Charlie’s month-end reading list

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Here are several articles from my recent reading list that I thought were particularly interesting:

To start, “Oil and gas partnerships spark some concern,” is a Wall Street Journal article written by reporter Alison Sider. The piece, which was published in early August, outlines critics concerns over energy companies selling oil and gas assets to partnerships as a means of covering increasingly high operating costs. Sider offers insight into upstream Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), which to date have accounted for $3.1 billion spent on oil and gas fields. The key message for investors:  The oil patch can be a dangerous place to reach for yield.

This message is repeated in another WSJ article by reporter Laura Saunders’ titled “The dark side of higher yields,” published on August 10. Saunders’ article reviews a rise in the number of investors interested in energy-focused MLPs. While yields can be promising, investors should tread lightly given the tax and risk issues associated with such funds. She outlines a number of questions to keep in mind before buying an MLP, and basic strategies for investors determined to participate in the sector.

As shale gas resources continue to develop in the US and Canada, several companies are beginning to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a way to profit from large disparities in natural gas prices around the globe. SeekingAlpha published the article “Shale gas developments internationally and the LNG global trade,” to explore the investment prospects of such projects and the broader impact on the shipping industry.

Finally, in a Bloomberg piece that ran earlier this summer, reporters Weiyi Lim and Kana Nishizawa weigh in on the Chinese stock market. The article: “China wealth proves elusive as stocks earn 1% in 20 years” contrasts the country’s long economic boom with the paltry investment results of those who’ve owned publicly-traded stocks in China over the same period. It’s a cautionary tale about newly generated wealth not always trickling over to public shareholders, particularly foreigners.

Be sure to check back to Ramparts to see what we’re reading next!

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