4 Snubbed Dividends Up to 8% Ranked Worst to First

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2019

At some point, someone probably gave you the following investment “advice”—or some version of it:

“All you need to do to make money in stocks is buy a company with a big-name brand, sit back and let the gains roll in.”

Sounds logical, right? After all, a household name is critical if companies want to keep their millions of fanboys (and girls) hooked.

Well, not anymore. Here’s the proof.

Big Brands: Falling Left and Right

Just look at the worst performers last year: this rogue’s gallery was stuffed with companies boasting so-called “unbeatable” brand names.

Like General Electric (GE), whose banner ranks No.… Read more

Two 7% Dividends (with upside) No One Is Talking About

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2019

The headlines say it all: the economy is slowing down, right?

And with stocks soaring—up 11% year to date—we must be headed for a correction.

Both statements would be off the mark.

Because the economic numbers the government is putting out (and the press is repeating without question) are flawed. I’ll show you how in a moment.

First, let’s cut straight to the upshot: you’ve still got a great shot at buying high-yield closed-end funds (CEFs) now, particularly those that hold America’s best stocks. I’ll name two choices yielding 7.3%+ at the end of this article.

First, let’s zero in on the many economic tailwinds (some in disguise), that are driving this still-solid opportunity.… Read more

Weekly Market Summary: U.S. Stocks Take Breather From Torrid 2019 Start

David Peltier, Senior Investment Analyst
Updated: March 20, 2019

After a record hot start in the first two months of 2019, U.S. stocks cooled off during the first week of March.

Slower economic growth prospects around the globe this week caused global investors to take some risk off the table and shift buying into bonds.

On Monday, China lowered its 2019 GDP growth expectation to 6%-6.5%. The country’s economy grew 6.6% in 2018, which was its slowest rate in three almost decades. Later in the week, China said that exports fell more than 20% in February, marking the worst performance in nearly three years.

On Thursday, the ECB reinstated its targeted long-term refinancing operation (TLTRO), to help stimulate economic growth in the region.… Read more

4 Dividend Dogs That Rallied More Than Deserved – Sell Now

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2019

That dip didn’t last long, did it?

The S&P 500 is back around 2,800, the Dow is back around 26,000, and stocks – which frankly were never really “cheap” even in the December doldrums – are back to being hilariously overpriced. And that’s a problem on two fronts.

  1. It makes finding values – an important aspect in collecting big total returns – exceedingly difficult.
  2. The more richly stocks are priced, the harder they can fall, making dividend landmines more plentiful in the current environment.

How bad is it out there?

Here’s a look at the short-term, which shows valuations are clearly back to their pre-dip “normal.”

Data Source: more

Revealed: The One CEF-Picking Strategy I Use Every Day

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2019

Today I’m going to peer into my crystal ball and give you the scoop on where high-yield closed-end funds (CEFs) might be headed in 2019.

Then I’ll give you a proven way to zero in on the ones that are the best bargains for your portfolio now.

CEFs Come Out Flying

First, if you own stocks through CEFs (and if you don’t, click here to discover why these 7%+ payers are a retirement “must-have”), you’re already outrunning the market: my CEF Insider Equity Sub-Index—a great proxy for stock-owning CEFs—is up 13.7% since January 1, a nice lead on the S&P 500’s 12.3% gain.… Read more

8 Dividend Dumpster Fires to Sell Right Now

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2019

A stock’s yield is only as good as its cash flow because, after all, a dividend is nothing more than a promise from a company.

CenturyLink (CTL) recently reminded us of this. Its promised $0.54 per share dividend exceeded its ability to pay. The firm’s payout ratio of 130% – the percentage of profits that it was paying as dividends – was an absurd overpromise that couldn’t last forever:

CenturyLink’s Payout Promise Was Always on Borrowed Time

CEO Jeffrey Storey insisted his team remained “committed to and confident in our ability to maintain the dividend.” I understood the commitment, but questioned the confidence – taking on debt to pay dividends is a losing game.… Read more

Warning: This 13% Dividend Could Be the Next Kraft-Heinz

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2019

Let’s jump into the Kraft-Heinz (KHC) mess—because it tells us a lot about how to protect our nest egg from a Dumpster fire just like it in the future.

“Dumpster fire” is no exaggeration. KHC (which investors tend to buy for safety, remember) cratered 31% in a day on February 22, after slashing its dividend 36%.  Imagine what that would have done to your retirement portfolio (and hopefully you only have to imagine!).

Further on, we’ll smoke out three stocks (including one that pays an absurd 12.9% dividend) that could easily be the next Kraft-Heinz. If you hold them, the time to sell is now.… Read more

My Personal Forecast for Gold (and 3 Gold Funds Circling the Drain)

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2019

Here’s something that might surprise you about gold: closed-end fund (CEF) managers—at least those I speak to—pay little attention to it.

We’ll dive into why right now. Then I’ll show you three gold CEFs you need to keep away from your portfolio. Because gold’s future looks nothing like the rosy past gold bugs love to use to justify their lust for the yellow metal.

So why do most CEF chiefs (not to mention celebrated investors like Warren Buffett) shun gold?

The short answer is that gold doesn’t produce anything. So when you buy it, you’re speculating that someone will buy it from you for a higher price in the future.… Read more

Weekly Market Summary: U.S. Stocks End February Higher, as North Korea Talks Falter

David Peltier, Senior Investment Analyst
Updated: March 20, 2019

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell each of the final three trading days of the month, but all of the major U.S. stock indexes still finished February more than 3% higher. The result is the best two-month start for the S&P 500 since 1991.

Investors have certainly been playing offense in the first two months of 2019, as the following chart shows. Industrial and technology names have led the way higher year-to-date, while defensive sectors (healthcare and utilities) have lagged.

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

Minimal Trade Progress in Asia

President Trump was in Vietnam this week, meeting with Kim Jong Un of North Korea.… Read more

3 “Dead Money” Dividend Aristocrats to Avoid (3 to Buy Instead)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2019

The stock market is way up and ironically, that’s terrible news for us dividend investors. Yields are in the tank yet again. The S&P 500 pays a measly 1.9% today. If you have a million-dollar portfolio, that’s a lousy $19,000 per year in income. Pathetic.

Most people invest their money in index funds like those that mimic the S&P 500. We can do better – four-times better, to be specific – and raise our dividend income by 400% simply by selling these mainstream plays and buying bigger payouts that are better values.

Specifically we’re going to discuss stocks, bonds and funds that pay 7.3% to 8% instead of the broader market’s lame 1.9%.… Read more