Blackstone Wants In On Data Center REITS, You Should Too

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The explosion in data usage in recent years has led to good fortunes for Data Center REITs such as Equinix (EQIX) and Digital Realty (DLR). Even Blackrock decided that now was the time to invest in data centers, buying out QTS Realty (QTS) for a big premium last month.

Some investors might think the easy money has been made, but I’m here to say that the trends in data usage should lead to both strong capital returns and attractive dividend growth for the foreseeable future.

Here’s why.

The data explosion has been one of the more long-lasting secular trends in recent history and a big reason for the move by Blackstone in acquiring QTS.… Read more

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Let’s cut the Fed-babble and call things how they really are. Because what happened last week means a lot for our dividends—and whether we’ll be able to count on them in the future.

(In a moment, we’ll hit up three stocks that are perfect buys in today’s “Fed-driven” economy—they pay dividends up to four times bigger than those of the S&P 500.)

Last week we learned that:

  • The economy is roaring, with GDP up 6.4% in March from a year ago—that’s the kind of number you expect from a developing country like Vietnam, not the world’s biggest economy, yet …
  • The Fed’s money printer will STILL go “Brrrrrrr…” Jay Powell made no bones about it after last Wednesday’s Fed meeting: his massive bond purchases and zero-point-nothing interest rates are here to stay.

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2020 is finally in the books, and many REITs (real estate investment trusts) remain in the bargain bin. Is it time to buy these generous dividend payers and bet on a 2021 rebound?

Savvy contrarians that we are, we’re focusing on REITs because they are the one part of the market that was left behind as everyone rushed back into stocks in the back half of 2020.

Normally, REITs more or less track the blue-chip index, but when COVID-19 crushed these landlords’ tenants, that changed in a big way: investors sold REITs—and they’re still on the mat.

REITs Fall Behind

That orange line is the price return of the benchmark Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ), which yields 4% today—a massive payout in today’s zero-point-nothing interest-rate world.… Read more

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This crisis has caused a lot of folks to develop a crippling fear when it comes to REITs: they see the beating mall owners like Simon Property Group (SPG) have taken and swear REITs off for good. 

To be sure, SPG took it on the chin in March, and has not gotten up:

Simon’s Business Model: Broken for Good

But way too many people think REITs are about shopping malls, and that’s about it. It’s too bad, because this first-level thinking causes them to miss out on a lot of upside—and dividend growth, too.

Beyond the Mall

Members of my Hidden Yields service know better: we wanted nothing to do with mall landlords before this crisis, because Amazon.comRead more

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In recent weeks, we’ve discussed proven strategies for protecting and growing our nest egg (and dividends) in this crisis. These are the times when fortunes are made and big income streams are built. However, we must be extra careful about our purchases, with plenty of “payout landmines” suddenly spread around the market.

In last Tuesday’s article, for example, we covered the most powerful indicator of dividend safety: the payout ratio, specifically dividends as a percentage of free cash flow (FCF). Unlike net income, which can be manipulated, FCF is the clearest picture of the cash a firm is generating.

That makes the FCF payout ratio the perfect one-step test to run on your holdings.… Read more

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Is it time to tariff-proof our dividends (again)?

A couple months into the U.S.-China trade tensions, I said the key was to buy dividend-growth stocks: “Payout growth like that is proven to throw an updraft under share prices when the markets get skittish due to any kind of worry: trade spats, terrorist attacks, wars—you name it.”

Then I highlighted a trio of dividend growers–Life Storage (LSI), Ecolab (ECL) and Carnival Corp. (CCL)–that looked primed to swim upstream. Unpredictable fuel costs helped weigh on our Carnival pick, but even then, the combined total return of all three selections nearly doubled the S&P 500’s return.… Read more

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This market wipeout has one big silver lining for income investors like you and me: dividend yields are soaring—and today we’re going to tap four of my favorite stocks for payouts all the way up to 8.9%.

First, though, to see just how incredible this buying opportunity is, look no further than the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ), the benchmark ETF for real estate investment trusts (REITs).

If you logged into your investment account now and simply bought VNQ, you’d kick-start a nice 4.8% income stream. The ETF has only shelled out a payout that big on two other occasions—and only very briefly—in the last 10 years.… Read more

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