Contrarian Income Mailbag: Your Questions, My Answers

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Thank you to our 1,578 Contrarian Income Report subscribers who attended our Q1 webcast a couple of weeks back!

We have you, our thoughtful reader and income investor, to thank for the inspiration behind the firehose. We received 114 questions during our one-hour call, plus several more beforehand. Amazing.

As promised, I have read each and every question (as has our excellent customer service team). Last week, we chatted about CEFs. Let’s tackle some dividend stock questions today.

Q: I love your overall dividend approach. I have some cash on the sideline expecting a correction. Any thoughts on the timing and percentage dip of that correction?Read more

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One of the biggest risks you’ll face as an investor is the temptation to listen to people at the extremes.

In income investing, these so-called “gurus” break down into two camps. The first are the indexers, who argue that all you need to do is buy a fund like the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), which, as the name suggests, simply tracks the S&P 500. Sure, the yield is a crummy 1.5%, but you need to stick with it, work for 40 years, save as much as you can, and live off the low payout.

Unfortunately, if you follow this “advice,” you’ll have to save north of $4 million if you want a $50,000 dividend stream to live on without selling down your holdings.… Read more

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Most dividend investors understandably love the idea of an 8% No Withdrawal Portfolio. It’s a simple yet “game changing” idea that you don’t hear much from mainstream pundits and advisors.

Find stocks that pay 7%, 8% or more and you can retire comfortably, living off dividend checks while your initial capital stays intact (or even appreciates).

Now this strategy is a bit more complicated than simply finding 8% yields and buying them. Granted the recent stock market pullback has benefited investors like us because we can snag more dividends for our dollar. Yields are higher overall, and that’s a good thing.… Read more

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are one of the market’s best sources of high yield. But they can also be one of its searing sources of heartburn.

For your sanity’s sake, and for the good of your retirement savings, avoid the five high-yielding REITs I’m going to warn you about today. Then reinvest that money into the sure-fire 8% yielders I’ll highlight after that.

REITs are set up, by design, to be income powerhouses. That’s the deal. They get to evade Uncle Sam, and in return, they have to funnel the lion’s share of their profits to shareholders. But a mandate only goes so far – if a REIT has less cash to redistribute, simple math says you and I suffer.…
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Residential real estate is hot right now – and apartment owners are making money hand-over-fist. But don’t worry, I’m not going to recommend you run out and buy an entire complex. Instead, I’ve got three apartment REITs you can buy from the convenience of your computer (or phone, for that matter!) for yields up to 7.3%.

Rents are now so high nationwide that no one person making minimum wage for 40 hours a week can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment – a fact driven partly by low minimum pay, but also rising rents.

Not all REITs in the space are buys, of course.…
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Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have essentially one job to do for their investors – pay reliable dividends. Many do, but when firms find their payouts in jeopardy things get ugly in a hurry. Which is why you need to avoid, or sell, the five ticking time bombs we’re going to discuss today.

Dividend cuts don’t just “happen.” When a REIT slashes or suspends its dividend, it’s rarely a surprise – and rarely an isolated incident.

Let’s consider Armour Residential REIT (ARR) – here’s five years of dividend cuts and misery:

Sure, the current yield for Armour always looks good at 10% or higher. Problem is, its payout can’t be trusted. And neither can these five unsustainable dividends. …
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