Hello and welcome to my review of Conrad’s Utility Investor.
I discovered this service while looking into a different newsletter called Utility Forecaster, which Roger Conrad ran between 1989 to 2013.
However, Roger now shares his insights with subscribers of an advisory called Conrad’s Utility Investor, and given his experience and track record, I wanted to learn more. So I decided to take a closer look at the service, and in this post, I’ll show you what I learned.
In this post, I’ll walk you through what the service is about, how it works, and who Roger Conrad is to help you decide if it’s worth joining.
What Is Conrad’s Utility Investor?
Conrad’s Utility Investor is an investment advisory service edited by Roger Conrad and published by Capitalist Times, LLC. The service is focused on helping readers invest in quality, dividend-paying utilities, and essential services stocks that have long-term growth potential.
According to Roger Conrad, he looks for companies that are “driving America’s historic transition to cleaner and cheaper energy resources, smart cities and near instantaneous communications.”
And to me, that’s one of the most interesting things about this service.
On the one hand, it centers around taking advantage of opportunities in the emerging renewable energy sector. For example, companies in the solar, wind, and energy storage space. So it’s quite a progressive, forward-thinking service in that respect.
However, on the other hand, the service also caters to conservative investors, primarily because of how Roger Conrad recommends investing in the future of renewable energy.
Instead of recommending the “next hot stock” like most gurus, Roger focuses on buy-and-hold utility companies that provide essential services like electricity, water, natural gas, and telecommunications, for example. And he particularly seeks out companies that have the potential to generate long-term growth and dividend income for subscribers.
Some might consider the types of companies Roger recommends to be “boring” or uninteresting, but Conrad’s Utility Investor isn’t about helping you get rich quickly; it’s about building long-term wealth by investing in companies people need.
And according to Roger Conrad, he’s been helping investors build wealth in essential services stocks for decades. So, assuming that is the case, he must be doing something right.
What does Roger Conrad’s strategy involve?
Roger Conrad states that he has followed a “Quality plus Value” approach to investing over the past few decades. This involves identifying the best potential opportunities out of a list of 200 essential-service stocks using his 5-factor Quality Grade system.
It’s unclear precisely what the 5-factor Quality Grade system entails, but Roger says he provides statistics and “proprietary Quality Grades” to each of the 200 stocks within the Utility Report Card, which is a resource you get access to as a member of Conrad’s Utility Investor. And the purpose is to help you assess the potential risk and determine the best time to buy each stock.
From there, the strategy involves monitoring the stocks Roger has recommended and selling part or all of the position depending on how each recommendation plays out. For example, if the recommendation works out well, Roger might recommend taking profits. Or, if the company underperforms, he may add it to his “Endangered Dividends List,” which is essentially a sell list.
I’ll go into more detail on how the service works in a moment, but for now, let’s take a look at the man behind Conrad’s Utility Investor, Roger Conrad.
Who Is Roger Conrad?
Roger Conrad is an income-investing expert with over 35 years of experience, and according to the Capitalist Times website, his mission is to deliver “the best stocks for investors seeking reliable income” by sharing his insights with subscribers of his services.
Capitalist Times is a financial publishing company co-founded by Roger Conrad and Elliott Gue that publishes a variety of investment advisory services for different types of investors, primarily those interested in longer-term, dividend-paying stocks.
Out of those, Roger Conrad is the editor of three services; Conrad’s Utility Investor, CUI Plus, and The REIT Sheet. And he contributes to a fourth service called Energy & Income Advisor.
Here’s a quick overview of each service:
- Conrad’s Utility Investor is all about investing in essential-service stocks, primarily utilities and telecommunications companies, and costs $499 per year.
- CUI Plus appears to have a similar focus but provides income recommendations across every market sector and costs $299 per year.
- The REIT Sheet centers around high-yielding US and Canadian real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate.
- And Energy & Income Advisor is a service Roger Conrad co-edits with Elliott Gue dedicated to helping subscribers profit from the energy sector.
Before founding Capitalist Times, Roger Conrad founded Investing Daily’s Utility Forecaster service (which Robert Rapier now runs), and he edited this service from 1989 to 2013.
During that time, Roger says that Utility Forecaster was “routinely ranked as one of the best investment newsletters” by Hulbert Financial Digest, an independent site dedicated to tracking and ranking the performance of investment advisory services.
After leaving Utility Forecaster in 2013, Roger co-founded Capitalist Times and is best known for his work with Utility Investor, where he continues sharing his insights today.
Aside from investment newsletters, Roger Conrad is an Independent Trustee of Miller/Howard High Income Equity Fund, a regular contributor to Forbes, and author of a book called “Power Hungry: Strategic Investing in Telecommunications, Utilities and Other Essential Services.”
How Does Conrad’s Utility Investor Work?
