In theory, selling master limited partnerships these days should be as easy as selling bottled water before a hurricane. Most MLPs invest in energy infrastructure. There’s an energy renaissance going on in the United States, thanks to fracking. With an MLP, an investor is buying into all that oil and gas without the price volatility of oil and gas.    

But to lay investors, a natural resource MLP can be confusing. It’s not a bond, but it has quarterly disbursements. It’s not an oil company tied to futures prices, but its trading can be volatile, and clients can easily lose money with the wrong picks. There’s also a tax benefit, since some of the income it provides can be treated as tax-free return of capital.

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