Want to Buy Utilities Stocks? Before buying Utilities stock, you should consider researching this sector's fundamentals and effectively compare the performance and earning potential of the different Utilities stocks, thus leading to smart and wiser investment decisions.
The utilities sector attracts the attention and interest of many investors because they are usually exhibiting consistent growth and rising revenues. This is because modern-day developed societies attach great value and importance to utility services, such as the supply of clean water, electricity, and garbage collection. The companies offering such services then become hugely valuable as the services they offer are considered vital and valuable to consumers.
Utilities stocks are the stocks of companies that provide the infrastructure for the provision of essential utility services or undertaking the actual provision of such basic services like water, electricity, and natural gas supply, garbage collection, sewage, waste management, and others.
At the core of the utilities industry is the fact that the demand for such basic services will always be present, thus when creating the necessary infrastructure for the provision of such services, companies may feel assured and certain that consumers will sign up to their offering and thus profits will eventually come.
By the end of the guide, you should know the following:
|Strong Dividend Payments||Relatively Slow Growth|
|Only One Way to Go: Up!||Losses Do Occur|
|Utilities Stocks Provide Economic Shields||Political Risk.|
Investing in utilities stock is no different than any other type of investment and thus comes with its own potential benefits as well as potential risks. As a prospective investor, prior to making an investment into this sector, it is prudent to be aware of its main advantages and disadvantages, which are as follows:
Since utilities are essentially investing in them is like investing in a product that everyone wants to have. In turn, this creates the following pros for those investing in utilities stock:
Due to the highly regulated nature of the utilities industry, utilities companies have the luxury of having highly predictable cash flows and are thus able to payout very generous dividends to their shareholders. In fact, some utilities companies offer impressive dividend payout ratios of over 50%. Obviously, such companies bring in a good income to their investors, as the latter receives a paycheck every time the utilities company makes earnings.
This being said, not all utilities companies are the same, equally successful and equally generous with dividends, so before you invest in one of them check out their track record and their history of paying dividends consistently and at growing rates.
It is not an exaggeration to argue that the stocks of successful utilities companies can only go up and in fact, this is perhaps the only stocks sector where such an argument is true. Declines are almost non-existent for established utilities companies simply because they serve basic consumer needs that consumers will not go without, while the constant increase in population numbers, means that their potential customer base is always increasing. This makes the anticipation of future growth and gains, an almost certainty, especially for those companies in the sector that have already built strong infrastructures for the serving of the basic human needs, such as water, electricity, and sewage.
Besides the certainty of an ever-growing client base stemming from the natural growth of the human population, especially in urban centers in the developed world, utilities companies can also expand their profits further by working on achieving operational improvements and efficiencies which will lead to reduced costs. Thus, investors in top-notch utilities companies may well expect them to achieve strong and stable growth.
Economic recessions are not rare phenomena and tend to happen every few years. During such times the general performance of economies and markets is poor and weak, as consumers cut their spending, either because they can’t afford it or turn it into savings instead for fear of worst times ahead. In turn, this behavior leads to revenue reductions for most companies, which translate into the values of stocks declining sharply across the board and drive investors to seek safer investing options.
Because utilities companies provide essential human needs, they are largely resilient during recession times and though they might experience slight dips, they show resilience and remain unscathed overall.
In fact, because during economic hard times people tend to stay home more, either to spend less or even because they are unemployed, the use of and demand for home utilities goes up, and utility companies and thus able to avoid downturns or even see more revenues during such times.
Tax advantages are another merit of the sectors offering high dividends, such as the utilities sector. Long holders of utility stocks are eligible for lower tax rates and lower capital gains taxes on their dividends earned, and obviously, this acts as an added incentive for prospective investors in this sector.
Despite its many pros, investing in utilities stocks, may also have the following main drawbacks:
The utilities sector is not the most appropriate sector for investors looking for rapid growth opportunities. Despite most large blue-chip utilities companies exhibiting a long track record of stable growth in their value, such growth is usually quite slow and thus investors may only expect long and longer term gains.
The relatively slow growth is attributed to the fact that demand for utilities services only grows as much as the human population using such services grows and population growth is inherently and naturally slow and gradual.
Though considered one of the most stable type of investments, utility stock investments are not entirely safe or bulletproof proof, and losses may be incurred, as illustrated by several examples, such as the case of former energy giant Enron. Its fraudulent claims about its financial standing led to great losses for investors when the company eventually went bankrupt.
With this in mind, investors should be rushing into the utilities sector believing it is 100% safe because there is no such thing as a completely safe investment. Careful research and constant vigilance are thus necessary before proceeding to invest in any company, including any utility company.
There are several online sites and platforms where people from across the globe can buy Utilities at good exchange rates and with low or no transaction fees. To aid your quest we have comprised a list of some of the most popular Stock Trading platforms to buy Utilities sector's shares from and your strongly advised to consult this list before making your first purchase of or investment in Utilities industry.
The answer is definitely not no, but a little short than a resounding yes. The industry’s outlook is promising and its future appears bright, however, investors should not be expecting a linear growth pattern, nor anticipate that all Utilities stocks will fare equally well. To maximize the chances for success of your Utilities sector stocks investment make sure you make smart and wise decisions on which energy companies you will choose to invest in.
There is no guarantee that you will make a profit when you invest in Utilities. However, to give yourself the best chance possible we have hand-picked the three most valuable such strategies, which you can find below:
Utilities stocks may well be a very good choice for the right type of investors, i.e. not for those looking for high growth and high returns and generally for investors with high-risk appetites. Utilities stocks are characterized by slow and steady growth and for returning value to investors through strong dividend payments and are thus more appropriate for investors aiming at long-term gains. Investors with high-risk portfolios may diversify to include utilities, in order to balance the overall risk of their investments.
In this guide, the aim wasn’t only to answer simple questions like “how to buy stocks of the Utilities sector?” or “where to buy Utilities stocks?”. Instead, the goal was to equip you with the relevant knowledge and insight to be able to see and understand the bigger picture as well as make your Utilities stocks investment journey as successful and as profitable as possible!