5 Stocks Set to Roar Into 2021 (and 8 Laggards About to Crash)

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Sometimes, picking the best contrarian stocks can be fairly straightforward.

For instance, back in early spring, it seemed obvious to anyone who went a bit deeper than the daily headlines to see that the market wasn’t giving tech stocks their due, given its importance during the lockdown and its potential for big post–COVID-19 growth.

So in April I wrote an article that highlighted the Columbia Seligman Premium Tech Fund (STK), a closed-end fund (CEF) primed to benefit from surging online shopping, rising mobile data use and the fast shift toward working from home. Plus, STK yielded an outsized 9.4%, so you were getting a large part of your profits in dividend cash.… Read more

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These days, I’m hearing from a lot of readers who are worried about this market rebound—and wondering whether they should buy high-yield stocks or sit on the sidelines.

They’re right to be worried—the S&P 500’s 19% surge (!) in the last 12 months has only been topped a handful of times in the last 20 years, and none of those 12-month periods saw a pandemic that shuttered the global economy.

Pandemic Strikes … Stocks Soar?

So what the heck is going on here? And how should you respond?

Well, here’s my (admittedly contrarian) take: the stock market should be at record highs, and you should be buying stocks now—especially high-yield stocks—as long as you choose the right ones, of course.… Read more

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Mainstream financial channels have made a big deal out of the current relief rally (“Is it a ‘V-shaped’ recovery?” they comically muse). Whether it’s a V, W,  L, Nike swoosh or (my favorite) bathtub, the fact is that most stocks are still down on the mat.

(This is no surprise. The average bear market lasts 12 to 18 months. We are just beginning month three—yikes.)

The well-known S&P 500 always leads the headlines. Five hundred of America’s blue-chip firms, sounds like a pretty good sample size, no?

In 2020… no. The index is weighted by market cap, giving favor to Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN)—its top three holdings—which have outperformed the market by a wide margin recently.… Read more

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If you’ve been told it’s impossible to outperform low-cost index funds because the market’s too efficient, you’ve been misled.

The truth is, there are many funds that have been beating the stock market for years. And here’s something really surprising: there are more funds pulling off this feat now than there have been in a long time!

In fact, across ETFs, mutual funds and closed-end funds (CEFs), there are 3,594 funds that have beaten the S&P 500’s 24.3% return since the start of 2019.

So much for not beating the market!

That leads me straight into the two things I want to discuss with you today:

  1. Why now is still a great time to buy, even with stocks near all-time highs, and …
  2. Why you’ll give yourself better odds of beating the market, and grab far higher dividends, if you go with actively managed funds, particularly CEFs like the technology-focused fund yielding an outsized 6% now that I’ll tell you about shortly.

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Think it’s impossible to bag 852% gains and a 6% dividend in one stock?

It’s not only possible—it’s easy! I’m going to give you the three (and only three) simple steps you need to do it yourself today.

Let’s start with the one thing we’re not going to do: follow the “buy and hope” crowd into a fanboy (and girl) favorite like Netflix (NFLX).

In search of big gains, first-level investors crowd into a non-dividend-payer like Netflix, simply because it’s delivered stunning growth in the past. And they almost always dive in when the stock is at the height of its popularity, like last July, when NFLX was scraping all-time highs.… Read more

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U.S. stocks posted modest gains this week, which was shortened by the Good Friday holiday. The first full week of earnings season saw largely positive reports, especially from the banks, given the fact that aggregate profits are expected to decline 3% to 4% in the first quarter.

The earnings decline in the face of robust gains to begin 2019 was enough to send strategists at Jefferies to the sidelines this week. On Monday, the firm lowered its rating on U.S. Equities to Modestly Bearish, in the context of their global asset allocation.

However, overall investor sentiment remains high in this country.… Read more

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Growth or yield? Why choose when we can have both.

There are 32 dividend hikes on the way that are going to set up their investors for a big 12 months ahead. How? Simple–these payout raises are going to provide fuel to their attached share prices. The 10%+ raises (and there will be double-digit increases) in particular are going to position their shareholders for safe 10% to 12% returns in the year ahead regardless of what the broader stock market does.

Ever wonder why the yield on your favorite dividend aristocrat always looks low even though the firm is regularly raising that payout?… Read more

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If you’re like most people, you’re wondering one thing right now: can stocks keep soaring following December’s nosedive—even after spiking 8% in January?

The answer? Absolutely.

To get at why I’m so sure, we’ll first go a couple steps further than headline-driven “first-level” investors do. Then I’ll give you a way you could double (or more) your rebound gains thanks to a terrific closed-end fund (CEF) yielding 7.2%—and “spring loaded” for 35% returns this year.

The Ignored Connection Between Jobs and Stocks

To get at what’s in store for the markets in 2019, we have to go back to 2009 and zero in on one thing: jobs.… Read more

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The broader stock market averages digested recent gains this week, as trading activity was shortened by the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

Trade talks with China appear to have reached a stalemate, as U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that the two sides were “miles and miles” apart from settling trade issues. Back at home, the Federal government shutdown found a temporary solution on Friday. The deal re-opens government operations through Feb. 15, as Congress and the White House will continue to discuss border security.

Earnings Season in Full Force

Despite the holiday, it was a busy week for earnings.… Read more

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It’s a pearl of investment wisdom that’s been around for 100+ years. You’ve probably heard it over and over again.

It goes like this: if you want to make money in stocks, you must buy companies with unforgettable household names.

Too bad this “wisdom” is a relic of the past—so much so that it can actually kill your profits! I’ll show you why now, and give you four big names you should avoid, or sell if you hold them.

Then we’ll move on to two much better buys—off-the-radar companies that have been quietly handing their shareholders big price gains and massive dividend hikes that put their “cool kid” cousins to shame.… Read more

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