5 Dangerous Dividends for a “Bathtub-Shaped” Recovery

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: July 17, 2020

Let’s keep our heads and our dividends above water in this crazy year that is 2020. Most income investors know that it’s been brutal for dividends. But do you know how horrific it’s actually been?

Our pal Howard Silverblatt of S&P Dow Jones Indices has slapped an official number on it:

$42.5 billion.

That’s how much cash U.S. stocks cut or suspended their dividends by in the second quarter alone. We haven’t seen pay cuts this steep since Q1 2009, when investors received $43.8 billion less in cash distributions than the year prior.

This wasn’t just a couple of large dividend programs tanking, either.… Read more

How a 15% Dividend Dream Turned Into a Nightmare

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: July 16, 2020

With the S&P 500 yielding just 1.8%, and 10-Year Treasuries paying a pathetic 0.7%, many folks are getting desperate for income—and they’re falling for dangerous dividends like exchange-traded notes (ETNs).

Note I said “ETN” here, and not “ETF.” It’s a critical distinction—and overlooking it could cost you a fortune in gains and dividends.

A Crippling 70% Loss

To see how dangerous ETNs can be, consider the (now defunct) UBS Etracs Monthly Pay 2x Leveraged Closed-End ETN (CEFL), which I first warned readers about in October 2017. CEFL went on to be crushed by the S&P 500 from that first warning until the start of 2020.… Read more

Jay Powell is Powering This 5.2% Dividend Higher

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: July 15, 2020

Fed chair Jay Powell is our kind of income investor. He’s allocated up to $750 billion to buy individual corporate bonds. Perhaps Jay is sick of being told what to do, because he (like us!) is clearly on a mission to help his central bank retire comfortably on dividends.

He realizes that US Treasuries don’t have the oomph he needs. As I write, the 10-year bond pays less than 0.7%. If Jay had tossed his $750 “billies” into T-Bonds, they wouldn’t even net him a “lame” $5 billion annually.

Instead, our man hired investment firm BlackRock to buy ETFs like the iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG).… Read more

How to Get 80% Dividend Growth and 76% Upside (in 1 stock)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: July 14, 2020

It really is possible to find stocks that grow your money 15%+ a year forever—even in the middle of a pandemic.

Better still, these “unicorns” are a cinch to find. We only need to look for one thing: a dividend that’s growing—and ideally accelerating.

I know that sounds like a tall order, with S&P 500 payouts plunging $42.5 billion in the second quarter. But that figure masks the fact that many companies are still hiking their payouts—and will continue to, even if this crisis drags on longer than we expect.

Dividend Growth = Share-Price Growth

Of course, it’s not good enough to simply pick a few stocks with fast payout growth and call it a day.… Read more

New Portfolio Pays $35,000 in Dividends on a $437K Nest Egg

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: July 13, 2020

The way most folks invest, they’ll need way more than a million bucks to retire—in fact, they’ll need almost double that!

No wonder so many people throw up their hands and commit to working till they’re 100. Maybe you’re one of these frustrated souls. With the world in the state it’s in today, I can’t blame you.

But what if I told you that you could retire on a lot less? Like 75% less.

That’s right: a fully paid-for retirement on just a $437,500 nest egg. Save up that much and you can look forward to a steady $35,000 in dividends (which is right around the average personal income in the US) year in and year out.… Read more

Are These 7 REITs Ticking Time Bombs or Treasure Chests?

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: July 10, 2020

Lockdowns have been tough on real estate investment trusts (REITs). When April 1 hit, the rent stopped getting paid across the world. That’s of course bad for landlords and, in turn, REITs and their investors.

Now it hasn’t been all bad since then. Sure, old school retail and shopping malls are done—but we knew that already.

Check this out—it’s the rent collected by the REIT sector for April, May and June. All of our newly completed “shutdown” and “re-opening” and “just kidding, we’re closing again” months. Would you believe that apartment landlords collected 97.5% of their typical rents in June?


(Source: Nareit)

Yes you read that right.… Read more

3 “Sucker Dividends” Yielding 7%+ to Avoid Now

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: July 9, 2020

It’s no secret why most people buy closed-end funds (CEFs): big dividends!

The 500 or so CEFs out there yield a game-changing 7%, on average. And with CEFs coming from all corners of the economy, you can easily build a nice, diversified CEF portfolio paying enough dividend cash to let you retire on $500,000 (or less!).

If you’re a reader of my CEF Insider service, none of this will surprise you. The service’s portfolio boasts funds yielding all the way up to 12.9%.

CEF Investors an Emotional Group

But there is one thing you should know about the CEF market: investors who buy CEFs are a bit twitchy, meaning they can sometimes oversell in a crisis.… Read more

Which REITs are Collecting 98% of Rents (and Which are Stuck at 61%)

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

Almost One-Third of NYC Restaurants Missed June Rent, Survey Finds

Scan the business headlines (and let’s be honest, who actually reads anymore?) and we’ll see ominous headlines like this. Makes us wonder who would want to be a landlord in this economy?

It’s not just NYC. Here in California, most restaurants are, once again, not allowed to offer indoor dining. Epidemiology arguments aside, our beat here is money, and how many restaurants are supposed to make money right now I do not know.

If they’re not making money, who knows if they’re paying the rent. Taking that a step further, we might also question who wants to own any real estate investment trusts (REITs)?… Read more

3 Steps for 6.1% Dividends, 243% Payout Growth (crisis or no)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: July 7, 2020

In normal times, real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a great way to cut your portfolio’s volatility—and double the income you’d get from regular stocks.

Of course there’s nothing typical about 2020, but this “new normal” actually presents an especially excellent opportunity to buy select REITs on the cheap. I’m talking about cash cows with rent flows that were not disrupted by shutdowns.

Cheap stocks with higher-than-usual yields and bulletproof cash flows? Read on and we’ll sign up for this deal together.

REITs, remember, are “no drama” pass-through investments: they collect the rent on their properties, take out enough to keep their buildings in good working order, then pass (almost all of) the remaining cash to you as dividends.… Read more

How to Invest in CEFs (for 8% Dividends, 20%+ Upside)

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: July 6, 2020

Let’s be honest: there are a ton of ways to collect passive income out there. But there’s only one that’s easy to get into (no matter how much money you have!), generates yearly cash payouts of 8% or more and is used by billionaire investment gurus on the regular.

I’m talking about an often-overlooked investment called a closed end fund (CEF). And today I want to show you how to invest in CEFs in just three simple steps.

CEFs are like mutual funds or ETFs in that they pool together money from investors, which the fund’s managers then use to buy a basket of stocks, bonds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) or other investments, depending on the CEF’s mandate.… Read more