4 “Safe” Dividends That are Anything But

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Don’t take any stated yields for granted these days! The financial news has been flooded with dividend cuts lately, with Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) and Mattel (MAT) taking the hatchet to their payouts, and telecom Windstream (WIN) dropping its dividend too.

It’s dangerous to buy headline yields – or even supposedly “safe” blue chips with more modest dividends – without looking at the profits funding these payouts. Companies with high payout ratios (how much in earnings, funds from operations and other measures a company pays out in the form of dividends) are a twofold risk:

  1. High payout ratios can lead to a slowing in dividend growth, which means your payout is increasingly likely to fall behind inflation.


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You may think $500,000 isn’t enough money to retire on.

It is. Because with two quick steps, you can transform any $500K “buy and hope” portfolio into a $3,279 monthly income stream:

  1. First, sell everything. Including the 2%, 3% and even 4% payers that simply don’t yield enough to really matter. Then,
  2. Buy my 8 favorite monthly dividend payers.

The result? $3,279.69 in monthly income every month (from an average 7.6% annual yield, paid every 30 days).

With upside on your initial $500,000 to boot!

Traditional dividend stocks simply can’t keep up, and I’ll show you why. Let’s take a 4-pack of popular names Procter & Gamble (PG), McDonald’s (MCD), Altria (MO), and General Mills (GIS) to illustrate how much they’ll pay investors the rest of the year.…
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Is there a bond bubble? There’s certainly more froth than not, with investors recklessly reaching for the riskiest of yields.

But there’s one last 10% dividend on the board worthy of our consideration. It’s available thanks to investors’ misunderstanding (and laziness) – we’ll discuss details in a minute.

But first, let’s review three key rules that will help us navigate this budding bond bubble.

Rule #1: Maximize Your Upside

Our favorite second-level thinker Howard Marks noted in an op-ed for Barron’s that Netflix (NFLX) bond buyers – who recently scooped up €1.3 billion of Eurobonds paying just 3.625% – might have exposed themselves to significant downside without much upside.…
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The stock market is high, which means yields are low. But don’t worry – we still have places to put new money for 7.5% payouts today with 20%+ upside to boot!

I count ten stocks and funds to be specific with these secure, elite payouts. And while their current yields may say “just” 7.5% on average, all ten are poised for 10%+ total returns in the years ahead.

How is this possible?

Remember, total returns are made up of dividends and price appreciation. The latter, price gains, are driven by some combination of:

  1. Dividend raises, and/or
  2. A discount window closing (or at least narrowing).


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The ideal “no withdrawal” retirement portfolio is a diversified one. Since you’re reading this, I know you know stocks. But how comfortable are you buying bonds – especially the more obscure issues (which provide the best yields and value?)

Probably not as comfortable as you are with good ol’ dividend paying stocks. But here’s the good news – it doesn’t matter.

You can diversify your portfolio, bank safe 9% yields and hire one of the best bond managers on the planet. For free, to boot! It just requires a bit of contrarian thinking – and knowing which publicly traded funds these guys are managing behind the scenes.

Pick the right fund, and you can actually enjoy total returns up to 35% per year. Here’s how. …
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Closed-end fund (CEF) investors regularly go crazy. Their bouts with investment insanity often present us contrarian income hunters with 8%+ yields. And big price upside to boot.

But be careful, because these first-level types can be as greedy as they are fearful. It’s important to fade both of their emotional extremes for dividend security and price gains.

Today the mood amongst CEF investors is generally upbeat. Which means there are more “sells” than usual in a sector that should generally be greeted with a bit of skepticism (more on this in a minute).

However there are a few compelling buys today that are a retiree’s dream – 8% yields with, say, 30% price upside. We’ll get to those in a moment. First, let’s make sure you don’t own any overpriced funds. …
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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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