Articles

If This 1 Thing Changes, This 6.5% Dividend Will Be a Raging Buy

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: April 16, 2024

I’m this close to sending out a buy call on a stock that—if I do—I know would light up the phone lines (and customer-service inbox!) at our New York office.

There’s a good reason why: Imagine being along for this drop.

New “Watch-List” Addition Sheds Two-Thirds of Its Value

(Heck, given that this stock was till recently a staple of many dividend portfolios, maybe you don’t have to imagine.)

That’s the peak-to-trough dive on 3M Co. (MMM) in the last six years. To put it in perspective, it came as the broader S&P 500 gained 79%.

I know that buying—or even considering—a stock with a chart like this gives many folks heart palpitations.… Read more

These 9% Dividends Are Usually “Millionaires Only.” No More.

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: April 15, 2024

It’s Tax Day—the perfect time to talk about one of our favorite income plays: municipal bonds.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you “munis” are boring. They’re anything but: It’s easy to grab 5%+ yields from them. And because munis’ income is tax-free for most Americans, that 5% is worth more—in some cases a lot more—to us.

They’re stable, too. Consider how much better you’d have slept at night if you held munis during the 2022 nightmare, when they held up much better than stocks:

2022 Put Muni Bonds’ “Crash Resistance” on Display

Truth is, yearly declines of any sort are unusual for munis, which tend to deliver 5% to 6% annual total returns in the long run—and that’s before their tax benefits, which are, quite frankly, game-changing.… Read more

How to Buy Yields up to 12% for Pennies on the Dollar

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: April 12, 2024

As contrarians, we search for income stocks that vanilla investors hate. Today there are not many dividend deals left. No surprise, with the market levitating since last October.

But! When we expand our search to CEFland, we do find a few closed-end funds (CEFs) left at the bottom of the bargain bin. Today we’ll discuss five that pay between 5.7% and 11.7% and trade at discounts between 12% and 18%.

In other words, these five CEFs trade for 82 to 88 cents on the dollar. Let’s explore whether each dividend is “cheap for a reason.”

General American Investors (GAM)
Distribution Rate: 5.7%
Discount to NAV: 18.4%

General American Investors (GAM) is a straightforward large-cap CEF that holds “companies with above-average growth potential.”… Read more

These 8% Dividends Are Due for a “Delayed Reaction” Surge

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: April 11, 2024

There’s no sugarcoating it: As I write this, our favorite high-yielding income plays—closed-end funds (CEFs)—are lagging behind “regular” stocks.

But that doesn’t mean I’m opening this article on a sour note. Truth is, this underperformance is good news for us, as these unloved (and cheap!) 8%-payers are long overdue for a “snap back” to normal.

The result is a (likely short-lived) buying opportunity we’re going to break down now—especially as it relates to the 6.7%-paying Adams Diversified Equity Fund (ADX), a core holding (and buy recommendation) of my CEF Insider service.

But let’s start with that performance lag.

CEFs Get Caught in Stocks’ Wake

Source: CEF Insider

Over the last year, CEFs focusing on stocks (measured by the performance of our proprietary CEF Insider Equity Sub-Index) have returned 8.9% as of this writing, well below the stock market’s 28.5%.… Read more

How a 1% Dividend Equals 68% Yearly Gains

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: April 10, 2024

Not sure about buying and holding stocks right now?

Me neither. The market is pricey. Meanwhile, the potential downside looks dicey. Mr. and Ms. Market seem fixated on rate cuts this year from the Federal Reserve. If we don’t get them, look out!

We may not see rate cuts in 2024 if inflation continues. And right now, crude oil prices are popping. Consumer prices are unlikely to cool while oil is high.

But, on the other hand, the Fed is engaging in quiet QE. Gold has sniffed it out and rallied. Bitcoin, too, is going bonkers.

Cash is destined for the trash bin if the market continues to defy gravity and levitate higher.… Read more

No Rate Cuts in ’24? I’m Not Buying It (Here’s Why and How to Profit)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: April 9, 2024

We’ve got a great shot at locking in big yields—and big dividend growth—on utility stocks. But we need to buy now, before rates start their (inevitable) decline.

I’ve got three “growth utilities”—boasting fast-growing businesses and dividends—for us to play this opportunity with below.

Best part is, thanks to their healthy balance sheets, these three have a built-in “buffer” if rate cuts do get held up for a bit.

Last October’s Rate Peak Was Just Act 1

I know this plan works because, well, it’s exactly what happened last fall, when fear was everywhere and the 10-year yield scraped up against the 5% barrier.… Read more

My Ranking of the Best 6%+ Yielding Income Investments

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: April 8, 2024

Let me start today’s article with an admission: Closed-end funds (CEFs) are my passion—but not only for their 8%+ dividends (often paid monthly).

The main reason I’ve been investing in these terrific high-yield vehicles for years is, in fact, very personal: Over a decade ago, CEFs’ high yields gave me enough passive income to quit my job.

I was a professor at the time, and I decided to quit to live on my income. As I started preaching the gospel of CEFs, more people heard the call, and my CEF Insider advisory, launched back in the spring of 2017, was born.… Read more

5 Dividends That Will Soar When the Fed Cuts Rates

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: April 5, 2024

Let’s talk about five dividends that are set to soar when the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.

Not that these stocks need help. They are already in multi-year bull runs because they have the power of the “dividend magnet” on their side. This is a situation where dividend growth pulls a stock’s price higher and higher.

Let’s take coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX) as an example. Starbucks has beaten the S&P 500 by more than 300 percentage points since 2010. That’s also the year in which SBUX started paying dividends.

But it’s not just that Starbucks has clobbered the broader market. It’s the way in which the stock price and dividends have largely moved in tandem, with one seemingly pulling the other higher over time.… Read more

The Bond Market Is Booming (and these 9% Dividends Are the Best Play)

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: April 4, 2024

It’s no secret that corporate bonds are booming. But what might come as a surprise to some folks is that we’re not too late to get in. Through a group of well-run closed-end funds (CEFs), we can still tap big corporate-bond yields at a discount.

Even perennially gloomy Business Insider (notorious for its overdone calls for an inflation/recession-driven crash in 2022) acknowledges the terrific environment for bonds right now. Recently, BI had to admit not only that “Corporate bonds are the safest they’ve been in years,” but that this is one of the best bond markets we’ve ever seen.… Read more

Any Bitcoin Stocks Pay Dividends? Yeah, Here’s a Back Door

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: April 3, 2024

Riddle me this, my fellow contrarian.

If the Federal Reserve is really tightening its balance sheet, then why is the stock market already up 10% on the year?

Why is gold at all-time highs?

And why is bitcoin going completely bonkers?

The answer is “quiet QE.”

As we discussed last summer in this column, Fed Chair Jay Powell’s words have sounded hawkish. He and his cronies talked tough about inflation. But look at their actions: the Fed has quietly provided ample liquidity to the financial markets.

Which is why dollar hedges like gold and bitcoin have soared.… Read more