5 Cheap Dividend Growth Stocks With 25% Upside

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 18, 2016

Today I’m going to share my favorite retirement investment with you. Even with the stock market at elevated levels, I expect it to earn me 8-10% annually over the long haul.

Last month my software company setup a 401K retirement plan through Vanguard. I had to select my funds – and that gave me instant pause. Sure, stocks for the long run… but the S&P at 23-times earnings? Europe or Asia? Roll the dice on emerging markets?

My answer was “none of the above.” Instead I piled my current and future contributions into the Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX) with a 100% allocation.… Read more

5 High Yield Growth Stocks With 11% to 38% Upside

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 17, 2016

Forget fixed income – it’s dead, at least as we knew it. It is still possible to earn secure, meaningful yields – with price appreciation to boot – but it requires a new-look portfolio.

Interest rates have languished below 2% virtually all year long. We started off at 2.27% and it’s fallen steadily as the year presses on. Now hovering in the 1.75% range, there’s not a lot of profit to be had in conservative investments.


Luckily there are some select stocks that offer both growth potential as well as healthy dividend yields. If you’re looking for income, sell your Treasuries and buy these issues instead.… Read more

3 Cheap Stocks Set to Double Their Dividends

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 16, 2016

Plenty of investors judge a stock’s dividend by one thing: the current yield. It’s a key figure, to be sure, but it’s just a starting point. If you’re investing for the long haul, dividend growth is way more important.

To see how focusing solely on current yield distorts the payout picture, take a look at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). The stock currently boasts a 2.6% dividend yield, just above the S&P 500 average of 2.2%.

That’s not bad, but it masks the 125% boost in the company’s dividend over the past five years: if you’d bought MSFT back then, when the stock was trading around $25.70—roughly… Read more

Sell These Big 12%+ Yield Traps Now

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

There are a growing number of stocks and funds yielding over 12%, luring in unsuspecting investors. Earning $12 in income for every $100 invested sounds great – unfortunately, it’s often too good to be true.

Generally, stocks have outsized yields when the market thinks that their income source is threatened. When that happens, a dividend cut ensues, turning the big dividend into a tiny one.

For example, ConocoPhillips (COP) was a blue chip with decades of dividend growth behind it and a handsome 4% dividend yield for much of the last five years. As energy prices declined along with Conoco’s stock price, its yield skyrocketed… until it slashed its dividend by over 66% at the beginning of this year.… Read more

3 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy Now and 2 to Avoid

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 12, 2016

Whether you’re relying on your portfolio for income or reinvesting your payouts, buying monthly dividend stocks makes a lot of sense.

After all, your bills roll in every 30 days or so, so why not your dividend income, too? And while a well-built portfolio will drop dividends into your account at all times of the year, you’re still left with an income stream that’s “lumpy”—soaring one month and dipping the next.

But throw in a handful of monthly payers, and you’ll bring some order to the cash-flow chaos.

Of course, convenience isn’t the only reason I love monthly dividend payers. They also let you reinvest your payouts quickly, amping up the power of compounding—and putting thousands of extra dollars in your pocket over the long haul.… Read more

The Best, and Worst, High Yield Investment Today

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 11, 2016

Billionaire “Bond God” Jeffrey Gundlach just shared his favorite short idea at the Ira Sohn investment conference last Wednesday. Dividend investors take note – the high priest of fixed income just panned your longtime standby!

Utilities aren’t safe, says Gundlach. Their valuations are stretched to the upside, and their yields are too low. So he recommends a pair trade that shorts the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU), which pays a meager 3.3% today:


Utility Yields At 7-Year Lows

A low yield can be OK if dividend growth is meaningful, but few utilities are boosting their payouts at a fast enough pace to compensate.… Read more

2 Cheap Dividend Growers To Buy For Retirement

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 9, 2016

If you’re one of the many investors counting on a 7% average yearly return from your portfolio—or better—you’re putting your retirement at risk.

You’ve probably heard this 7% figure before. It’s gospel for many financial planners, and even Warren Buffett brings it up from time to time. It’s the S&P 500’s average annual return, adjusted for inflation, between 1928 and 2014.

With a time frame like that, it seems like a safe bet, right?

Wrong. Because over the next several decades, we’re way more likely see average yearly returns of 4% to 6%—and probably toward the lower end of that range.… Read more

The 3 Best, and 2 Worst MLPs Right Now

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

In the energy sector, a number of companies operate as master limited partnerships (MLPs) to avoid double taxation and offer a high income yielding asset for investors to buy on the open market. MLPs were solid performers until late 2014, when oil began to fall, looking desperately for a bottom that never seemed to come.

Oil remains far below its prices earlier this decade, and it may fall again to $30 per barrel. But if oil prices drop again, the decline won’t be as aggressive as the dramatic plunge we just saw.

Crude’s Breathtaking Drop


The chart continues to look ugly, but some tailwinds are likely to keep oil from falling below $30 for very long.… Read more

4 Big Dividends About To Be Slashed

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

High yielding dividend stocks are an appetizing part of any portfolio and it’s easy to see why. They act as risk moderators, balancing out a portfolio and amplifying gains over time. But stocks are a lot like the surface of a placid lake with torrential currents underneath that may not be obvious at a glance.

Sometimes a juicy high yielding dividend stock isn’t all its cracked up to be and unwary investors snap up the bait only to realize their mistake after it’s too late. Remember the old adage, “if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.”… Read more

3 Big Money Favorites With 25% Downside

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 4, 2016

Most investors think it’s a good thing to be long alongside the “Big Money.” But professionals’ favorites are actually the riskiest stocks you could own. Let me explain why – and share three beloved names you should sell today.

Ten days ago, Barron’s published its latest Big Money poll, where money managers shared their top stocks for the next 12 months. Three “digital utilities” were particularly popular, and why not? All three had reasonable valuations, strong cash flows and of course healthy dividends.

Last week, two reported earnings – and both got clobbered. Here’s how they’ve performed since their Barron’s love letter:

Big Money’s Tech Darlings Get Dumped


The beauty of an earnings report – and really any “news” a company reports – is in the eye of the beholder.… Read more