These Bear-Repellent Stocks Yield 6% to 11%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 31, 2020

The stock market is driven by greed and fear. And when the latter takes full control of the wheel, as is the case right now, value-minded income investors need to stay sharp.

It’s been more than a decade since we’ve gotten a true bear market, which tends to bring stock valuations more in line with historical norms. Even so, since 2009, we’ve experienced a few quick drawdowns that resulted in more reasonable prices, and more generous yields, than this expensive market typically offers.

There was the August 2014 correction triggered by China’s “Black Monday.” There was our near-bear experience in 2018, prompted by tariff fears, Fed rate hikes and the partial government shutdown.… Read more

Dreading Tax Day? This 4.7%-Yielding Fund Is for You

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 30, 2020

Americans are blessed with a source of high passive income that is entirely tax free. Thanks to long-standing legislation designed to encourage more investment in our communities, municipal bonds give tax-free income to most people, and since you can get these “munis” in a fund that pays out 4.7% dividends, getting a really high income stream without the tax burdens has gotten really easy.

But not everyone is celebrating.

A lot of fears about muni bonds have blanketed the financial press over the last few years, in no small part because muni bonds, with their low volatility and steady income streams, tend to appeal to investors who want to avoid risky assets the most.… Read more

Dividend Portfolio FAQs: Your Questions, My Answers

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

A big thank you to the 1,640 subscribers who attended our Contrarian Income Report webcast! As discussed on the call, I did my best to address pre-submitted questions during the session.

Even more questions came in during the live webcast. (I love the enthusiasm!) As you know, while I’m not allowed to give personal investment advice, I do read every question. And I like to use this weekly column to address the most common questions. So, let’s chat about your shared thoughts, curiosities and concerns.

Q: Should I be worried about the latest coronavirus? If not me, how about my portfolio?Read more

This “Dividend Time Machine” Lets You Buy 7% Payouts at 2019 Prices

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

Let’s be honest: our lives would be much easier if we could just buy the typical S&P 500 stock, get the 7%+ dividends we need for retirement, and call it a day. Trouble is, the popular kids only pay high yields when the market’s in flames!

Like Pfizer (PFE), which yields a ho-hum 3.8% now. But if you’d bought when stocks bottomed during the financial crisis, you’d be sitting on a cash machine: back then (March 2009), Pfizer’s payout shot up to an incredible 11%!

Pfizer’s (Very) Temporary 11% Yield

Of course, you needed quick reflexes and nerves of steel to lock in that yield before it vanished in the rebound.… Read more

This Bizarre Trend Delivered a 31.25% Gain in 2019 (2020 Could Be Even Better)

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 27, 2020

One of the weirdest trends over the last year has gone largely unreported. Despite stocks surging 30% in a year, investors are still selling stocks more than they’re buying.

It’s hard to get your head around this fact, but the data says it’s true. According to data from Refinitiv Lipper, investors actually withdrew $192.3 billion from mutual funds and ETFs—the largest amount of outflows on record for a single year.

Stocks Soar—and Investors Sell?

The concept here is a little complicated, but it’s crucial to understand. An ETF or mutual fund pools together cash from its investors, which it then uses to buy stocks, bonds or whatever its mandate says it needs to buy.… Read more

This Dividend “Secret” Crushes the Broader Stock Market

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 24, 2020

Dividends are the surest, safest building block of a comfortable retirement. And you needn’t just “settle” for retiring on dividends. You can even pick dividend stocks that’ll double your money or better, too.

All you need is a little quality.

What’s is “Quality”?

Quality isn’t some nebulous idea. It’s a “factor,” and it’s defined by a set of attributes or characteristics that the Wall Street “quants” are increasingly affectionate for.

Factor-based investing has become quite the rage in recent years. It’s a way to slice and dice the stock market by numbers. Yield, value, momentum, and other metrics are the ingredients.… Read more

This 6.5% Dividend (With Upside) Is Hiding in Plain Sight

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 23, 2020

The latest trade-war hype has served up a terrific opportunity for us to bag 6%+ dividends (and upside) in closed-end funds (CEFs).

Today I’m going to show you exactly where to look (hint: it’s the last place you’d expect) and reveal a CEF with serious upside in 2020. It’s set to ride this unheralded opportunity while dropping its generous 6.5%+ dividends on us.

First off, I hope your nest egg didn’t fall into this “tariff trap”:

First Shot in Trade War Takes Out Investors

That’s what the market did when President Trump announced his first tariffs on China two years ago, on solar panels and washing machines.… Read more

5 Steps for 15% Per Year (Whether Bull or Bear)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 22, 2020

Will this bull market actually die of old age this year?

The macro picture is dicey and stock valuations are pricey, but we must stay invested. The stock market goes up about two-thirds of the time. Permabears miss out on compounding and it’s not as easy to be a part-time bear as it sounds.

To illustrate this let’s consider a study by Hulbert Financial. The firm looked at the best “peak market timers”–the gurus who correctly forecasted the bursting of the Internet bubble in March 2000 and the Great Recession in October 2007.

These were the clairvoyant advisors who had their clients out of stocks and mostly in cash when the S&P 500 was about to be chopped in half.… Read more

My 3-Step Plan for 20% Upside, 9% Dividends, in 2020

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: January 22, 2020

We’re just three weeks into 2020 and it’s already a dividend wasteland!

Happy New Year! Enjoy Your 1.7% Dividend

Drop $500K into the typical (miserly) S&P 500 stock today and you get a pathetic $713 a month in dividend payouts. That’s no retirement; it might cover the cost of your commute and coffee on the way to your job as a Walmart (WMT) greeter—so long as you avoid going to Starbucks (SBUX)!

Treasuries? Forget it. At a 1.8% yield, we’re not retiring on them, either.

No wonder I hear from so many investors wary of putting their cash in a market yielding less than inflation.… Read more

$33,706 in Retirement Income, Every Year, Forever

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: January 20, 2020

It’s the No. 1 retirement question: how much income do you need to quit the 9 to 5?

Today I’m going to help you find your number.

The best place to start is by asking yourself how your post-retirement lifestyle goal stacks up that of the average working American. Do you want to live lavishly or closer to the middle class?

Once you’ve answered that question, the next step is to look to this number: $33,706.

Average American Incomes

According to the Federal Reserve, that’s the average income an American worker earns, and it gives us a handy jumping-off point. This figure has been rising lately, but has stayed stable over the long haul.… Read more