Author Archive: Brett Owens

Chief Investment Strategist

Panic? Maybe Later. Let’s Buy This 11.9% Dividend Instead

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: October 4, 2023

Please, take that finger off the Sell button.

This is the best buying opportunity since the bank failure panic in March. Vanilla investors are giving away perfectly good dividends.

Let’s grab the bargains.

Why the panic? Well, the 10-year Treasury yield burst through the 4.3% ceiling I’ve been pointing to. This is why stocks sank. All lending and refinancing are based on the 10-year, so a higher rate suggests a slower economy ahead and lower corporate profits.

When the 10-year moonshots like it has over the past year, it breaks financial markets. Bonds drop because they trade opposite rates. Real estate investment trusts (REITs), meanwhile, get hammered for two reasons.… Read more

How to “Refinance” Your Dividends (for Cheap 8%+ Yields)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: October 3, 2023

Were you able to refi your home when rates were low? I hope so.

Don’t tell my wife, but we almost missed the low-rate era. My better half kept asking about refinancing. “Yeah, yeah,” I said. “We will when rates bottom.”

In early 2021, they took off right under my nose. I stare at the bond market all day and nearly missed this thing!

Fortunately, we got a pullback in rates. I called my buddy, a mortgage broker, who dialed me in with a sweet 2.2% rate on our remaining balance. Two point two!

Had we missed that deal, I’d never live it down.… Read more

How to Snag Yields Up To 13% Without Sticking Your Neck Out

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 29, 2023

It’s a great time to be an income investor. We have yields averaging 11.1% staring us in the face.

All we need to do is step past the broader fear, and we can dial in these dynamic dividends. Which oh by the way, pay us monthly.

To do so we’ll look past traditional ETFs in favor of select closed-end funds (CEFs). These vehicles simply pay more than popular funds. Plus, they tend to be more closely managed—a good thing in manic markets like these.

Getting paid every 30 days smooths out our dividend income. This is what a vanilla portfolio of quarterly payers looks like.… Read more

The Maraschino Cherry of Bond Funds Yields 9.5%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 27, 2023

“Do you have cherries?” my buddy Ralph asked over the phone.

It was January 2021. Sports bars here in California were closed, so we naturally turned our backyard into one.

“No,” I replied. And sighed in an honest admission. “Only beer. Lots of beer.”

“No problem. I got ‘em.”

My buddy also had a mini-keg of delicious old-fashioneds. His creations were dangerously delicious. He’d begun making and aging fine adult beverages to pass time in the pandemic.

And the maraschino cherries he brought played no small role in his cocktail’s critical acclaim.

Is it five o’clock yet? Just kidding (mostly). We are talking about maraschinos in a dividend column because we finally have some bond funds worth cherry picking.… Read more

My #1 Hack for “Baked-In” Gains (and 9% Dividends) in CEFs

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 26, 2023

If there’s one thing we need to remember when we buy high-yield closed-end funds (CEFs), it’s this: always demand a discount.

Well, make that two: always demand a high dividend! Because CEFs are renowned for their high—and often monthly—payouts, with the average CEF yielding around 8% today.

But back to discounts. Luckily for us, they’re common in the CEF world: of the 433 CEFs tracked by the CEF Connect screener, some 390 trade at discounts to net asset value (NAV).

These discounts are basically free money because they let us pick up, say, Mastercard (MA) for 83 cents on the dollar through a CEF like the Gabelli Dividend & Income Trust (GDV).Read more

Drugs ‘n Diapers: 5 Dividends Up to 5.9%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 22, 2023

Worried that the Federal Reserve is driving our economy off a cliff?

I’ve got two words for you:

Drugs ‘n diapers.

Actually, I forgot one. Dividends.

These companies are about as recession-resistant as they come. Let’s start with drugs because, well, it’s always a bull market on prescription spend in America:

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

While some of us are popping pills, others are changing diapers. (Or using them—we don’t judge!)

Without naming names we can see that someone is making consistent deposits. The trajectory of diaper spend is a one-way trade, too:

Data source: Statista Market Insights

Let’s start on the changing table with a 2.5% payer and work our way up.… Read more

5 Steps to Turn $500K Into $41,553.73 Per Year

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 20, 2023

$500K can be enough money to retire on. Even as early as age 50!

The trick is to convert the pile of cash into cash flow that can pay the bills. I’m talking about $41,553.73 per year in dividend income on that nest egg, thanks to 8.3% average yields.

These are passive payouts that show up every quarter or, better yet, every month. Meanwhile, we keep that $500K nest egg intact. Or, better yet, grind that principal higher steadily and safely.

Got more in your retirement account? Cool—more monthly dividend income for you!

We’ll talk specific stocks, funds and yields in a moment.… Read more

4 Reasons Why REITs Will Soar in 2024 (and 2 Tickers to Buy Now)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 19, 2023

Over the last few days, not one but three signals I use to read the tea leaves in REITs—one of our favorite places to hunt for big, and growing, payouts—all flashed “buy.”

That means it’s finally time to start selectively picking up these income plays. I’ll name two with dividends on multi-year growth runs below. Tickers in a sec. First, let’s talk timing. Here’s why REITs are jumping up our dividend priority list now:

  • They haven’t followed stocks higher in ’23—so our “landlords,” which own everything from shopping malls to warehouses, apartment buildings and cellphone towers, are cheap in relation to the popular kids of the S&P 500.
Read more

A Utility Resurgence? 6 Stocks Yielding up to 8.9%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 15, 2023

Utility stocks are the OG dividend payers. They’re delightfully dull. They’re dependable. They’re always worth scouting for income—and I’ve got six 5%-plus dividends on deck to share with you today.

I’m pleasantly surprised that we still have a chance to buy utilities for reasonable prices right now. Despite a year’s worth of worries about a pending recession, utilities have been the market’s worst sector year-to-date.

Perfect. We have value!

Utilities have worked off the froth I pointed out a year ago. Let’s just look at the forward P/Es from this year and last.

Sept. 10, 2022: Utilities Forward P/E: 20.9 S&P 500 Forward P/E: 17.7

Sept.Read more

This “Truffle Butter” Utility Stock is Set for 12.7% Returns Per Year, Every Year

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 13, 2023

It’s September, and stocks are shaky. We’re right on schedule.

The weeks ahead on the calendar have provided us calculated contrarians with some of our best dividend buys in recent years. In fact, two out of the last three years, we took advantage of seasonally weak Septembers to buy low.

In October 2020, with the world reportedly about to end, we locked in yields up to 10.8%. A sharp pullback presented us with values, while an accommodative Federal Reserve provided follow-up fuel. Price gains followed.

And last year, in November 2022, we bought bonds. It wasn’t a popular pick—everyone hated them!… Read more