Safe Tax-Free Bonds Paying 5%+ to Buy and Hold Forever

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If you’re looking for tax-free yields, municipal (“muni”) bonds can provide you with 5%+ distributions that Uncle Sam won’t touch. With rates rising, it is a bit tricky to make savvy buying decisions at the moment. But income investors buying smartly today are banking 5%+ yields – and paying as little as 88 cents on the dollar!

For quick profits, it’s best to buy munis after mini-panics. They seem to happen every year or two, presenting us levelheaded contrarians with safe yields for cheap. (Most recently, readers who followed my advice and bought munis after an irrational “tax plan panic” enjoyed total returns up to 16.7% in just 12 months!)

Muni Selloffs Usually Precede Quick Profits

Today: Big Discounts Plus Demand Outpaces Supply

For longer-term income investors looking for steady monthly paychecks, the best time to buy munis is usually anytime – especially for those in a high tax bracket.…
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Most “high bracket” investors love the idea of tax-free muni bonds. But they aren’t sure where to buy them, and often end up using exchange traded funds (ETFs) as their vehicle of choice.

Bad idea.

Muni ETFs provide a smooth but unfulfilling ride. The popular iShares National Muni Bond ETF (MUB) for example has rewarded its investors with a drama-free decade. Prescient investors who foresaw the big crash of 2008 and piled into munis saved themselves a year of heartburn and earned $50,000 in Federal tax-free income on every $100,000 they saved from stocks:

MUB is Steady, But Unspectacular

Stocks, as usual, were better over the long run.…
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Municipal bonds are off to a slow start in 2018 – which is usually a bullish sign for these tax-free payers.

We last “pounded the table” on munis in December 2016. They were coming off their worst month since the Great Recession, and we discussed their tendency to rally when they are hated:

“It’s impossible to call a top in yields (or bottom in munis) without the benefit of hindsight. But we contrarians make our money buying when nobody else wants to – and the last time munis were this hated, they returned 30-38% over the next 12 months.”

Turns out that was the bottom in munis.…
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If you take the mainstream financial media at face value, you might be under the impression that all high yield bonds are in big trouble with interest rates on the move.

Wrong.

The best bond portfolios haven’t actually budged since the recent market insanity began. Take, for example, our favorite PIMCO play. Its net asset value (NAV, the actual market value of its holdings) held steady while the stock market was dropping sharply:

What Crash? This NAV is Steady

The fund’s price, meanwhile, eased down 2.2% from peak to trough. But we shouldn’t confuse price with value – we should focus on the latter, which is a more accurate measure for investing profits.…
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As income investors react to the new tax plan, it’s a good bet that some are overreacting to certain aspects of it. They always do.

There’s confusion between high yielding fixed income, and pure junk. There’s also a flood of tax-advantaged paper about to hit the market, creating bargains for smart buyers.

The result? Yields up to 10%, with some price upside to boot!

Bargain #1: “Smart” High-Yield Bond Funds for 7.5%+

If you hold high-yield (often called junk) bonds, you may have noticed they’ve sold off as the Republicans’ tax talk became serious. They’ve taken down other assets, too – some for good reason, some not.…
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You’re not the only one worried about high stock prices.

The lurking (and perhaps overdue) bear has other income investors worried, too. So let’s talk about the best buys for those of you worried about a stock market pullback of 10%, or 15%, or more.

We’ll start with some stalwarts from our Contrarian Income Report portfolio that weathered the last storm. Ironically (and probably fittingly) it happened off the bat – we launched our service, and the S&P 500 promptly dropped 10%!

No problem for us, though. In fact, subscribers who focused on their own holdings rather than the financial news may have missed the broader carnage altogether.…
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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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