Buy two electric utility stocks and call me in a decade.
That was the time-tested broker prescription for conservative investors in need of steady income with no negative side-effects.
Again in 1996, stock market volatility has made the electric utility stock a favored antidote for investor motion sickness. Yet it's no longer such an automatic prescription because electric utilities are no longer a sure thing.
Industrial customers, willing to take business elsewhere, are demanding that utilities provide them with the lowest-cost energy possible. Mergers, once rare, are coming fast and furious.
"It's hard to recognize a utility anymore as we move …