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Dicker: Where to Be in Master Limited Partnerships

Tickers in this article: EEP KMP LINE MWE PAA TLLP
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was talking with Jim Cramer about master limited partnerships and how much they are loved for their yield.

High-net-worth investors depend upon the distributions from these investments, but over the last several years many different types of MLPs have sprung up with different models for delivering that tasty yield.

It's important for investors in these vehicles to understand the differences between MLP structures -- particularly now in a more sensitive rate environment as the 10-year Treasury bond has recovered to yield over 2%.

MLPs are coming in all shapes and sizes, some that are commodity-sensitive (will perform better or worse dependent upon the underlying price of oil or gas), others that deal mostly in terminals, others in processing and others that are more "traditional," dealing mostly as "toll roads" for energy pipelines.

Each one of these different structures will be more or less sensitive to changes in interest rates, and inside of each sub-sector individual MLPs will be relatively more or less sensitive depending on their assets, leverage, declining base and prospects for growth.

I've been doing a series of articles on RealMoney trying to isolate the safer from the more volatile names in the MLP space as investors have been scrambling to readjust their MLP portfolios to a volatile interest rate environment.

But in the video above, Jim and I try to first understand the many subsectors of what has become a very complex group of master limited partnerships.

At the time of publication the author had positions in EEP, MWE and LINE.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.