The 5 Dumbest High-Yield Funds (Ranked Worst to Just “Bad”)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 19, 2018

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) shattered growth records in 2017, with inflows topping $464 billion last year. The global ETF market now boasts more than $4.5 trillion in assets, and a large part of the appeal has been driven by dirt-cheap fees.

But many of these fund’s fees are “cheap for a reason.” We’ll talk about five today that lure investors in with appealing current yields – but then proceed to dump their dumb money out the back door.

These five funds may have sweet dividend yields, but they have produced sour total return results thanks to one fundamental flaw or another.

ETRACS Linked to the Wells Fargo Business Development Company Index ETN (BDCS)
Dividend Yield: 8.7%

One of the most basic appeals of the exchange-traded fund is the cheap diversification they provide.…
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3 Clicks for Market-Crushing Gains (and Dividends) in 2018

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 18, 2018

I’m about to show you 3 funds to buy for the raging bull market we’ll see in 2018.

You read that right. After a massive 22% gain in 2017, stocks still have room to run, no matter what the naysayers tell you.

Before we get to these 3 funds—with dividend yields up to 8%—I want to tell you why the negative Nellies are all washed up when it comes to the outlook for stocks this year.

Then we’re going to “pick our spots,” highlighting the 2 fastest-growing sectors of this surging market (both of which our 3 fund picks are dialed into) to grab the highest dividends and upside!…
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The Secret to 162% Gains From Safe Blue Chip Dividends

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 17, 2018

While most income investors are reaching for big yields right now, a small group of “hidden yield” stocks are quietly handing smart investors growing income streams plus annual returns of 12%, 27.1% and even 54% or more per year.

So if you want to double your money every few years – and double your income as well – then you need to focus on the seven stocks I’m about to share.

Rule #1: Dedicate Some Cash to Dividend Growth

As I wrote in this month’s edition of the Contrarian Income Report, our portfolio pays 7.5% today. And I can even get you 8.3% yields on new money, by focusing on our seven best buys.…
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Why 2018 Will Be the Year of the REIT (and 2 to Buy Now)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 16, 2018

Lately, I’ve heard more real estate bulls touting rental property as the perfect retirement investment.

Truth be told, it can be.

You probably know people who’ve built a nice income stream in their golden years from a well-chosen set of rentals.

Trouble is, there’s a big—and too-often glossed over—problem with being a property baron: it’s not the easy ride housing fans make it out to be! That is, unless you like being on duty 24/7 to fix clogged toilets, chase down deadbeat tenants and deal with noise complaints.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I plan to spend my golden years.…
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3 CEFs With 9.7%+ Yields and 20% Upside

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 15, 2018

What if I told you that you could reap huge dividends (I’m talking life-changing 15% payouts) and quick upside from … the weather?

I’m talking about the bone-chilling polar vortex, which, especially if you live on the US east coast, probably already has you feeling winter weary—and we’re only in mid-January.

I’ll show you 3 beaten-down funds at the center of our “polar-vortex profit plan” in a moment. But first, here are the raw numbers behind this opportunity for income and gains.

A Heat Map for Frigid Times

Since it’s freezing outside, it makes sense to warm our hearts with a heat map—and there’s no better heat map than the one for the S&P 500.…
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3 BDCs Yielding 6%-12%: 1 Buy, 1 Wait, 1 RUN!

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 13, 2018

Business development companies (BDCs) are one of the market’s top sources of yield. Unfortunately for income hunters, in 2017, this industry also was one of Wall Street’s greatest sources of disappointment.

I don’t say that to condemn the BDC space. I say that as a warning: While these financiers of small and midsize businesses can occasionally be excellent long-term holdings, there are plenty of landmines to avoid. That’s why today, I want to highlight three such funds that have mouthwatering yields of up to 12% – each of which might look attractive at first glance, but only one of which looks like a safe buy right now.…
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7 REITs Set to Raise Dividends in February

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 12, 2018

It’s essential for core dividend holdings to consistently raise their payouts over time. Without a steady uptick in the regular dole, inflation starts gnawing into investors’ returns. That dollar becomes 98 cents, becomes 96 cents, and – you get the picture.

And it’s especially important to keep tabs on the dividend growth of your real estate investment trusts (REITs). I want to buy REITs that are constantly raising their rent. Larger and larger rent checks create growing dividend checks for us!

Over the long run, REIT share prices move higher as their dividends move higher. These payouts also provide downside for lean years like last year, when the dividend was about all we got:

2017 wasn’t a fun year for REIT investors, with the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ) coming in essentially flat for the year without including dividends.…
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This Dividend Just Took a 50% Haircut and It Will Get Worse

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 11, 2018

In investing, it’s just as important to know what to buy as what to avoid.

And if there’s one thing you need to keep away from at all costs, it’s a dividend cut like the huge 50.6% slash the PIMCO Global StocksPLUS & Income Fund (PGP) announced on January 2.

It caught first-level investors completely off guard (though it shouldn’t have, as I’ll explain in a moment).

Here’s how they responded:

And Down She Goes

If you’re a regular reader of my articles on ContrarianOutlook.com, you’ll recognize PGP, a PIMCO fund that mixes stocks and bonds to give investors the biggest dividend possible.…
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How to Earn 10% Yields (Forever) From Safe Bonds

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 10, 2018

No safe bond pays 10% itself, of course. But it is possible to generate double-digit yields from a portfolio of secure bonds.

The secret is similar to successful dividend investing. Why buy a stock and be content pocketing “only its dividend” when you can have the payout with price upside to boot?

Most income investors are even less thoughtful when they purchase bonds. They fixate on the coupon rate (which these days they are inevitably disappointed with.) They watch their bonds weigh down their entire portfolio, muttering to themselves “at least they are safe.”

Well, sure. But they can be both safe and profitable.…
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Why REITs Will Soar in 2018 (and 5 to Buy Now)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 9, 2018

The REIT bears have gone too far this time.

In the past few days, I’ve seen a lot of panicky commentary warning that incoming Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell will raise rates too fast after he takes over in February—and that would be a disaster for real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Don’t take the bait.

Because it all adds up more fear-fanning headlines from a business press desperate to make something out of nothing.

I’ll show you why in a moment. Then we’ll move on to 3 corners of the REIT space (and 5 stocks in particular) that underperformed in 2017—and are poised to spring back big time in 2018.…
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