The Capitalist Times website describes Conrad’s Utility Investor as a “complete guide to building a lifelong income stream from stocks that provide essential services.”
One of the main aspects of the service is the monthly newsletter, which provides subscribers with a complete breakdown of Roger Conrad’s market-related analysis, insights, recommendations on what stocks he believes you should buy, and updates on the existing positions.
As a side note, there’s a page on the Capitalist Times website where you can enter your email and receive a free sample copy of a previous newsletter. So if you’re considering joining, I recommend doing that because it will give you a feel for what the newsletter offers.
I found it to be very comprehensive, so if you’re someone who likes to read and learn instead of blindly following someone, you will more than likely enjoy the content in these newsletters.
In any case, each issue covers what Roger Conrad describes as his “three-part portfolio strategy.” The first part of this strategy involves selling underperforming companies. The second is about taking profits on what Roger believes are “overvalued and over-weighted stocks.” And the third is about using excess cash to buy stocks when they hit Roger’s “Dream Buy” price, which he describes as stocks that reach a price that indicates a “special and unique” buying opportunity.
The “Dream Buy” list essentially contains a list of stocks Roger Conrad is interested in buying if/when the price falls to the designated “Dream Buy” price.
All told, Roger Conrad analyses roughly 200 essential-service stocks and grades them using his proprietary 5-factor Quality Grade system.
And, as a subscriber of the service, you can see the research and grade associated with each company in the Utility Report Card, which is located on conradsutilityinvestor.com.
Roger Conrad describes the Utility Report Card as the “bedrock of Conrad’s Utility Investor,” so aside from the newsletter, this is one of the main components of the service.
Another thing worth mentioning is that there are three separate model portfolios. In other words, three unique lists of stocks Roger Conrad considers worth buying. And while the service as a whole is income-focused, each portfolio caters to a different type of investor.
- Aggressive Income: This portfolio caters to investors who don’t mind taking calculated risks in search of higher upside potential. In other words, higher potential risk and reward.
- Conservative Income: As the name suggests, the Conservative Income portfolio caters to more conservative investors who are less interested in capital gains (i.e., rising share prices), and more interested in steady dividend-paying companies.
- Top 10 DRIPs: A Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) is a plan whereby investors can choose to automatically reinvest in a company’s shares on a regular basis to achieve compound growth. And that’s what this portfolio is all about; it’s a list of Roger Conrad’s top 10 DRIP companies that have the potential to provide investors with long-term dividend income.
On top of all of this, subscribers of the service receive weekly updates on Roger Conrad’s recommendations and access to the entire archive of past reports.
How much does it cost to join?
Conrad’s Utility Investor costs $499 for 12 months access, and according to the order page of the Capitalist Times website, it comes with a 30-day refund policy.
Bottom Line: Should You Join?
Conrad’s Utility Investor is an investment advisory service published by Capitalist Times and edited by Roger Conrad focused on essential-service stocks that pay dividends.
All in all, Roger tracks around 200 stocks, and they are mostly utility companies that provide essential services like electricity, water, natural gas, and telecommunications.
Overall, the service reminds me a lot of my top recommendation, Insider Weekly, because it’s not overhyped, it’s focused on long-term gains, and targets unloved sectors instead of promoting the latest “shiny object.” However, this service focuses more on renewable energy and dividends, whereas Insider Weekly is more about asymmetric capital gains across multiple sectors.
Either way, there’s a lot to like about Conrad’s Utility Investor.
For example, the newsletters are very comprehensive, I like how the investment strategy teaches you to think longer-term and consider the downside risks, and the marketing is very ethical.
One of the most common things I notice when researching stock advisories is that many of them are, at best, massively overhyped. Thankfully, Roger Conrad doesn’t seem to take that approach. Instead, he explains what the service is about in plain language and provides genuine value.
That said, it’s not exactly cheap. Most advisories I come across cost less than fifty dollars, so at $499, it is on the higher end. However, considering the sheer quality of the newsletter, I think it’s a “you get what you pay for” scenario, so I believe it represents value for money.
And it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, too. So worst case is you could give it a try and if you don’t like it, request a refund before the 30 day period is up.
Of course, just because Conrad’s Utility Investor is a legitimate, high-value service doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to make money. All investments carry risk, so regardless of the service, investment strategy, or other factors, it’s always possible to lose money.
Should you join? Ultimately, I think whether or not you should join the service depends on your goals, investment preferences, and budget.
If you’re interested in learning how to invest in dividend-paying utility companies and consider yourself a long-term investor, this service may be well worth checking out, in my opinion.
On the other hand, it may not suit investors looking to generate significant capital gains or those who want to take advantage of non-utility-related opportunities across multiple sectors.
Either way, whatever you decide, I hope you found this helpful. And if you’d like to share your thoughts on Conrad’s Utility Investor, feel free to drop a comment below.