Think Your Income Fund’s Dividend Is Dicey? Here’s How to Tell (Instantly)

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: March 25, 2024

If you watch cable TV or visit financial websites, you no doubt hear about “overpriced” stocks and funds all the time.

A pundit will jump on TV and say something like “Tech is overvalued.” So, by extension, a tech ETF like the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) is overpriced, right?

Not so—at least in a technical sense. An ETF like XLK can be overpriced, but ETFs rarely are.

A fund like XLK collects money from investors and socks it away in stocks. In XLK’s case, we’re talking about big-name techs like Microsoft (MSFT), NVIDIA (NVDA) and Apple (AAPL). But with ETFs, the price you pay tends to be close to how much it would cost to buy all of those stocks separately.… Read more

Insider Buying Is Bullish For These Dividends Up To 7.5%

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 22, 2024

If they’re buying, we’re buying.

Or we’re at least considering it.

If there’s anything better than a big dividend, it’s one that is being gobbled up by the company’s own insiders. We’re talking about the officers, directors, and other members of the C-suite that are closer to the action than any analyst, reporter or investor could ever hope to be.

Most insiders are sitting on their hands right now. And who could blame them given the bubbly backdrop? But three management teams in particular are saying:

Our stock is cheap. Our dividend—up to 7.5%, by the way—is safe. We’re in with our own cash.Read more

This 6.9% Dividend Has Soared in ’24 (Its Next Crash Is Close)

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: March 21, 2024

2024 may be remembered as the year the stock-market recovery “stuck.” While 2023 resuscitated stocks from their 2022 doldrums, it’s been 2024 that got the indices to hold above all-time highs.

Also, unlike 2023, this year’s gains are increasingly broad-based, with nine out of the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 up so far.

The biggest winner? The energy sector, which has been bolstered by particularly strong gains from Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Phillips 66 (PSX).

Energy Gains Across the Board

Is this an opportunity, especially for income-hungry investors? After all, energy stocks’ payouts can be massive, with pipelines offering yields well over 10% in many cases.… Read more

This 4.8% Dividend Dog Has 31% Upside Potential

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 20, 2024

Last month, this company cut its dividend by 48%. Five days later, its ticker was booted out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).

Vanilla investors fled the stock. Nonconformists like us, on the other hand, started to pay attention.

When there’s nobody left to love a dividend dog, we consider adoption. The payout was slashed 48%. This stock is 71% off its all-time highs. The Dow doesn’t love it any longer.

Sign us up for the stock that sounds like an old-time country music song, “The Ticker That’s Lost Everything.” We’ll give the herd their Nvidia (NVDA) at 36-times sales.… Read more

A 4.7%-Paying “Mini” Portfolio Set to Soar (and a Unique Tool to Manage It)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 19, 2024

I think we can all agree that interest-rate cuts are on the table now. Even Jay Powell says so!

That rare “straight talk” from mystery-man Jay has fueled a jump in bonds. But there are still some bargain “bond proxies” on the table waiting to be snapped up.

To be sure, Jay is still being cagey about when the first cut will drop. But futures traders think they’re on to him: they’re calling for at least three quarter-point cuts by the end of this year, as of this writing:

Source: CME Group

We can argue about whether or not that’s too aggressive.… Read more

This Media-Driven Panic Has Put Our Favorite 7%+ Yielders on Sale

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: March 18, 2024

Don’t believe the media’s latest line that stocks—and by extension 7%+ yielding closed-end funds (CEFs)—are oversold.

Far from it!

Truth is, stocks—and bonds and real estate, for that matter—are still oversold as a result of the 2022 market crash.

You can see that in action in the chart below, with the benchmark ETF for the S&P 500 (in purple) up 11.1% since the start of 2022, while corporate bonds (in orange) are basically flat. And real estate investment trusts (REITs)—in blue—are still in the tank, down about 16%.

Don’t Believe the Hype: All Our Favorite Assets Are Still Cheap

Fact is, those are all low numbers, even for stocks: the S&P 500 is up an annualized 5.4% over the last two years and change since the start of 2022, which marked the beginning of the market’s swan dive.… Read more

Riding the Bond Bull: 3 Funds Yielding 8.3%+

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 15, 2024

Bonds are back, baby. Let’s talk about three funds that pay—between 8.3% and 10.9%.

Plus, they are trading for less than the fair value of their parts. It’s free lunch time in Bondland.

Of course not all bond funds are created equal. ETFs serve their purpose, but closed-end funds (CEFs) are where the payout party is at. Value plus yield at the CEF café.

Most ETFs are tied to an index. Which means they are run by rules and robots. Boring.

CEFs tend to be actively managed, meaning “bond brains” are able to adjust their portfolio from defensive to offensive as the investing environment shifts.… Read more

How a “Boring” Bond Fund Crushed the NASDAQ, Paid a Massive 17% Yield

Michael Foster, Investment Strategist
Updated: March 14, 2024

Closed-end funds (CEFs) are incredible wealth generators, combining huge (8%+, in many cases) dividends, with the potential for stock-like price gains.

But to make the most of them, you need to look at one essential indicator: the discount to net asset value (NAV, or the value of the fund’s underlying portfolio).

We don’t have to go too far into the weeds here: it’s just another way of saying that CEFs can, and often do, trade for less than their portfolios are actually worth.

That makes our approach straightforward: Buy when a CEF trades at an unusually deep discount—then ride along as that discount dissipates, driving the price higher as it does.… Read more

Bull or Bear? This Safe Divvie Grower Don’t Care!

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 13, 2024

“Daddy,” My nine-year-old started. I knew exactly what she was about to say.

“They said a lot of bad words.”

We were strolling out of Golden 1 Center. Our playoff-hopeful Sacramento Kings had just dropped another home game to a losing team. Our fellow fans were in foul moods.

Their postgame language was, shall we say, colorful. I thanked my daughter for her observation, and we continued our stroll away from the salty crowd. Best to get some distance before calling an Uber.

(A reformed dad like me couldn’t lecture our neighboring group with any real credibility. I mean, please don’t rewind my personal postgame tape to my time as a twenty-something.… Read more

AI’s “Hidden” Dividends (3 Payers With Payouts Soaring 88%+)

Brett Owens, Chief Investment Strategist
Updated: March 12, 2024

AI stocks are booming—but they’re an absolute “dividend desert” for us contrarian income-seekers.

Or are they?

Most tech stocks—and I’d put AI darling NVIDIA (NVDA), with its pathetic 0.02% yield, at the top of the list here—don’t pay dividends when they’re growing quickly.

Only later, when growth slows, do they “find religion” and return cash to shareholders as dividends and buybacks. That’s too bad for those of us who like to have more than one way—price gains—to book returns on our stocks.

But what if we could find a way to grab more of our AI profits as dividends—particularly growing dividends—so we don’t have to “buy and hope” for price gains alone?… Read more