Six 6% Yields (With 60% Upside, Too)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 25, 2017

As interest rates rise, the best defense will be a good offense. Research from Nuveen and Ned Davis confirms what we already knew – that dividend growth stocks outperform everyone else in the 36 months after a Fed rate increase:

Stock Returns After Fed Increases

That’s no surprise either, because payout growers always outpace their counterparts.

Everyone loves dividends, but dividend hikes are underappreciated. Not only do they increase the yield on your initial capital, but they often are reflected in a price increase for the stock.

For example, if a stock pays a 3% current yield and then hikes its payout by 10%, it’s unlikely that its stock price will stagnate for long.… Read more

The 4 Best Vanguard Retirement Funds

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 24, 2017

Today, we’re going to highlight the four best retirement funds Vanguard has to offer. Since my favorite retirement fund closed its doors to new investors, I had to find more high quality, high income and low cost options for readers like you to consider.

The Vanguard Group is the top mutual fund provider by assets under management, boasting nearly $3 trillion across more than 125 mutual funds. And almost all of that is locked up in long-term assets — a statement about Vanguard’s elite standing among buy-and-hold retirement investors.

Vanguard doesn’t do leverage, it doesn’t do inverse. With very few exceptions, Vanguard’s funds aren’t trading instruments.… Read more

5 Funds That Could Double Your Retirement Nest Egg

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 23, 2017

If you want to save a million dollars, you need to save a ton of money over a lifetime. Or at least that’s what we’re constantly told.

But it’s not true.

The fact is, you can save $1 million a lot quicker by saving just $298 per month. It just takes a contrarian’s view on the markets and the confidence to invest differently than the herd.

In a moment, I’ll give you 5 fund picks to start you off on the right foot.

First, let’s look at the math.

Any retirement calculator, like the one below from Bloomberg, can calculate how much money you need to contribute to your retirement fund to reach your goal.… Read more

One Reason to Invest 100% in American Companies

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 20, 2017

These days, you might be tempted to buy shares of companies based in places like Europe, Japan or emerging markets.

On the surface there are good reasons to do so.

Europe, for example, is beaten down and still going full blast on quantitative easing, making it look like the continent’s economy has nowhere to go but up.

Japan’s QE program, meanwhile, involves direct purchases of stocks by the central bank: the Bank of Japan is expected to be the largest shareholder in the country’s biggest companies by the end of this year.

And, of course, emerging markets are where the biggest growth is, so why not buy into that, too?… Read more

3 Little Known 7% Yields (With 50% Upside, Too)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 19, 2017

Income investors have mined just about every corner of the market for yield. Blue-chip dividend stalwarts like Microsoft (MSFT) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) are downright expensive at this point thanks to a growing crowd of yield hunters. Those seeking more substantial yields have guzzled the alphabet soup, jumping into REITs, MLPs, BDCs and CEFs.

To quote the Barenaked Ladies, “It’s all been done.”

But in my hunt for less appreciated sources of high yield, I’ve come across three stocks that the financial media barely discusses, and that most investors don’t even know about.

What really sticks out about these stocks isn’t just their yields – which range between 7% and 12%!… Read more

The Most Dangerous Dividends for 2017

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 18, 2017

The stock market’s up, which means yields are down. And while there are still some generous payers available, be careful – entire sectors are paper tigers that will probably suffer this year.

Two weeks ago, we discussed the best 7%+ dividends for 2017. Today we’ll talk about the big dividends that should be avoided, or sold altogether.

Mortgage REITs (mREITs) for starters tend to drop their dividends over time – and these cuts accelerate when rates rise. Profits plummet because their portfolios (typically made up of fixed-rate issues) decline in value as rates run higher.

We’ve discussed the benefits of buying dividend growth at length.… Read more

2 Dangerous Dividends to Sell Now – and 1 Safe 11.6% Yielder to Buy

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 17, 2017

Today I’m going to show you two business development companies (BDCs) that were great buys once but now need to be banished from your portfolio right away.

They’re all good companies, but recent market fervor has caused them to be way overpriced. And while the bull run has been good for all BDCs, there is still one I still see as underpriced relative to its potential. More on that in a moment.

This Popular Name Is Headed for a Fall

First, we need to talk about Main Street Capital (MAIN), one of the best-performing BDCs out there … and one of the world’s most crowded trades.… Read more

3 Stocks With 30% Upside in Trump’s First Year

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 16, 2017

If you’re betting that President-elect Trump’s economic policies will ignite corporate profits—and share prices—I have two words for you: be careful.

In a moment, I’ll show you how I’m investing in the early days of the Trump era and name 3 rare finance-sector bargains that are terrific buys now.

First, let’s look at how much things have changed (and not) since Election Day, starting with the S&P 500, which has jumped 6.0%. However, most of that came in the first month: since December 8, it’s basically gone nowhere.

“Trump Bump” Hits a Wall

That leaves the market trading around 17.1 times forward earnings, according to FactSet, well above the five-year average of 15.1 and the 10-year average of 14.4.… Read more

5 Trump-Proof Pharma Dividends Up To 5.3%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 15, 2017

Donald Trump needed just 20 minutes to knock $24.6 billion in value from the nine biggest Big Pharma companies. That was the statistic bandied about recently when the president-elect, at a much-anticipated press conference, declared that pharmaceuticals are “getting away with murder.”

That’s ironic, because investors targeting the sure-fire dividends of Big Pharma stocks might be able to get away with theft.

Trump hasn’t yet entered the Oval Office, but he’s already showing an uncanny knack for creating quick stock dips with just a sentence or two. For instance, in mid-December, he criticized the high spend for Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35 jets, knocking LMT shares down by a few percent.… Read more

2 Unloved Buys for 4.2%+ Yields and Double-Digit Upside

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 13, 2017

Inflation hasn’t been a problem for a long time. In fact, central banks around the world have been fighting deflation, as low growth, pessimistic expectations and slumping oil prices kept prices in check since the 2008/09 crash.

That’s changing, and more people—from economists to everyday consumers—see inflation heating up. That makes now a great time to buy into an asset class few investors pay attention to. I’ll explain why, and name two of my favorites, in a moment.

First, back to inflation: according to the New York Federal Reserve, consumers now expect prices to swell by 2.8%—the highest reading since the middle of 2015.… Read more