An Assessment Of The Utility Forecaster Investment Newsletter
Today, I’m posting a Utility Forecaster Review.
I’ve been a long time reader of the Utility Forecaster newsletter. And, I often reference it in my dividend stock reviews.
So, I thought it time to review what the Utility Forecaster newsletter has to offer. Let’s get started.
Utility Forecaster Review Outline
Key questions my Utility Forecaster review will answer for you:
- What is Utility Forecaster?
- Why I’m qualified to review it?
- Who is the publisher?
- Who is the editor?
- What does a subscription include?
- How much does it cost?
- What are my favorite aspects of Utility Forecaster?
That’s the plan. So let’s jump right into our Utility Forecaster review.
What Is Utility Forecaster?
Utility Forecaster is an income investing newsletter. It has been published since 1989.
The newsletter mainly covers stocks. But, bonds are also included.
It focuses on companies that produce and deliver electricity, natural gas, and oil. Thus, utility shares are a key focal point.
So, think about companies that provide essential services that power the world. And, pay dividends. That is the newsletters niche.
Looking for a more diversified investment newsletter? If yes, check out my review of the Simply Investing Report.
What Sectors & Stocks Does Utility Forecaster Cover?
Here is a list of the sectors covered. Each sector includes an example company.
- Cable & satellite – Comcast
- Coal – Peabody Energy
- Electric utilities – Southern Company
- Gas utilities – Spire, Inc.
- Multi-product utilities – Dominion
- Power producers & energy traders – AES Corporation
- Integrated oil and gas – Exxon Mobile
- Telecommunications – AT&T
- Oil and gas refiners – Enbridge
- Real Estate Investment Trusts – Realty Income
- Renewable Electricity – NextEra
- Water Utilities – York Water Company
In total, there are more than 200 companies covered. Across the 12 sectors.
Why I’m Reviewing The Utility Forecaster Newsletter
I subscribe to Utility Forecaster. And I refer to it frequently. So, I thought a Utility Forecaster review article would benefit other income investors.
How Did I Learn About Utility Forecaster?
I first learned of Utility Forecaster from my Dad. He has been a long-time subscriber. Almost since the newsletter’s inception in 1989.
My Dad has always had an interest in essential service companies that pay dividends. He used to say that “no one will let the power go out.” He was saying that these companies are stable investments for the long term.
So, I would see the latest editions at my parent’s house. This was about the same time I became interested in investing too.
So, what did I do? I subscribed.
Enough about me, let’s get back to the Utility Forecaster review.
Investing Daily Is The Publisher
Investing Daily publishes Utility Forecaster. Their goal is to provide in-depth investment advice.
Investing Daily aims to help people achieve a secure financial future. And, they do this through several other investment newsletters too. The other investment newsletters include:
- Personal Finance
- The Complete Investor
- Velocity Trader
- Options For Income
- Radical Wealth Alliance
- Real World Investing
- Wealth Society
Robert Rapier Is The Chief Investment Strategist
Mr. Rapier is a chemical engineer. He works in the energy industry. And has over 20 years of engineering experience. His experience includes the chemicals, oil, gas, and renewable energy industries.
He wrote the book “Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil”. And, he has appeared on:
- 60 Minutes
- The History Channel
- Business News Network
His articles have appeared in many media outlets. Those outlets include the:
- Wall Street Journal
- Washington Post
- Christian Science Monitor
Roger Conrad edited Utility Forecaster from 1989 through mid-2013. He now runs another investment newsletter.
Since Mr. Conrad’s departure, there have been 3 other editors. Mr. Rapier is the last of those 3. He started in August of 2018.
I thought Roger Conrad was very good. I miss his investment research. But change has benefits too.
Okay. We have covered the basics. So, let’s dig into the details of our Utility Forecaster review.
What Do You Get With A Utility Forecaster Subscription?
3 main things are included with a subscription.
First of all, there is a monthly investment newsletter. It is published on the first day of each month. In other words, 12 issues per year.
You can receive the newsletter through the postal service. But, it is available immediately on the subscriber website. I will have more on the website in a moment.
Periodic Email Updates Regarding Portfolio Holdings
At least once per week, Mr. Rapier sends out email alerts. They may be on updated information on Utility Forecaster recommendations. Or, relevant news about the stock market and investing environment.
Access To A Private Website
The private website brings all of the resources together in one place. It includes:
- Newsletter archives
- History of email updates
- Special reports
- Portfolios from the newsletter
How Much Does Utility Forecaster Cost?
The cost is $149 per year. Sometimes it is offered for less than that. I believe there is also a multi-year discount.
Within 90 days from subscribing, you are entitled to a 100% refund. After 90 days, you receive a refund for all unpublished issues left on your subscription.
