As baby boomers retire -- and we're retiring in car-load lots these days -- our goals shift from capital gains to income, and for these investors there's now a better deal, the Master Limited Partnership.

Many real estate and energy investments are now set up as MLPs. MLPs have tax advantages and can throw off spectacular rates of dividends.

Breitburn Energy Partners ( BBEP), an oil and gas MLP out of Los Angeles, presently yields more than 10%. Annaly Capital Management ( NLY), which invests in mortgages and related instruments, currently yields more than 13%.

Some analysts, like Shane Brett of Global Perspective in the U.K., are calling this the "end of the gilded age." They say that competition from things like MLPs, new rules on compensation, and returns on exchange-traded funds are sunsetting the "big man" fund.

During the age of the gangster picture, in the 1930s, Hollywood required that the main character get it in the end. James Cagney's Public Enemy was trussed up like a mummy and left on his mother's doorstep. Edward G. Robinson's Little Caesar was shot in the street and asked, "Is this the end of Rico?"

What we've learned is that when one movie ends, another one starts. Trends change, but the desire for yield, and for someone to personify yield, abides. There will be more Steven Cohens, regardless of how his firm's current troubles end. We all need to believe there's a hero out there for our money, someone who will make us rich while we watch.

At the time of publication, the author had no investments in securities or companies mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and a tech reporter since 1982. His specialty has been getting to the future ahead of the crowd, then leaving before success arrived. That meant covering the Internet in 1985, e-commerce in 1994, the Internet of Things in 2005, open source in 2005 and, since 2010, renewable energy. He has written for every medium from newspapers and magazines to Web sites, from books to blogs. He still seeks tomorrow from his Craftsman home in Atlanta.

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