A Better Investment Than Treasuries?

| August 31, 2010 | 0 Comments

The market is loaded with interesting investment opportunities.  Investors can buy into almost any conceivable asset class from oil pipelines to real estate, even commodities or bonds.  The choices are endless.

It’s hard to even know where to begin…

Despite all the options, it seems every asset class is experiencing huge volatility right now.  Investors are second guessing their portfolios every day.  And a growing number of people are looking for safe, steady places to invest their money.

It’s why cash has been flowing into government bonds.  U.S. Treasuries are still the safest investment in the world.

Unfortunately, the safety of Treasuries comes with a price.  A tiny payout.  Yields are at historic lows as investors flock to government bonds in droves.

But what about investing safely and earning a decent return?

There has to be a better way…

There is.  Utilities.

I know… your eyes glaze over when you hear someone mention utilities. But we’re not in a raging bull market anymore.

We need a different kind of investment for times like these.

I’ve always considered utilities as a safe alternative to bonds.  They provide similar benefits – income and safety.  But utilities have something Treasuries lack… potential for growth.

For example, take Pacific Gas & Electric (PCG).

PCG is a huge utility covering northern and central California.  It provides electricity and natural gas to over five million customers.  The company’s revenues are over $13 billion.  And PCG’s market cap is almost $19 billion. Obviously, this company is a giant.

There are several reasons why I prefer PCG to Treasuries.

Let’s start out with the dividends.

Let’s face it.  If you’re adding a utility to your portfolio, your goal is to collect dividends.  Good news – PCG’s dividend yield is nearly 4%.

Let me put that into perspective for you.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond is around 2.5%.  PCG’s dividend is 60% higher.  And check this out… the dividend yield for the S&P 500 is around 2.0%.  PCG’s dividend is a full 100% higher.

And that’s not even the best part…

A huge utility like PCG is a very low risk investment.  Why?  Because everyone needs electricity and gas.  Customers aren’t going to suddenly stop paying their power bill.

Remember, a large portion of the company’s revenue is regulated by the State of California.  And that’s a good thing… the company can pass increasing costs down to its customers.  And, as PCG adds to its infrastructure, they can often increase rates as well.

But that’s not all… the company has growth potential.

In fact, management just reaffirmed guidance for 2010 and 2011 earnings.  And the growth is nothing to sneeze at.

Over the last five years, they’ve grown their dividend almost 24% a year.  And they recently bumped the quarterly payout to $0.455.

Investors have taken notice.

Last week, PCG hit a 52-week high… while the rest of the market was selling off.

Management is planning for the future as well.

They’re already investing in alternative energy.  In fact, they own a nuclear power plant and a hydroelectric plant.  And they’re looking into solar power as well.  They just signed an agreement with NextEra Genesis to buy solar energy.

They aren’t going to get caught on the wrong side of the tracks when fossil fuels start getting phased out.

Look, I understand the allure of Treasury bonds.  You can’t beat the security of investing in the U.S. government.  But you’re missing out on income AND growth potential by not looking at utilities.

If you’re looking for a change of pace from Treasuries, consider grabbing some shares of PCG for your portfolio.

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Category: Commodities

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The Dynamic Wealth Report works with a number of staff writers and guest experts who specialize in everything from penny stocks to ETFs to options trading. These guest analysts post under the 'staff writer' moniker for ease of use.

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