Kinder Morgan has been one of the best income investments in the world for people that discovered the company and acted upon it. The original Kinder Morgan—the one with the KMP ticker symbol—benefitted from a great confluence of factors that led to 20% annual returns between its 1997 founding and the November 2014 merger.
The story began with Richard Kinder getting passed up for CEO of Enron. He responded by offering $25 million for Enron Liquid Pipelines L.P. Without a doubt, it is one of the great ironies of American corporate history that the eventually bankrupt Enron sold off the most lucrative, cash-generative assets in its portfolio to avoid executive rivalry and focus on derivative trading in the energy sector instead. Illusory trading was favored over pipeline infrastructure that could build a great company. While Enron was becoming asset light and lying about it, Kinder took the pipes and ran with it.