Earn 6.6% Without Ever Sweating the Fed Again

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The market isn’t doing fixed-income investors any favors right now. But one of my favorite funds—in one of the best cash flow niches in the market—is delivering a gaudy 6.6% yield at today’s prices.

And it does that by holding some of Wall Street’s most boring, stable and dependable securities.

How can we bank this 6.6% “free lunch” when 10-year Treasuries still pay less than 2%? By tapping into an income stream that most individual investors rarely think about: Preferreds.

The Power of Preferreds

If we wanted to own a piece of a company, say JPMorgan Chase (JPM), we’d go out and buy a few shares of JPM.… Read more

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This GameStop madness is a clear and present danger to our dividends.

Let’s stop and look at exactly what it means for our income streams, and what we’re going to buy to protect ourselves (and cash in with monthly payouts up to 8%!)

When the Dumb Money Runs, We Need to Be Careful

The whipsawing shares of GameStop (GME), AMC Entertainment Holdings and others are classic cases of “dumb money” in action: they’re among the many short squeezes breaking out across the market—where short sellers, including hedge funds, betting against a stock lose big as buyers bid the stock up in an effort to “stick it to the suits.”… Read more

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As Wall Street loses its mind over a long bond that pays a lousy 1%, we level-headed income investors are going to stay calm. And 7.7% on.

Yes, we “prefer” (hint, hint) dividends that are 7X the weak 1% yield the wonks are clamoring about. I’ll get to the specifics on these retirement makers—which we can buy as easily as common stocks—in a moment. First, let’s appreciate their dividend grandeur.

The Fed is content to sit on a near-zero benchmark rate until at least next year if not 2023. Compounding the problem is that yields on traditional blue chips, while always insufficient, are a downright mockery right now—the 1.55% current yield on the S&P 500 is its lowest point in 15 years.… Read more

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With stocks breaking to all-time highs, we should emphasize security of the dividends we’re purchasing first and foremost. In previous months, it was a good time to be greedy. Now, with other investors in a fervor, let’s be careful.

The main thing we don’t want to do in a pricey market like this? Join the millions of “buy and hopers” out there. I call them that because they “buy” the typical S&P 500 stock and then “hope” for gains.

They’re sure not buying for the dividends: the popular names pay a poverty-level 1.6% income stream, on average.

With a lame yield like that, hoping for a jump in the share price is the only play you’ve got!… Read more

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Wall Street can have its casino. We’re going to look past the suits’ “common shares” and instead dial in some steady dividends—up to 10%!—that, for whatever reason, aren’t widely talked about on financial news channels and websites.

We income investors could care less what the S&P 500 or, heaven forbid, glue-sniffing NASDAQ, did in their daily session. When you’ve got “preferred” dividends funding your retirement, we can look down on those who roll the dice with their nest eggs.

These types of preferred-stock funds have a few key advantages:

  1. They pay their dividends monthly,
  2. They boast generous yields (between 5.4% and 10%, for example), and
  3. Their prices don’t drop nearly as much as the S&P or the NASDAQ during market fits.

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Preferred stocks are hands-down the most ignored investments in this crisis. That’s too bad, because they’re one of the best ways to get a high, safe income stream. And you can supercharge their dividends by purchasing these “dividend unicorns” through preferred-stock closed-end funds.

Before I go further, let me say that if the term “preferred shares” has your eyes glazing over, I get it: most people feel these investments are too obscure to bother with. But stick with me, because preferreds are actually perfectly suited to today’s contradictory economy, with its high numbers of bankruptcies and a rising stock market.… Read more

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You’ve probably heard that less than half of active funds beat their index, and a low-cost index fund is your best bet for long-term investing.

Well, today I want to show you why that is 100% wrong. I’ll also reveal 15 funds paying dividends from 5.6% to 7%, while crushing their index, too.

First, the facts.

When it comes to mutual funds, it’s true that the vast majority of them do not beat their indexes. It’s also true that most funds of all types that invest in common stocks don’t beat their index.

But there’s more to investing than stocks. Much more.… Read more

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Members of my CEF Insider service often tell me they’d love to know a lot more about the people at the helm of closed-end funds—the good, the bad and the ugly.

It makes sense: after all, when you buy a CEF, these folks play a huge role in whether you notch a big gain (and income stream) or, well, not so much.

An Insider’s View

As one of the few analysts who focuses solely on CEFs—especially smaller CEFs, with market caps of $1 billion or less—I’ve had several conversations with managers at CEF companies from across the market.

A common theme?… Read more

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If this were any “normal” time, we’d be able to buy safe bonds and collect enough income on our nest egg to fund our retirements. Unfortunately, this is the “new normal” where the Fed is not the friend of us current and hopeful retirees!

Jay Powell is afraid for his job, which means he’s going to cut rates and keep them low for a long time. This means we must look beyond traditional bonds for meaningful income.

What about blue chip dividend-paying stocks? Well, an 11-year stock market rally has ruined that idea. Anyone putting new money in a pricey dividend aristocrat is “buying and hoping” that the stock continues to levitate while the firm dishes its dividend.… Read more

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Are you worried that you’re going to outlive your money? It’s a fair concern with interest rates low and heading lower.

To put it bluntly, many well-off retirees are at serious risk of having to pick up a “side hustle” to avoid dying broke. Passive income in the popular retirement “go-tos” is simply no help today, as the average S&P 500 stock pays a skimpy 1.9% now. Ten-year Treasuries? Even worse, at just 1.5%.

So unless you’ve got $2.1 million laying around to invest in the typical blue chip stock—enough to get you a $40,000 annual dividend stream—you’ll likely have to sell some of your stocks to supplement your dividend income.… Read more

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