4 Once-in-a-Decade Dividends? They Pay 9.9% to 13.9%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 8, 2020

Bear markets can be painful, but they also create “once-in-a-decade” buying opportunities for dividend investors. For example, there are four big names yielding between 9.9% and 13.9% that are literally the leaders in their respective industries. (We’ll review them shortly.)

Bull markets simply don’t boast yields anywhere this high. And double-digit yields can drastically change a retirement game plan.

I’ve complained for years that, if you had a million bucks to plunk down on blue chips and bonds, you’d only be able to wring out about $20,000 to $30,000 in dividends and interest each year. But right now, you can take a nest egg half that size, and generate anywhere between $49,500 to $69,500 annually in dividend cash.… Read more

Bond Armageddon? Not for This Bargain 5.2%-Paying CEF

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: May 7, 2020

Subscribers to my CEF Insider service are asking me a lot about corporate bonds these days, so today we’re going to take a close look at it—and what it means for bond funds.

First, let’s talk about interest rates, which are plunging.

Debt Getting Cheaper 

This means companies pay a lower rate than ever when they issue bonds. When rates fall, it can make sense to take on more debt, because you can use that debt to raise cash. If you don’t need that cash, you can pay off the debt later at a low cost because, again, rates are so low.… Read more

The Dividend “Deal of the Decade” Can Quadruple Your Cash

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 6, 2020

Mainstream financial channels have made a big deal out of the current relief rally (“Is it a ‘V-shaped’ recovery?” they comically muse). Whether it’s a V, W,  L, Nike swoosh or (my favorite) bathtub, the fact is that most stocks are still down on the mat.

(This is no surprise. The average bear market lasts 12 to 18 months. We are just beginning month three—yikes.)

The well-known S&P 500 always leads the headlines. Five hundred of America’s blue-chip firms, sounds like a pretty good sample size, no?

In 2020… no. The index is weighted by market cap, giving favor to Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN)—its top three holdings—which have outperformed the market by a wide margin recently.… Read more

This 4-Stock “Crisis Portfolio” Pays Up to 10.4% (with upside)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 5, 2020

The S&P 500 index has been “relief rallying” like crazy, but to most income investors, this means nothing. The wider the basket of stocks, the rougher the year it has been. Let’s consider that (as I’m writing this):

  • Year to date, the “big cap focused” S&P 500 is down “just” 12%. However,
  • When we weight its 500 stocks equally, its return drops to 20% YTD. And,
  • When we expand the universe to look at small cap stocks, we see the Russell 2000 is down a brutal 24% thus far in 2020:

Don’t Let the S&P 500 Fool You

Plus, we now face another problem: an income drought!… Read more

Forget Gilead, These 2 Pharma Dividends Pay up to 10%

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: May 4, 2020

If you’re like pretty well everyone else, you’re closely watching Gilead Sciences (GILD), creator of remdesivir, a drug that, last week, showed progress in treating the coronavirus in a US government study.

But does that make Gilead a good stock to buy now, particularly if you’re focused on income? Let’s take a look.

First up, unlike many other stocks these days, Gilead boasts a safe payout, with the dividend accounting for just 38% of free cash flow in the last 12 months. And the company has increased its dividend every year since initiating it in 2015:

A Reliable Dividend

It’s on the current-yield front where the dividend story starts to fray.… Read more

How to Avoid the Market’s 25% Dividend Drop

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: May 1, 2020

Mainstream financial channels have made a big deal out of the current, furious relief rally (“Is it a ‘V-shaped’ recovery?” they muse). Whether it’s a V, a W, an L, a Nike swoosh or (my favorite) a bathtub, the fact is that many cash flows—and hence the dividends they fund—are under siege.

(This is no surprise. The average bear market lasts 12 to 18 months. We are just beginning month three—yikes.)

But all hope is not lost! We can still find secure yields, even reliable monthly dividends to boot, right now. In a moment, we’ll sift through the market’s trash heap to find these valuable sources of income stability.… Read more

Ignore the Pundits: These 63 “Safe” Stocks Are Dangerous

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: April 30, 2020

If you’re like many investors these days, you’re warily eyeing your portfolio, wondering where the next dividend cut will come from.

Fear of dividend cuts is reasonable, even if you hold the Dividend Aristocrats—the 63 S&P 500 firms that have raised their payouts for 25 years (or more). This club includes well-known names like McDonald’s (MCD), Lowe’s (LOW), Kimberly-Clark (KMB) and Procter & Gamble (PG), as well as less familiar firms, like Sysco (SYY), VF Corporation (VFC) and Linde (LIN).

For many folks, the Aristocrats are sacred cows. But the crisis will inevitably force some of these companies to cut payouts in the weeks and months ahead.… Read more

A Pandemic-Proof Bond Fund? New Dividend Raise, Now Pays 8%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: April 29, 2020

While most income investors stare at their portfolios, searching for the next shoe to drop, we contrarian yield collectors were treated to a rare treat this week. A dividend increase—from an income fund that now yields 8%!

We’ll talk specifics in a moment, but let’s start with the cash flow stream. This fund buys “preferred” shares, a brand of stock that most mainstream investors are not familiar with. The “first-level” types typically limit themselves to the common shares of stock, which are what you receive when you place an order to buy with your broker.

Preferred are there, too, if you know where to look.… Read more

3 Funds That Crush ETFs and Pay 8.4%+

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: April 28, 2020

The convenience of a one-click ETF is tempting, but in times like these, buying one can seriously cap your upside—and cause you to leave serious dividend cash on the table, too.

I know that’s a controversial statement, with the millions of ETF fanboys and fangals out there, so let me explain why you do not want to pile into these vehicles during a bear market like this one.

I’ll start with a very popular ETF, the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM). True to its name, it holds the stocks that pop into most people’s minds when they think about dividends, like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG), Verizon Communications (VZ) and Pfizer (PFE).Read more

My 2-Step Plan for Safe, Crisis-Proof 7% Payouts

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: April 27, 2020

If you have cash to deploy in this market, you’re in luck: dividend yields on some top-name stocks are scraping historic highs. And these same stocks are often so oversold they’re primed for big upside, too.

The obvious question follows: how do you find these income-and-growth plays? Let’s dive into a two-step “screen” that does just that. It starts with the lifeblood of share prices (and dividends): corporate earnings.

Unfortunately, growing profits are getting rarer these days. Look at this chart from FactSet, showing projected earnings for the just-completed first quarter, as more S&P 500 firms report:

Earnings Drop, But Look to the Left

So far, it appears that most companies will see earnings declines in the first quarter of 2020, but when we take the market apart sector by sector, we see that there are a few sectors, like consumer staples, utilities and health care, showing rising earnings—and in the case of utilities and telecoms, significant earnings gains.Read more