Warning: These 3 Dividend Darlings Could Ruin Your Retirement

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It’s a pitfall that can slash your income and your nest egg overnight—and this hidden trap is particularly dangerous to your financial health right now.

I’m talking about a snap dividend cut, something poor folks still sitting on General Electric (GE) shares learned again last week, when the stock tanked 9% in a single day after GE slashed its quarterly payout 92%—to a token penny.

The sad part is, anyone could have seen this massacre coming for miles.

All you had to do was look at GE’s cash flow, which kept staggering after the company sideswiped investors with a 50% dividend cut a year ago.… Read more

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Even legends can lose their edge. This applies to acclaimed investors and dividend aristocrats alike.

2018 was an explosive news year that will be remembered for many reasons. But one thing that will go under the radar is how this year has been a turning point for numerous old-guard dividend stocks. These companies have been no-brainer holdings in countless retirement portfolios for years – in fact, chances are you hold one if not several of them.

I’m going to highlight five of these revered but poorly aging blue chips in a minute. But first, I want to show you the danger of avoiding warning signs, even in legendary investments.… Read more

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Earlier this week, the Fed raised short-term interest rates for the third time this year, to a range of 2% to 2.25%. History suggests that higher rates can hurt dividend stocks in two ways:

First, companies that regularly borrow a lot of money (like REITs and utilities) now have to pay more to do so. Second, money market accounts, CD’s and short-term bonds are actually paying meaningful returns for the first time in a decade, offering a competitive alternative to dividends.

However, higher interest rates don’t have to sound the death knell for all dividends. By looking for the companies whose earnings expectations have actually been rising of late, you can sometimes find a healthy yield today and a business that is either resilient to, or even benefits from higher rates.… Read more

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Do you own the next GE? I’m talking about five dividends that are not as sacred as their shareholders mistakenly believe. We’ll review them in a minute.

First, the warning signs. Many investors were kicked in the gut by General Electric (GE) last year, no thanks to pundits who ignored numerous red flags and encouraged people to buy GE and its historically generous yield. Sure, 5% isn’t “high,” but in a sleepy industrial like General Electric, that’s certainly attractive at a glance.

It also was downright dangerous.

Anyone keeping tabs on the all-important payout ratios for General Electric’s dividend had to see the writing on the wall.…
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Lazy financial writers like to say that higher bond yields will hurt dividend stocks. This blanket statement may sound reasonable, but it’ll cost you money if you take it at face value.

Pundits have called sleepy dividend stocks like General Mills (GIS) “bond proxies” in recent years. GIS has paid 3% (more or less) over the last three years. That compared favorably with the 10-year note, which paid 2% (more or less) over that time period.

So, the story goes, investors had been buying stocks like GIS instead of safe bonds like Treasuries to scrape an extra 1% or so. But with Treasuries rallying to 3%, these same investors have “demanded” a higher yield from GIS.…
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Most investors are familiar with stock splits, but the real money is made when dividends “split.”

I’m talking about secure triple-digit returns in just 5 years (or less). And you could wind up with two dividend streams instead of one!

I’ve seen this strategy pay off time and time again.

And there’s really only one step: buy a recently spun off dividend-growth stock (or hold on to the “new” company if one of your holdings splits up) and tuck it away. Then watch as one—or both—take off into the stratosphere, cranking up their payouts as they go.

In the next few paragraphs, I’ll show you 2 spinoff stocks that have done just that, handing shareholders a 123% average return since they broke off from their parent companies no more than 5 years ago.…
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Have you always wanted to buy a safe stock like Coca-Cola (KO) and get rich from it like Warren Buffett?

It’s doable – and I’ll show you how in a minute.

Unfortunately most investors misapply Buffett’s lessons. They “live in the past” and fixate on dividend track records rather than a payout’s forward prospects. And looking ahead is the key to yearly gains of 10%, 15% or even 20% or more with dividend aristocrats.

Let’s consider Coke, which achieved its dividend royalty status in 1987 (its 25th straight year with a dividend hike). The firm hit its coronation with a head of steam, rewarding investors with a 362% payout hike in just five years (from 1986 to 1991).…
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Let’s dive into the General Electric (GE) dividend massacre that sent the market reeling last week. When the dust settled, the payout took a 50% haircut, and the stock had plunged about 11%.

Before I go on, I should tell you that GE isn’t the only household name I’m worried about. Further on, I’ll show you another investor “sacred cow” that’s showing some eerily similar signs. Then we’ll look at an unloved pharma play that’s more than worth your attention now.

First, let’s pick through the GE wreckage and see what we can learn, and where the stock could go from here.…
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There’s been a mini-wave of insider buying in the BDC (business development company) sector. This is worthy of our attention for two reasons:

  1. These firms pay fat yields (we’ll discuss 3 paying up to 13%),
  2. Their stocks are trading below book value.

This means we can buy these firms for as low as 71 on the dollar and get their dividend streams (and future cash flows) for free. (Remember when I told you to buy four big bank stocks when they were trading below book? If you followed my advice 18 months ago, you made a lot of money).

We’ll analyze each of these “pennies on the dollar” BDCs in a minute.…
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The stock market may be expensive today, but there are still bargains available in the REIT (real estate investment trust) world. Thanks to political, interest rate and even Amazon (AMZN) worries, you can add 7%+ real estate yields to your portfolio from the convenience of your brokerage account.

That said, there’s no reason to pay top dollar for REITs – not now, not ever. Today we’ll highlight three expensive REITs to avoid, and lead you toward some of the best bargains in the sector.

Price matters. Consider General Electric (GE), which has been a merely OK performer over the past few years, but has really punished investors who buy in during valuation peaks.…
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About Author

Brett

Hi, I’m Brett Owens – and I’m a financial junkie. My “problem” started incollege, when I got a little dose of the stock market – man, was I hooked…in no time, I was reading the Wall Street Journal religously.

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