Perhaps you are new to the master limited partner space. If so, here is lesson No. 1: don't bother looking at quarterly earnings results. Sure, on paper the quarterly earning results at Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP)Magellan Midstream Partners (NYSE:MMP), and ONEOK Partners (NYSE:OKS) looked great. But the fact of the matter is that the income statement is not that important. Instead you should be looking at the cash flow statement. 

Why is the cash statement so important? It all has to do with the nature of the business. Tune into the video below to find out the important numbers you should look for when evaluating these companies on a quarterly basis and get a peek at what those numbers were this past quarter for the three MLPs.

America's $600 billion energy problem means invest in these three stocks today
A dark specter is looming that is ready to stop America's Energy boom right in its tracks, and no one is talking about it. This one critical element could cost us over $600 billion, but every day we wait that number grows and grows. The U.S. government thinks investment in this sector is so important, even the Internal Revenue Service will give you a free pass if you invest in this select group of stocks. Our analysts at The Motley Fool have combed over this special class of stocks and we have identified three that could make you rich! Find out the names of these IRS-gift-wrapped stocks in our special report "3 Stocks The IRS Is Begging You to Buy." Simply click here and we'll give you free access to this valuable investing resource. 

Tyler Crowe owns shares of Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P.. You can follow him at under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google+, or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

The Motley Fool recommends Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. and ONEOK Partners, L.P.. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.