Buy These 2 Cheap Dividend Payers Before Yellen Raises Rates

Michael Foster, Senior Analyst
Updated: December 6, 2016

On the lookout for safe dividends? (Who isn’t, right?)

These days, you generally have three options: large-cap stocks with long dividend histories, municipal bonds and US Treasuries.

Treasuries are considered the safest of that group, and large-cap stocks the riskiest, but they’re still much safer than plenty of other investments, such as small caps and junk bonds.

I’ll show you two low-risk investments that are great buys now in a moment. But first, I want to tell you why recent events have called the safety of some of the options I just named into question.

Let’s start by looking at the following chart:

“Safe” Assets Turn Volatile


First, note how the iShares S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Fund (MUB),
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Forget the December Rate Hike: Buy These 4 Dividend Growers Now

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: December 5, 2016

Still think the Federal Reserve may not hike rates this month?

It’s time to change that view.

Traders betting through the Fed futures market now see the odds of rates staying where they are at a measly 1.4% after strong employment and consumer confidence numbers last week.


And if you’ve tried to take out a mortgage lately, I don’t have to tell you which way interest rates are headed: no thanks to a spike in 10-year Treasury yields, which hit a 17-month high last week, you’re now paying more than 4.0% on a 30-year mortgage.

Borrowers Get Mauled


So, time to hold off on dividend stocks, then, right? …
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2 “Trump-Proof” 6% Yielders to Buy Now

Michael Foster, Senior Analyst
Updated: December 2, 2016

There’s no doubt Donald Trump’s election win has been great for stocks.

Municipal bonds? Not so much.

In the last month alone, “munis” have lost over 3% of their value—a huge decline for an asset class that’s supposed to be safe and stable.

So is it time to sell your munis, give up on safe income and try to ride the Trump rally in stocks?

No way. In fact, if you’re just thinking of doing that now, you’re probably too late.

The Trump rally reversed course after Thanksgiving, with a down day that threw a damper on the stock market’s post-election euphoria. That correction may continue. After all, Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate in recent history who didn’t have Wall Street’s full backing. That means worries about his economic plans could …
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3 REITs With Big Insider Buying

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: November 30, 2016

First-level investors mistakenly think that real estate investment trust (REIT) profits will be hurt if rates rise. In three instances, they’re dead wrong – and missing out on big, secure dividends with upside to boot.

At these REITs, top insiders – who of course know better than armchair observers – are currently buying up their own shares like crazy. While corporate insiders may sell stock for many reasons, they only buy because they believe the payout is safe and price is likely to rise.

In the short run, the “rates up, REITs down” theory puts on quite the show. If you hold REITs in your portfolio, I can tell you how it’s trading (up or down) on any given day by considering only one number: the 10-Year Treasury Rate. …
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3 “Dark Horse” Dividend Stocks Primed for 30% Gains in 2017

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: November 28, 2016

Today I’m going to share three of my favorite dividend stocks from an ignored corner of the market set to soar in President Trump’s first year.

Which corner? The “little guys”: small and mid-cap stocks.

In many ways, the cat’s already out of the bag. As they’ve done with financial stocks, investors have bid up small- and midcaps since Trump’s win. Look at the how the SPDR S&P 600 and the S&P Midcap 400 have performed vs. the S&P 500:


That’s a huge gap … and it makes sense. With the US dollar soaring and Trump threatening to toss trade deals in the shredder, the market’s small fry (which tend to be more domestically focused) are in the catbird seat. …
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4 Dividend Stocks You Need to Sell Now

Michael Foster, Senior Analyst
Updated: November 27, 2016

It’s a classic death spiral.

I’m talking about the flight to dividend-paying—and dividend-growing—stocks in the past eight years.

It’s easy to see what triggered it: US Treasuries don’t offer pay enough to cover inflation, and despite President-Elect Trump’s inflationary policies—more on those below—that won’t change anytime soon.

That’s prompted income-starved investors to pile into higher-yielding options, like municipal bonds, utility stocks, corporate bonds and dividend-growth stocks. These are all good choices, of course.

But here’s where the death spiral comes in: the rush into these investments has dragged down their dividend yields (because you calculate yield by dividing the annual dividend by the current share price), sending investors into even riskier areas of the market.

The pain is obvious in dividend-growth stocks. Yields have plunged to less than 2% on many of the most popular ones, while their price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios have soared. …
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The 3 Best Dividend Growth ETFs for 2017

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: November 25, 2016

When you invest for the long haul, dividend stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are going to be the bedrock of your portfolio.

The idea is simple: The slow crawl higher of the market over time, plus a few percentage points of return each year in income, will be enough to push your nest egg to that magic number you need to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Just a couple of problems with that, though.

The age-old adage is that you can expect about 7% annual returns from the stock market, and when investors plan for the future, that’s the number they plug into their calculations. But Bill Gross and other experts predicting lower-than normal returns of 3%-4% for bonds and 4%-5% for stocks. Barry Ritholtz observes that individual investors typically underperform to the tune of 3. …
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5 Trump-Proof Funds Paying Up To 7.3%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: November 23, 2016

Donald Trump has income investors scrambling for rate-hike (and even inflation) insurance. Fixed yields are out, while floating yields – which adjust higher in tandem with rates – are in.

Even if you’re skeptical (as I am) that we’ll see rates continue meaningfully higher anytime soon, inflation insurance is never a bad thing provided that:

  1. It pays a decent current yield (sorry, gold).
  2. We can buy it at a fair price.

The sudden popularity of “floating rate” issues may have you rightfully wondering whether or not this trade is already too crowded. Fortunately, my preferred vehicle for buying them is currently out of favor itself! And that presents us with some potential deals.

Closed-End Funds Trading at Discounts

Closed-end funds (CEFs) are a great place for contrary-minded income seekers like us to comb through. …
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These 6%+ Yielders Are a Screaming Bargain

Michael Foster, Senior Analyst
Updated: November 22, 2016

If you’ve invested in municipal bonds lately, you may be coming down with a serious case of buyer’s remorse.

But you shouldn’t, as I’ll explain in a moment. In fact, now is the perfect time to double down and buy more of these high-yielding, ultra-stable investments.

First, let’s look at why “munis” have fallen off a cliff, setting up an excellent buying opportunity for you and me.

“Off a cliff” is no exaggeration. Take a look at what’s happened to the five biggest muni-bond ETFs in the past month:

Muni Bonds Tank


When investments as stable as these put on a drop like that, you’d expect, say, a looming global financial crisis.

You could argue that Trump might bring us precisely that, but this sentiment runs counter to the jump in financial stocks—and the strength of stocks broadly—we’ve seen in the past few weeks, as well as the investment banks’ forecasts for rising GDP growth and inflation. …
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3 Dividend Stocks to Buy Now and Hold for 20 Years

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: November 21, 2016

Forget the pundits—they totally blew the call on this election. And I sure hope you didn’t take their stock advice, either.

Ahead of the vote, one economics professor said the market would drop 7% if Trump won. Another analyst said you should go to cash “if you’re not already there.”

I could go on.

If you followed that advice, you’ve missed a 2.1% rise in the S&P 500 since Election Day. It’s worse if you were overweight financials, as the sector has been on an absolute tear, with the iShares US Financials ETF (IYF) surging 7.0%.


But not surprising, as banks will benefit most from higher interest rates—and a selloff in the bond market has pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury to around 2. …
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