5 Tax-Equivalent Yields up to 10.4%

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

Tax season can be a cringe-inducing affair for most investors, who have to fill out their 1040s, 1099s and K-1s with Uncle Sam hovering above, looking for his cut. But for investors who have bought into one of the five high-yielding funds I want to share with you today, this time of year is a friendly reminder of the greatness of municipal bonds and their fat, tax-free yields.

Most investors have money stashed away in bonds of some sort. Often, those bonds will be U.S. Treasury bills (debt issued by the federal government), though frequently, investors will have some exposure to corporate bonds (debt issued by companies). While both of these are good, secure sources of income, they have one downfall: federal taxable rates of up to 39. …
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These 8.7% Dividends Have Beaten the S&P 500 for Years

Michael Foster, Senior Analyst
Updated: February 23, 2017

Looking for a reliable benchmark for stock returns in the next decade?

I’ve got one for you: 7.1%.

I say “reliable” because that’s what the S&P 500 has returned, in price growth and dividends, over the last 10 years. And with that timeframe including the worst crash in living history, we can take it as a conservative benchmark for long-term stock returns for the next decade or longer.

Seven percent is great, especially when you’re only getting 1% in a bank account or CD. But there are two problems here.

The first is drawdowns. Over half of that return comes in the form of price growth, which means it’s a paper gain unless you sell your shares. If you need to tap your stock investments during a market correction or panic, you’ve got a problem: …
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How to “Write” Covered Calls for Safe 8% Yields

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: February 22, 2017

Most investors buy stocks and hope they’ll go up in price. They do nothing in the interim to generate cash flow from those stocks while they sit in their portfolio – like writing covered calls.

“Write” what?

I’ll explain. And I’ll also highlight some popular exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and closed-end funds (CEFs) that will help you generate 8% yields or better from this income strategy without actually handling an options contract yourself.

A call option is a contract that gives its buyer the right to purchase a stock from the seller for a certain price within a certain period of time. For that right, the buyer pays the seller a sum upfront, called a premium.

Option traders buy calls hoping they can multiply their money in a short period of time. …
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The Powerful Secret the ETF Companies Don’t Want You to Know

Michael Foster, Senior Analyst
Updated: February 21, 2017

I love passive investing—but not for the reason you might think.

I love it because, as I’ll demonstrate in a moment, it’s caused plenty of stocks to become mispriced, creating opportunities for active stock pickers who do their homework.

This makes the market more of a meritocracy: the people who work harder, smarter and spend more time and energy on their investments can get a higher return than those who buy index funds like the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) and call it a day.

Why?

Because the more people buy VTI and other index products, the more they drive up the prices of all the stocks in that index. And since these indices aren’t weighted toward any valuation metrics, that means pricier stocks get just as much of a price boost as cheaper ones. …
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5 “Hidden” High Yielders That Should Be on Your Radar

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: February 20, 2017

Today we’re going to head out to one of my favorite hunting grounds for cheap high-yield stocks: the midcap space.

“Wait,” you may be thinking. “Haven’t midcap stocks been on a tear? How can there be any bargains left?”

You’d be right about the first part … but not the second.

To get at why, let’s look at how the benchmark S&P MidCap 400 ETF (MDY) has performed vs. its large-cap cousin, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) in the past year:

Midcaps Soar…
Midcaps-Soar-Since-2016-Chart

That rise has had a predictable effect on both funds’ dividend yields (because you calculate yield by dividing the annual dividend into the current share price):

…While Yields Shrink
SPY-MDY-Yields-Shrink-Chart
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5 High Yield ETFs Paying up to 5.8%

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

I get it – you want a diversified portfolio that lets you live off dividends alone. And you probably don’t want to spend most of your waking hours worrying about a million tickers either.

Consider exchange-traded funds (ETFs) then, which provide your portfolio with instant diversification through a single purchase. Pick a strategy you like (ie. high yield) and let the fund do the work for you.

Today we’ll highlight five dirt-cheap ETFs that distribute loads of cash … and let you walk away with the lion’s share of income. Now you and I both know that high fees rob you of returns. That’s why so many investors have moved out of high-cost actively managed mutual funds and into low-cost indexed ETFs. But even within the world of ETFs, it pays big-time to comparison shop for fees. …
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5 Unloved Investments To Triple Your Income in 2017

Michael Foster, Senior Analyst
Updated: February 17, 2017

Let’s say you want to lock in a passive retirement income of $80,000 per year.

If you go with what most investors mistakenly see as the safest route, long-term US Treasuries, you’re going to need $3.3 million. That’s because 10-year Treasuries are paying a wimpy 2.4% interest rate today.

Investors who buy Treasuries often shrug off numbers like that. “So what?” they say, adding that Treasuries are about as low-risk as you can get.

Too bad they’re wrong.

If you buy into Treasuries and want to resell them before they mature—perhaps to deal with a big expense that comes out of nowhere—you have a pretty good chance of losing money. Take a look at the movements of the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT)
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One Click for the 50 Best Dividend Growers

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

Eric Ervin was making his rich client so much money that he suggested: “Hey, why don’t you just quit your job?”

The investor saw the opportunity to scale Eric’s “secret strategy” – and he wanted to help invest!

Both guys knew the power of dividend growth investing. But Eric’s second-level insight is what made them both a boatload of cash. He figured out a way to bet purely on the higher payouts – as close to a “sure thing” as you’ll ever see in stocks. Here’s what I mean.

Blue chip stocks tend to raise their dividend every year. Even if it’s a token increase, it keeps shareholders happy. Betting on S&P 500 dividend growth is steadier and better than wagering on price appreciation itself:


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5 High-Tech Cash Cows Yielding Up To 6%

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

The technology sector has long been the growth investor’s best friend, with tomorrow’s innovations fueling the breakneck gains necessary to generate big price returns. Traditionally there hasn’t been much to interest us dividend investors – until now.

Some tech companies have finally grown up. And while their profit growth has slowed, their shareholder returns have actually accelerated. These companies literally make more money than they know what to do with – so they are increasingly dishing it back as dividends.

Here are five tech titans with big cash flows paying yields up to 6%.

Qualcomm (QCOM)
Dividend Yield: 4%

Qualcomm (QCOM) has wandered its way back into 4% yield territory, but right now, the wireless technology specialist is in extremely choppy waters.

QCOM shares have eaten 20%-plus losses since mid-January after Apple (AAPL) filed suit against the company, and the Federal Trade Commission filed charges against QCOM, with Apple mentioned by name in the complaint. …
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4 Dividend-Growth Stocks to Own for the Next 10 Years

Michael Foster, Senior Analyst
Updated: February 14, 2017

In my last article, I talked about Apple’s (AAPL) destiny as a Dividend Aristocrat. The company doesn’t have even five years’ worth of payouts under its belt, but there are clear indicators that it will never struggle to pay dividends.

In a moment, I’ll show you how you can combine Tim Cook’s company with 3 other stocks and get a 4.6% yield in 10 years or less—and triple-digit upside in the meantime.

First, back to Apple.

The company’s strong—and rising—free cash flow and its operating margin, which has surged over the last 20 years and stayed at historically high levels, indicate that Apple has turned into a cash-producing machine investors should not ignore.

Ironically, many people don’t see Apple as a cash machine when they buy or sell the stock; instead, they obsess over iPhone and iPad sales. …
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