A funny thing has happened on the way out of the Great Recession.

Investors may still see capital appreciation as a big priority, but the days of adopting the old “65-35” rule are in decline.

In Wall Street parlance, 65-35 is the ratio of stocks to bonds in your portfolio when you’re 35 years old. As that 35-year-old rolls toward retirement, the scenario flips, and by age 65, the ratio of stocks to bonds is inverted, with 35% of the portfolio composed of stocks and 65% of bonds.

Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule. It’s just a rule of thumb from cautious money managers and financial advisors who wanted two blueprints for two very different investors:

• Younger investors, having more time to recoup losses, could absorb more risk, and hence could have bigger positions in stocks.

• Older investors, with less time to recover from stock market shocks, should have stronger positions in capital preservation investments, like bonds.

But as the economic malaise commenced in 2008, and as investors viewed the stock market as unusually risky (though the S&P 500 has remained steadfastly in positive territory during the past four years, even with the downturn), terms like “safe haven” and “flight to safety” have dominated advisor/investor discussions.

For energy investors, that conversation has increasingly been steered toward a new investment, but one with a higher performance upside than bonds – income-producing master limited partnerships (MLPs).

By and large, MLPs are a hybrid investment vehicle – part bond and part stock. On the equity side, MLPs have historically strong current income yields and burgeoning dividends. Portfolio returns have been strong, as MLPs have outperformed the S&P 500 in 11 of 12 years.

On the fixed-income side of the issue, MLPs offer some downside protection against falling equities, especially commodities, thus giving investors some good, solid risk reduction protection.

Greg Reid , managing director of Salient Partner , which runs the Salient Master Limited Partnership , says energy MLPs are a big “growth” investment.

In a recent podcast interview with MoneyShow.com, Reid says the MLP story is all about yield.

“What makes MLPs very attractive, I think, for all types of investors, is they do pay out most of their cash flow in the form of distributions, essentially their dividends,” he says. “The current yield is approximately 6.25% in the industry now.”

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