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Should you buy utilities for the dividend yield?

One portfolio manager thinks it might be time to buy the utilities and get a nice dividend yield.

Skip Aylesworth, portfolio manager of the Hennessy Gas Utility Fund, told CNBC's "Power Lunch" that in a lackluster U.S. economy, it may be prudent to invest in safety.

"Our economy will just muddle along, but that may not be bad. I think there is still room for growth in the traditional conservative-type investments, such as Treasurys, utilities, bonds, etc., as money flows into our country as a safe haven" from more pressured economies abroad, Aylesworth said Monday.

Utilities are one of the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500 year to date, up more than 12 percent, but Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, thinks there are cheaper dividend plays in other sectors.

"I think that dividend darling, that quest for yield, that bond replacement has gotten very expensive in terms of the utilities," Hogan said on "Power Lunch." He explained that utilities are three times more expensive than they've been historically while their yields are about 1 percent lower.

Hogan said that investors can instead think about "the pharma companies that actually pay pretty good dividends or think about telecoms which have a reasonable multiple and a higher dividend yield."

Aylesworth admitted that the utilities are expensive, but they still look more promising than the alternatives.

"They're doing well this year. They pay 2 to 3 percent, sometimes 4 percent dividend yield. They have had a history of growing that yield and they look pretty attractive [compared] to the European rate environment," he said.