NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you own units (shares) of a Master Limited Partnership (MLP) you'll want to read this article especially if it makes you yawn with sleepiness.Not that I want my articles to have a soporific impact on my readers, but if you can simultaneously be better informed about MLPs and overcome insomnia I will be especially delighted. You might already know that MLPs avoid corporate taxation and are supposed to pay out the lion's share of their distributable cash flow (DCF) to shareholders who often are referred to as "partners." Well listen closely partner. I have owned MLPs before and I've learned that they can be a tax-reporting nightmare. Yet I'm not opposed at all that many of the distributions from DCF are tax-deferred. Did you know that today energy-related MLPs number more than one hundred and according to my research have a combined market value of nearly $500 billion dollars! But that's not the most impressive part. In the past 15 years the entire MLP sector has had a total return, including distributions, of nearly 900%. That's amazing when one realizes that the S&P 500 "only" doubled during the same period. As an investor and analyst I'm mainly focused on the energy-related MLPs. I look for ones where a diversified energy company spins off the energy infrastructure parts of its business into MLPs. This is why the debut this week of an ETF which focuses on global energy structure MLPs and tracks the "Solactive and Energy Infrastructure Index" caught my attention. The Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF ( MLPX) opened on Wednesday at $15.05 and closed Friday at $14.94. The Solactive and Energy Infrastructure Index is intended to give investors a means of tracking the performance of MLPs and energy infrastructure corporations. Midstream energy infrastructure MLPs and corporations mainly own and operate assets used in energy logistics. This includes, but isn't limited to, pipelines, storage facilities and other assets used in transporting, storing, gathering, and processing natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil or refined products.
Like many of its top holdings, the chart of AMLP shows the peaks and troughs that speak to the volatility of the sector. Patient, seasonal investing and buying in tranches as pullbacks occur is the smartest way to invest in these MLP ETFs or the best managed of the individual MLPs. At the time of publication the author is long CVRR. Follow @m8a2r1 This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.