First up is $37 billion gas pipeline stock Kinder Morgan (KMI). To be fair, KMI is as close to a "gimme" on the dividend front as it gets. The firm is technically a holding company that owns the general partner and incentive distribution rights for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) and El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB), two MLPs; in other words, its an investment vehicle thats designed to maximize distribution income for investors. That's good for a whopping 4.57% dividend yield at current prices.
One of the biggest tailwinds for KMI right now is the popularity of natural gas. As gas remains historically cheap vs. alternatives such as crude oil, nat gas volumes should continue to tick higher -- and KMI's midstream energy assets should continue to ring in fees. Otherwise, commodity prices have a pretty small impact on the midstream business, which simply charges for transportation without a lot of exposure to the price of nat gas in the market.
One of the big benefits of KMI (besides the fact that it's the largest midstream company out there) is that it's a conventional C corporation rather than an MLP. That means that it sports a much simpler tax treatment for investors. While long-term growth could be challenged by the firm's current scale, now's the time to lock in a huge cost yield on shares.