Articles

These “ETF Cousins” Plunged 80%+ (it won’t get better)

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: September 17, 2020

If there’s one trap I’ve seen investors fall into time and time again, it’s “chasing yield”: getting pulled in by a high dividend yield and not digging deeper to see if that payout is really sustainable.

An asset class that’s collapsed in 2020—and is now on the verge of vanishing completely—is a classic example of the dangers of getting distracted by a high current yield.

The investments in question are called exchange-traded notes (ETNs), some of which held out the promise of mid-double-digit yields. Unfortunately, these funds—which some folks disastrously confuse with their bigger brothers, exchange traded funds (ETFs)—came with a  catch that’s now sending their values to zero.… Read more

The Best Dividend Growth Utility Stocks

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 16, 2020

Who doesn’t like a safe, stable utility dividend? In today’s zero-rate, VIX-spiking world, it’s a throwback to simpler times—the “old school” type of dividend we’d like to accumulate sufficiently to retire on!

Heck, twenty years ago to this date, we could have bought shares in Southern Company (SO) and enjoyed a 6.5% yield. A $100,000 stake in Southern would have paid $6,500 every year in dividends.

Plus, regular raises were on the way. After a stagnant few years, Southern began hiking its payout every year. That 6.5% yield would eventually grow to a fat 12.4% yield on cost:

Southern’s 20-Year Yield Rise

But wait, there was more.… Read more

These Dividends Grow 111%+ (They’re Perfect for 2021)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 15, 2020

Let’s not assume our retirement savings will benefit from the Federal Reserve’s bout of 2020 money printing. Inflation could be a real problem, as soon as 2021. So let’s talk about stocks that are not only protected but likely to benefit from Jay Powell’s prolific “efforts.”

(In other words, dividend stocks that’ll double while investors are fixated on deflation.)

When it comes to inflation, many folks have a dangerous blind spot. They recall 2008, and the Fed’s then-extraordinary actions late that year, which gave us a narrow escape from deflation, and no inflation to speak of.

Just think back to that time.… Read more

Here’s an Easy 8.5% Dividend (with upside) You Can Buy Now

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: September 14, 2020

Closed-end funds (CEFs) are the ultimate “sleeper” investment—if you hold them, you know they hand out massive dividends (7% yields, on average!). Plus, their often-discounted share prices set you up for serious upside, too.

But it looks like the mainstream crowd is about to crash our CEF party. That means if you’re not in now, this is the time to climb aboard, before our CEFs’ big discounts become a distant memory.

CEF Managers Put Out the Bait

Funnily enough, the ones drawing attention to CEFs these days are CEF managers themselves. According to The Wall Street Journal, these pros have been cutting their fees in a bid to draw in new investors.… Read more

3 Pullback-Proof “Preferred” Payouts Averaging 7.4%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 11, 2020

Is this a quick (buyable) blip? Or the next bear market?

While the Wall Street suits guess away, we can do better than the buy and hope crowd. After all, why hope when we can secure our retirement with sustainable cash flows? I’m talking about yields of 6%, 7% or even 8% or more that barely blink when the markets melt down.

These investments are easy to buy. In fact, we purchase them just as we would a mere “common” stock. But here, we’re looking past the obvious to purchase these preferred payouts (yielding 7.4% on average, we’ll talk tickers in a moment).… Read more

Starved for Income? These 500 Funds Pay 7%+ (with upside)

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: September 10, 2020

When I ask closed-end fund (CEF) investors what they like most about these funds, their answer is almost always the same: the dividends!

It’s easy to see why. The average CEF yields 7.1%, and that majority of the 500 CEFs in existence pay dividends monthly. Those two strengths put you miles ahead of someone who bought the average S&P 500 stock, with its pathetic 1.6% payout.

CEF Dividends Reign Supreme

Source: CEF Insider

With a 7.1% dividend, you’d collect just under $50,000 in annual income on a $700,000 investment. Compare that to a popular index fund like the 1.6%-paying SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): you’d need over $3.1 million to collect the same $50,000 of income!… Read more

Better Than a Mattress: 5 Safe Bonds Funds for a Volatile Market

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 9, 2020

Looking for a few safe bond funds to park your cash in, earn a bit of yield from and (most importantly) not lose your shirt on?

I’ve heard from several subscribers who are looking for a safe dividend port in these renewed storms. Well, there aren’t many, but I’ve got a few ideas for you here! We’ll discuss them in a minute. First, let’s talk about the sudden change in weather.

Early last week, the VIX—the measure of volatility that everyone knows (and few can explain!)—mysteriously started popping higher. This was a bit curious because the VIX and the S&P 500 had been mirroring each other.… Read more

These Stealth Funds Get You Back in the Green (and Yield 7%+)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 8, 2020

There’s a joke going around that the S&P 500 isn’t the S&P 500 anymore. It’s now the “S&P 5.”

(Well, last Thursday, the five got punched in the face. With no meaningful dividends to cushion the fall, it was all “red on the screen.”)

I’m talking about the five mostly dividend-less stocks that have been driving the rebound since March—tech darlings and low/no yield wonders Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon.com (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB).

Rebound Leaves Dividend Investors Behind

If you’re not holding these big names, or if you only have a small position, well, the joke’s been on you (with the exception of last Thursday, of course!).… Read more

My Contrarian Plan for 7.2% Dividends (and upside) in a Soaring Market

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: September 7, 2020

It’s the million-dollar question these days: how can this market be up double digits in an economy like this? And how can we dare hope for even a little more upside from here?

S&P 500 Defies Gravity

The truth is, there are plenty more gains to be made. But to get them, you need to look just a little beyond the big-name stocks most people limit themselves to. One overlooked place where there are still plenty of bargains (and outsized dividend yields!) to be had is in closed-end funds (CEFs). We’ll take a look at a high-yield CEF that offers you the perfect mix for today’s market—upside potential, downside protection and an outsized 7.2% dividend stream—in a bit.… Read more

“Dogs of the Dow” Update: Buy These 5.9% Dividends?

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 4, 2020

I dig dividend stocks that keep a low profile. Forget the front-page financial headlines. I’d prefer to own a high paying stock as it’s making its way from page 16 up to page 1!

That’s when the real money is made, and the highest yields are banked. These under-covered stocks give us a “two-fer” benefit. A lack of media and analyst coverage allows you and I to exploit dirt-cheap prices, unlocking far more potential than if we chased them once everyone else started to notice them.

Better still, low prices in unexplored areas of the market equal juicy yields. Imagine squeezing 10.1% from the real estate biz.… Read more