerian MLP ETF currently yields ~7.4%. AMZA yields ~24.3%, whereas MLPX is trading at a yield of 0.5%.

Let’s take a look at the top holdings and composition of the top MLP ETFs in the next and final part of this series.


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