EMLP Generated the Highest Total Returns among the Top MLP ETFs

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.

EMLP Generated the Highest Total Returns among the Top MLP ETFs

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.