3 Infrastructure Stocks To Buy Before Election Day

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: October 26, 2016

No matter who wins the November election, infrastructure stocks should get a bounce. We’ll talk best plays in a minute – but first, let’s recap the rhetoric.

Clinton says she’ll push for a five-year $275 billion plan that, with loans and leverage, would total up to $500 billion. Trump says he’ll double that.

Of course I wouldn’t buy any stock based on a politician’s promise alone. But many industrial companies pay yields at the high end of their historical averages. Some are compelling values, especially when you consider that the global manhunt for yield has driven most payout percentages down near multi-year lows rather than highs.… Read more

3 Picks For A Secure 5% Paying 60/40 Retirement Portfolio

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

A prudent investor takes advantage of market dips. He buys oversold assets when the market panics—and stays the course during recoveries.

Unfortunately, prudent investors looking to add to their portfolios now can’t capitalize on a panicking market. This year saw two great buying opportunities: first in February when the market freaked out over global economic growth, and then again in July when Britain voted to leave the European Union. The Brexit vote only delivered a 4-day window to buy at a discount, and even then the sale was paltry—from peak to trough, the S&P 500 only fell about 5.3%:

Quick Dip, Limited Buying Opportunities


To buy this market during the downturn, you would’ve needed to act fast—and at the time many hesitated to buy in because they feared Brexit was a global catastrophe.… Read more

3 Stocks With 30% Upside in the Next 12 Months

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: October 24, 2016

A few months back, I advised you to stick to your guns and avoid the temptation to “sell in May and go away.”

I hope you followed that advice, because it looks like investors who were duped by this tired old slogan are going to miss out on gains. Here’s how the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) has performed since May 1:


Now the herd is wringing its hands over the presidential election, worried that the fallout from the circus-like race will trigger a lasting market downturn.

But recent history says they’re off base here, too. Because once the vote is over, markets typically gain ground in the first year of a new presidential term.… Read more

3 Funds To Sell Now, 1 High-Yield Replacement

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

The Wall Street Journal reports – yet again – that stock picking is dead. We’re being told that passive index funds outperform actively managed funds over the long term, and smart investors should choose passive because actively beating the market isn’t possible.

On one level, this is true. If your plan is just to buy and hold for 30 years or more, and if you don’t need any income right now, you are probably better off with a low-cost index fund than a higher-cost actively managed fund. But what if need income NOW? Then the “wisdom” of passive investing isn’t so great, and you need to consider alternatives.… Read more

Beware Of These 5 “Low Beta” Dividend Traps

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: October 19, 2016

There’s a lot of buzz about beta these days. Should we contrary-minded investors fade the fad?

Beta is industry slang for volatility. It’s generally used when judging a particular investment or portfolio with respect to the broader market, with 1.0 as the benchmark. Lower is better, as that (in theory) means the issue is less volatile than the market.

For example, Campbell Soup (CPB) has a listed beta of just 0.37 – which (again, in theory) means CPB shares are 63% less volatile than the overall market. If the S&P drops 2% in a day, CPB shares should hold steadier and lose less than 1% or so.… Read more

5 Dividend Growth REITs With 100% Upside

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

REITs have been on a wild ride in 2016. With some names up over 50% year-to-date just a few months ago, the recent correction has come as a bit of a shock. Some REITs have fallen by 10% in the past month, and more declines are feared for many names.

In this situation, investing in REITs requires care and selectivity. We can’t just buy any REIT, or the Vanguard REIT Index Fund (VNQ), because we may be buying overpriced stocks that are destined to fall further. On the other hand, we want to get into this sector now – before the global manhunt for dividends sends these prices soaring.… Read more

The Single Worst Retirement Investment Today (and 3 Better Buys Now)

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

It’s an old investing saw that should have been taken out behind the barn years ago.

You’ve no doubt heard it before: “As you get closer to retirement, you should shift out of stocks and into fixed-income investments.”

You’ll often hear it in combination with some arbitrary rule, like: “The percentage of your portfolio devoted to stocks should be 100 minus your age.”

An Overblown Fear

On the surface, it seems like sound advice, right?

After all, CDs, Treasuries and the like guarantee your principal, and stocks don’t.

But it’s based on a dangerous misconception: that “guaranteed principal” and “no risk” are the same thing.… Read more

A Safe 4-Fund Retirement Portfolio That Yields 5%

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

The key to beating the market – AND keeping your nest egg intact – is diversification. If you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, you can avoid the pitfalls of exposure to one particular company.

For example, people who bought and held Wells Fargo (WFC) after seeing Warren Buffett praise the bank as a safe, reliable pick have been horrified to see the stock plummet on the recent fake account scandals. You could have avoided this by investing in a diversified financials ETF like the Financial Select SPDR Fund (XLF). With that fund, you’d be up 1.5% year-to-date and have a 2.6% yield based on today’s current price.… Read more

4 Dirt-Cheap Dividend Growth Stocks

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

Dividend growth stocks deserve a place in your portfolio, no matter how modest the allocation, simply because they often return 100% to 200% or better relatively quickly as their payouts rise.

You’ve probably noticed you rarely see your favorite stock paying more than 2% or 3%, even if the company raises its dividend every year. That’s because its price gets bid up as its payout rises – so you never quite get the bargain 4% yield you’re always waiting for, unless something really bad happens (like 2008).

Take industrial firm 3M (MMM), which boosted its dividend by 141% over the past decade for 170% total returns:

3M’s Dividend Growth Drives 170% Returns


Yet aside from the financial crisis, you never had a chance to buy the stock at a yield above 3%.… Read more

2 REITs to Avoid, 3 to Buy Now

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

The REIT market has been on a tear in 2016. From the start of the year to October 1, the SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF (RWR) gained over 6% while heavy-hitters like the Realty Income Trust (O) and Digital Realty Trust (DLR) rose more than 28%.

Now we’re in the midst of a REIT correction, and it’s hitting the best-performing REITs the most. That’s to be expected—after so many months of relentless strength, these names need to come back to Earth. And now it’s happening – just look at this chart:

What Comes Up Must Come Down—But How Far Down?


After months of massively outperforming the market, both O and DLR are now falling fast.… Read more