Why Stocks Won’t Crash, and 3 Payouts Set To Rally Further

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: June 14, 2016

Four months ago, I wrote to you that the stock market was about to rally. Why? Individual and professional investors were both terrified – a great sign for us who relish running against the herd.

Since then the S&P 500 has rallied 12.2%, while the three dividend stocks I mentioned rallied 18.2%, 29.2%, and 42%! Once again, it paid to think contrary…

The “Surprise” Spring Rally We Called on February 10th


Have stocks run too far too fast? The broader market is once again within spitting distance of its all time highs. Plus, investors have to be bullish now… right?… Read more

The Summer Rate Hike’s Off: Here’s What to Buy Now

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: June 13, 2016

It’s a done deal: an interest rate hike this month or next—a prospect that was already slim—is officially off the table.

The final straw? A dismal labor report showing just 38,000 jobs created in May, the fewest in six years. But that’s not the only thing that killed the June hike. Tack on inflation well below the Fed’s 2% target and an economy growing at a modest 2% clip, and there’s simply no reason to raise rates now.

Futures markets agree, with traders calling for just a 4% chance of a June hike and only 1-in-4 odds in July. You have to go way out to December before a significant likelihood materializes (43% for a quarter-point, 19% for a half-point).… Read more

5 Dividend Growth Stocks For Your Retirement Portfolio

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: June 10, 2016

A good retirement portfolio is diversified and dividend-focused. Diversification is important financial defense, but dividends are your financial offense. They compound on themselves because companies that pay dividends have an implied agreement with their shareholders that they’ll continue bumping them up.

Not all do, of course – but I’ve identified five dividend growth stocks that you can bank on. Today they yield an average 3.6% and each has not only a strong history of increasing dividends but also strong dividend coverage – which means their payouts (and stock prices) are likely to keep growing for the foreseeable future.

Now let’s get into these five dividend growers…

They are General Motors (GM), Target (TGT), Pfizer (PFE), Edison International (EIX) and Phillip Morris (PM).… Read more

A $100 Billion Wave Ready to Lift REITs

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: June 8, 2016

REITs (real estate investment trusts) are finally starting to get the respect they deserve. As a result, a cool $100 billion is gearing up to chase these soon-to-be-hot issues!

Since its 2004 inception, the Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ) crushed the broader market – returning 192% including dividends versus just 89% for the S&P 500. The market gods have finally taken note.This September, Standard & Poor’s will give REITs their very own sector for the first time.

Which means NOW is the best time to buy them, because before it’s official, large funds will be shoveling cash into REITs as they attempt to “front run” the index as they always do.… Read more

3 Cheap Dividend Growers Benjamin Graham Would Buy Today

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: June 6, 2016

It was fun while it lasted.

I’m talking about the brief buying opportunity last winter, when the S&P 500 plunged 10% in the first six weeks of 2016.

On February 10, the day before the market hit its midwinter trough, I bet that it was ready for a turnaround, as the number of bearish option bets had hit a 10-year high—a clear contrarian indicator.

I then gave you the names of three stocks to buy straightaway. As if on cue, all three went on to clobber the index’s subsequent 13.3% rise: Ventas Inc. (VTR) exploded for a 33% gain, while HCP Inc.Read more

A Secure 3-Stock Portfolio That Yields 10.5%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: June 3, 2016

Business development corporations (BDCs) are a great addition to a high-yield portfolio. With yields over 8%, and sometimes even over 10%, these companies provide a strong income stream right now, and can bolster the overall yield of your portfolio.

But BDCs can be dangerous. Because they are legally required to return 90% of their income to shareholders, and because they regularly issue a lot of new shares to expand operations, capital gains are rare in these asset classes and dividend cuts are common. BDC investors need to carefully track how companies’ net investment income (NII) is trending, because they use NII to fund payouts.… Read more

3 Bargain Dividend Growers Hiding in Plain Sight

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: June 2, 2016

I really hope you didn’t follow the flawed “sell in May and go away” strategy I warned you about last month. Because if you dumped all your stocks on, say, May 1, you’ve already missed out on a 1.5% rise in the S&P 500.

That may not sound like a lot, but that period saw some nice gains from recommendations I gave you earlier this spring, like Apple (AAPL), one of my top picks for a retirement portfolio, which jumped 6.5%; Allied World Assurance (AWH), up 4.2%; and senior care provider Ventas, Inc. (VTR), up 6.8%.… Read more

5 Simple Rules for 8% Dividends

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: June 1, 2016

If you feel trapped “grinding out” dividend income with classic 3% or 4% payers, you can double your payouts (or better) immediately by moving to closed-end funds, or CEFs. In fact, you can often make the switch without actually switching investments. You do need to make sure you avoid five common mistakes when doing so – which I’ll explain in a moment.

But first, let’s explore the stock-for-CEF trade. For example, American International Group’s (AIG) investors can potentially trade in their 2.2% dividend yields for the Gabelli Dividend & Income Trust Fund’s (GDV) 7% payout. AIG is GDV’s largest holding amongst a list of blue chip dividend payers plus growers like Wells Fargo (WFC) and Verizon (VZ).… Read more

3 Stocks to Buy for Big Summer Dividend Hikes

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 29, 2016

The dog days of summer are here, and you may be tempted to put your portfolio on autopilot and check out for the next three months. That would be a big mistake, though, because you could miss out on some of the year’s biggest dividend hikes.

Case in point: the four companies below, all of which are getting set to juice their payouts this summer—but I only see three as buys right now.

Medtronic: A Dividend-Growth Machine

Investors in Medtronic (MDT) could be looking at an 18% dividend boost in June, or at least that’s what Barron’s recently predicted. It’s a sensible call after the company gave its shareholders Christmas in June last year, with a 25% raise.… Read more

Easy Strategy To Double Your Dividends

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 27, 2016

Did you know there’s a reliable way to significantly boost the income you’re collecting from the dividend stocks you already own?

I’m talking about ways you can turn 3% yielders into 8% income generators. And it doesn’t involve leverage or any other risky techniques.

I’m talking about “covered calls” – one of the secrets of turning pedestrian blue chip dividends into cash cows. If you’re not familiar with the practice, read this article on Stock Options Channel about selling calls for income; it covers the basics and is pretty easy to understand. In short, call options are a kind of insurance on stocks, and you can sell this insurance for cash without putting additional capital at risk, beyond what you’ve already invested in the stock.… Read more