4 REITs To Sell Immediately, 3 To Buy Instead

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 30, 2016

Is it too late to buy REITs (real estate investment trusts)? It depends. Some lesser-known issues are still great bargains, while others have rallied to nosebleed valuations.

I’ll highlight three specific buys – and tell you what you should sell – in a moment. First, let me show you why investors are hesitant about REITs:

How Hot is Too Hot?


These are the price-only returns (not including dividends) of four REITs. Three of them are quite popular, while one—Government Properties Trust (GOV)—is extremely controversial. Note the controversial one is up 49% year-to-date!

That’s amazing, but the usual stability of popular dividend payers like Realty Income Corporation (O) and National Retail Properties (NNN) means they should not be up 30% in less than a year.… Read more

The Best 7% Yields For A Scared Fed

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 28, 2016

If you feel trapped grinding out dividend income at 3% or so, listen up. The Fed’s latest “no hike” call has provided big 7% to 9% yields with the “all clear” signal for another year or two, at least.

In a world where a million bucks worth of dividend aristocrats will only net you about $29,000 annually, you’re probably looking for higher yielding options. Some closed-end funds (CEFs) paying up to 9% can be good candidates – if you choose wisely.

You’re probably familiar with their mutual “cousins”. Closed-ends are a bit different. While mutual funds tend to buy individual stocks and mirror the market, CEF managers tend to have wider mandates and longer leashes.… Read more

3 Big Energy Dividends Set to Grow

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

Energy is a dangerous sector. With declining profits and even dividend cuts hitting some companies, it’s becoming harder and harder to invest in energy and for a reliable income stream.

But this doesn’t mean we need to avoid energy altogether—we just need to choose our stocks carefully.

I don’t see oil climbing much above its current price anytime soon, considering the major output from America-based firms and plans in Iraq and Norway to increase output. But OPEC is also looking to control pricing by limiting output, so we may see a supply/demand standoff that will keep the commodity range bound. In fact, oil has been range bound for quite a while already:

Temporary Dips and Peaks


Although WTI crude oil futures dipped to below $30 per barrel earlier this year and climbed over $50 last summer, those volatile prices didn’t last more than a couple months.… Read more

3 Big Dividends About to Be Slashed—and 3 to Buy Instead

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

Today I need to warn you about a common mistake I’ve seen burn investors over and over. I’ll also show you 3 bargain dividend growth stocks that are great buys for your retirement portfolio now; more on those in a moment.

First, the mistake.

It’s called “reaching for yield” and its latest victims are investors who bought SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) based solely on the stock’s 6.5% dividend yield.

Too bad that high yield was because everyone else saw the company’s problems—falling revenue and shrinking operating margins as the public soured on SeaWorld’s killer-whale shows—coming from a mile away … and jumped overboard.… Read more

How To Get 5% Dividends Tax Free

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 23, 2016

Municipal bonds are popular with retirees because they provide tax-free income. Some pay secure yields above 6%, which translates to 10% tax-equivalent payouts to folks in high tax brackets.

But buying individual municipal bonds isn’t easy. Many brokers don’t offer them, and the ones that do usually try to sell low quality munis that big institutions have avoided because they know the bonds are poor quality – like the dogs issued by Puerto Rico or Detroit.

But most munis are perfectly secure. Ideally, you want to get your hands on the municipal bonds that institutions are buying. Many people think that’s impossible, but it isn’t—it just means we need to think laterally.… Read more

Ranking Hot Retirement Stocks Worst to First

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

The hunt for bond proxies is in full swing – but how good are these untested replacement players?

A 100% dividend-only income stream is the goal of any responsible “no withdrawal” retirement portfolio. Which of course is superior in every way to the fatally flawed 4% retirement myth, but difficult to achieve in a world where payout yields have been bid down towards 2%.

Fortunately, there are still a few promising pockets for income investors. I’m talking about yields of 6% to 8% plus upside. We’ll review them in a minute – but first, let’s make sure we avoid the high-risk low-reward traps.… Read more

A Simple All-ETF Portfolio That Pays 4.3%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: September 20, 2016

The stock market is complicated and volatile. This is why professional investors diversify their investments into a large batch of stocks. But buying many different companies is not easy—the more you diversify, the more research you need to do to make sure you aren’t buying a dud.

This is why ETFs have become incredibly popular. They give investors the opportunity to buy a basket of stocks in a single market sector or asset class. But now there are thousands of ETFs out there, and some of them come with hefty fees and poor performance. For good returns, we should avoid these dogs.… Read more

3 Stocks To Buy Before The Fed Hikes Rates – And 2 To Sell Now

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

Legendary value investor John Templeton said it best: “Invest at the point of maximum pessimism.”

For income investors, today is that point.

And I’m going to show how to take maximum advantage with 3 unloved stocks in a beaten-down sector poised to rally with the next interest-rate hike. Sir John would almost certainly “back up the truck” for these 3 incredible bargains today.

More on them in a moment. First, here’s a quick recap of why dividend-seekers are so down-in-the-mouth these days.

For one, payout growth is slowing. According to FactSet, dividends per share grew 7.5% year-over-year in the 12 months ended in the first quarter; that will likely slide again, to 4.9%, in the next 12.… Read more

Utilities Or Refineries? Sell One, Buy The Other

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

Today I want to talk about a corner of the market that has been overlooked for far too long despite offering sustainable high yields of 4% or more—with dividends primed to soar even more.

This sector is a distant cousin to a more familiar group of stocks: utilities. Utility stocks were once Wall Street’s best kept secret: high dividends, cheap valuations, sustainable business models, and steady revenues were all reasons why many big investors quietly bought these small regional companies. Sadly, the cat’s out of the bag. Utility stocks are up nearly 14% year-to-date as investors pile into the sector:

Utilities Gone Haywire


Just look at the performance of the SPDR Utility ETF (XLU), which is up massively even after a recent correction from its shocking 22% year-to-date return earlier this summer.… Read more

The Best, and Worst, Preferred Stock Funds

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

Not yet familiar with preferred shares? With “common” shares paying so little, it’s time to get acquainted.

You can double your yields, and actually reduce your risk, by trading in your common shares for preferreds. I’ll explain how – and will also warn you about an overlooked pitfall you should avoid.

Most investors only consider “common” shares of stock when they look for income. These are the shares in a company you receive when you place an order with your broker.

Problem is, most dividend darlings don’t pay much on their common shares today. You’ll be hard pressed to find a dividend aristocrat with a yield above 3% or a P/E ratio below 20 – evaporating business models or not!… Read more