A familiar mantra for MLP investors: “I don’t care what the price does, as long as the income is steady.” That worked well if you owned MLPs through the 2008 financial crisis when very few MLPs cut their distributions. However, the last 5 years were different, and income has been anything but steady.
In 2017, we published a paper highlighting the disparity between the perception of growing MLP distributions versus the reality of more than 55 MLP distribution cuts occurring to that point. We’ve updated the output of that paper below with another 12+ distribution cuts transpiring since. We estimate income to MLP investors has declined 24% over the last 5 years. Over the same period, infrastructure investors have seen a 44% increase in their income.