5 Favorite MLPs for Income and Growth

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With interest rates at record lows and the Federal Reserve unwilling to lift them any time soon, it's no easy feat finding steady and safe yield in today's bond market. So why not try the stock market in the form of a master limited partnership, suggests fund manager Jerry Swank.

"With interest rates at paltry levels, investors looking for high levels of income, plus an added benefit of growth, will move into the MLP asset class," says Swank, portfolio manager of the Cushing MLP Premier Fund ( CSHZX).

MLPs generally provide transportation, storage, processing, refining, marketing, exploration, production or mining of any mineral or natural resource. Interests, or units, trade on public exchanges like any other stock. Unlike owning oil futures or shares of an oil company, however, MLPs typically operate "toll road" business models that enable them to generate a tremendous amount of cash they can distribute to unit holders. In other words, they pocket fees for the services they provide, often without taking ownership of the physical commodities they transport and store.

There is another difference between MLPs and ordinary shares when it comes to taxes: MLPs are generally not subject to corporate-level taxes. They distribute the majority of their cash flow to investors in the form of quarterly distributions, which are largely treated as return of capital, making investing in MLPs highly tax efficient.

Swank recently chatted with TheStreet about his five favorite MLPs.

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