No. of Recommendations: 3
As part of total return, utilities provide bond-like dividends and very low correlation with the broad market and low volatility. For example, XLU (a utility ETF) has an S&P 500 Beta of .43 .

For income, utilities provide very reliable dividends. Per Morningstar's stock screener, of the 231 regulated utility stocks, only 9 cut their dividend over the past 5 years. That's less than 4% during a sharp market downturn.

OTOH, using the same M* screen, 48 of these utilites (20.8%) have had an average annual dividend growth rate greater than 3% over the same period.

So I would say that for a portfolio diversifier or a source of reliable income, utilities are hard to beat.

As an income investor, 7 utilities provide about 12% of my overall income.

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