What Is Included In Each Monthly Utility Forecaster Newsletter
This is where we get into the details of the Utility Forecaster review.
Why is that? Because I think the monthly newsletter has the most value. It is the core part of a subscription.
The email alerts and website provide good resources and convenience. But, the newsletter is where the Utility Forecaster recommendations and analysis are provided.
Here is what is included in each Utility Forecaster Newsletter.
Recent Market And Utility Sector Events
First of all, there is a brief opening article by Mr. Rapier. It covers market events since the last issue. And, it relates to the content in the rest of the newsletter.
Then Mr. Rapier serves up the month’s feature article. Topics vary but can include:
- A deep dive stock sector review
- Basics of income investing
- How to use an options strategy to increase income
- Investment trends within essential services sectors
- Fixed income investments as an alternative to stocks
All of the feature articles stay within the core topic of the newsletter. Investing for income in essential services companies.
Portfolio Recommendations & Updates
Now, I mentioned earlier that more than 200 companies are covered. But, the newsletter boils them down to 2 recommended portfolios. Each portfolio has about 20 stock or bond recommendations.
First, is the income portfolio. The goal of the Income Portfolio is
- High current yield
- The ability for dividend growth to beat inflation
A couple of the holdings in this portfolio include:
Second, is the growth portfolio. The goal of the Growth Portfolio is to consistently generate growth in share prices and produce income.
Examples from this portfolio include:
Other Portfolio Features
There are 2 features included with the portfolios that I like.
First, the top 5 picks. These Utility Forecaster recommendations are the best buys for an investor starting their portfolio.
And second, stock price advice. Each stock or bond has a recommended price target. An investor should buy only at or below these price guidelines.
Recommended Stock Feature
Next is a detailed review of one of the portfolio holdings.
The featured stock review goes beyond financial metrics. It explains the investment merits of the company. Specifically, the company’s prospects, challenges, and risks.
The Utility Beat section is a “catch-all” article. It generally covers macro sector news. Company-specific news. Or, responses to questions from readers.
How They Rate
The final section is called “How They Rate”. This section lists all 200+ stocks.
It includes key dividend and financial metrics. And buy, sell or hold advice on each stock.
If the stock is a buy, the maximum purchase price is recommended.
Dividend Safety Ratings
For each stock in “How They Rate”, there is another excellent feature.
What is that? It is the dividend safety ratings. The dividend safety scores are based on 8 financial, operational, and performance criteria.
A score of 8 means the safest of dividends. A score of 0 indicates the highest degree of risk for dividend safety.
Utility Forecaster Track Record
Utility Forecaster does not publish its long term investment track record. It does provide a performance update each quarter. This includes the returns of each stock in the portfolios.
On the surface, the lack of long-term reporting may seem like an issue. It may appear to some that the publication is trying to hide something.
From my perspective, it has never been a concern. Why? I have never tried to duplicate the recommended portfolios in my accounts.
I doubt any subscriber would do so. The portfolios are too concentrated in just a few stocks and industries.
I think most readers are like my Dad and me. We choose some of the Utility Forecaster recommendations. And add them to our diversified portfolios. Our holdings include stocks from other industries and sectors.
Recognition & Awards
The newsletter has been recognized publicly for its investment research. Here are a few examples:
2011: #1 Investment newsletter by The Hulbert Financial Digest
2013 – 2016: Best risk-adjusted return over the past 10 years by The Hulbert Financial Digest
2017: 2 SIPAwards for Best Investment Analysis
Is Utility Forecaster A Scam?
Some of the newsletter’s sales material is overhyped. It could lead someone to think Utility Forecaster is a scam.
I have been a long-time subscriber. And, I have benefited from many of Utility Forecaster’s recommendations. In my opinion, the newsletter is not a scam.
Utility Forecaster Review – Wrap Up & Conclusions
I think Utility Forecaster is a good investment newsletter. It is well organized. I find it well written. And, I believe it’s an excellent reference tool.
But be aware that it is sector-specific. Its suggested portfolios may not provide adequate diversification.
And, Utility Forecaster does not publish its long-term track record.
On the other hand, investing in essential service companies can be a productive part of an investment strategy.
Here are a few of the features that I like the most.
- In-depth coverage of the utilities, oil, gas, and telecommunications sectors
- Investment advice for income investors
- Buy target prices, or sell, hold advice for more than 200 companies
- Portfolio and individual stock recommendations
- Dividend safety scores for more than 200 companies
Related Articles About Investing For Income & Dividend Stocks
- How to analyze a dividend stock
- Simply Investing newsletter review
- Ways to increase your dividend income
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