A 5.8% Dividend With 126% Upside Ahead (contrarians only)

The Contrary Investing Report

Investing and Trading News, with a Contrarian, Sarcastic Twist!

There’s a strong buying opportunity unfolding in an ignored corner of the market right now. Steady dividends of 5.8% (and higher) are waiting for savvy contrarians who jump on it.

By “savvy contrarians,” I, of course, mean us!

And the corner of the market I’m referring to is municipal bonds.

If you’ve been following the muni-bond saga over the last two months, you might find my enthusiasm a bit unfounded. After all, the coronavirus is hammering the finances of cities and states across the country and driving up the risk of muni-bond defaults—right? Not so fast.

Your Muni Default Risk? 0.042%Read more

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“It’s my money, and I want it now!”

That’s the rallying cry of everyday folks in commercials for J.G. Wentworth, a financial services firm that offers lump-sum cash payments for structured settlements, annuities, lottery payments and more. (If you’ve never seen one of these TV spots, I suggest you try one out. They’re so bad they’re good.)

Every income investor could (and probably should) take a cue from its motto. To quote another spot: “Show us the money!”

Monthly dividend stocks, of course, pay more often than any other income investment. Dividend checks coming in every 30 days are especially handy for retirees who have bills to pay.… Read more

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Volatility has taken over, and if you’re like most folks, you’re wondering where to find the safe dividends you need to sustain your savings—and income stream—as this pandemic drags on.

There’s one intriguing alternative you may not have thought of: senior loans, also called floating-rate loans. Because they’re far up the corporate food chain, they offer a layer of safety in the event of bankruptcy, something that’s on every investor’s mind these days.

In addition, senior loans offer yields of 6%, on average, making them an income investor’s dream, too. But are these loans—which I only recommend holding through a closed-end fund (CEF)—a buy today?… Read more

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“Brett, I didn’t sell (insert dividend stock here) in March. Should I hold my nose and sell now?”

If you sat on your hands during the March drop and subsequent bounce, you’re not alone. Many of your fellow income investors are still holding on to positions that they know they should probably sell, but haven’t yet. (I know this because I’ve heard this question from a number of you!)

Well, here’s the question I would ask you about the position:

“Is the business going to rebound to pre-pandemic levels any time soon?”

If the answer is “no” then why would you not sell the stock?… Read more

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We’re almost three months into this crisis and three things are crystal clear:

  1. Plenty of “household-name” dividend-payers are in big trouble—and not just the ones you see in the news. When the payout cuts come, the resulting share-price drops will crush the unwary.
  2. Way too many people are clinging to blue chips yielding 2% or 3%. But is such a small payout worth it when you can lose that much in a single trading session?
  3. We can’t trust any stated yield until we verify a company’s cash flow.

This may sound a bit alarmist, but imagine if I told you in January that by mid-May, Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Walt Disney (DIS) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) would have all either eliminated or, in Disney’s case, delayed their dividends.… Read more

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Has this market gone too far, too fast? Is another crash coming? And what the heck should we be buying now?

I’ll dive into all three questions today, and I think my answer to that last one will intrigue you: it’s a tech-focused closed-end fund (CEF) paying a growing 7% dividend! This under-the-radar fund also employs an unusual strategy that hedges its downside if we do get another pullback.

The One Number to Watch Now

Let’s start with where I see the market headed from here.

At its worst point in this latest crash, the S&P 500 lost about 30% of its value, and it did so in less than a month, only to begin recovering a few weeks later.… Read more

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If you’re making buy decisions based on the daily gyrations of the S&P 500, you’re setting yourself up for big losses—and costing yourself a shot at big dividends, too.

Why? For starters, at a 2% average yield, the popular names simply don’t pay enough. You’d need to save $2 million just to generate $40,000 in yearly dividends. And let’s be honest: if you have that much cash, you may as well just live on your $2 mil—and forget about dividends entirely!

The rest of us need a better option—one that lets us save a reasonable amount of money (I’m talking $500,000 to $600,000 here) and still generate meaningful income.… Read more

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Don’t listen to the permabears: they’re wrong when they tell you that the massive borrowing America is undertaking to fend off the coronavirus will cripple the economy for years to come.

You’ve no doubt heard this argument—it’s an old trope the talking heads roll out to scare investors into selling their stocks and stuffing cash in their mattresses. Imagine being frightened into selling in late March. You would have sold right at the bottom of this:

Giving in to Media Hype Here …

And if you were still sitting in cash today, grinding your teeth and wondering when you should get back in, you’d have already missed this:

… Locks in a Big Loss Here

And this doesn’t include missed dividend payments—payments you’ll continue to miss the longer you sit on the sidelines!… Read more

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“Not for individual resale.”

Ever see that label on a box of food, and scratch your head? Like who’s buying this big-mega bag of Chips Ahoy for the purpose of reselling the “individually packaged” helpings of cookies inside?

While you and I have better things to do than deconstruct groceries, we also have better ways to make money than deconstructing perfectly good bond funds.

My article about “preferred” shares a couple of weeks ago inspired a few questions. We’ve got a few adventurous income colleagues who are interested in unwrapping the perfectly good packaging we discussed. Let’s walk them back from this potential “Chips Ahoy moment” in a moment.… Read more

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The dividend-cut parade is starting on Wall Street, and we need to be on the lookout for “payout traps” that could be hiding in our portfolios (often in plain sight).

That task is made tougher because some companies are using unconventional approaches to cutting their payouts. Take the Walt Disney Company (DIS), which released first-quarter earnings last week. Included: news that Disney wouldn’t pay out dividends for the first half of 2020.

Disney’s Dividend Growth Stalls

After decades of growing its payouts (that dip you see in 2012 above is when the company went from annual to semi-annual payments—annualized payouts actually went up 19% that year), Disney isn’t outright announcing its dividend cut; it’s simply telling investors they may have to wait to get cash in their hands.… Read more

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