This “Dividend Inflator” Turns a 5.6% Payout Into 7.1%+

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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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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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Wondering if it’s too late to jump on this market recovery? I have great news: it absolutely is not.

But you won’t reap the biggest gains by, say, putting cash into your typical S&P 500 name—or in a passive index fund like the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).

Because while rising corporate profits will likely propel the market higher this year, you’ll put yourself in a much better position by hitting out at the two sectors (and two specific buys) I’ll reveal now.

Both sectors will be on my personal list this year, and I’ll be recommending stocks from each one to members of my Contrarian Income Report service, too.… Read more

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I get lots of pushback when I post an article panning exchange-traded funds. ETF fanboys (and girls) base their love on two things: ETFs’ cheap management fees and convenience, because they let you jump into an entire sector in one click.

My response? Handle these so-called “set it and forget it” plays with a lot of caution—or risk a big dent in your savings.

Getting What You Pay For

Far too many ETFs (like the four I’ll reveal below) are cheap for a reason: lousy returns! Worse, some aren’t even cheap—like my “second-worst” pick below, which charges an outrageous 2.1% fee and has no one at the helm at all.… 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—I’ve had several conversations with managers at CEF companies from across the market.

A common theme? They’re all frustrated that the average investor doesn’t know the many benefits CEFs deliver.… Read more

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It’s the No. 1 fear that keeps retirees (and near-retirees) pacing the halls at night: that their nest egg will expire before they will!

It’s easy to see why.

After all, many of these folks will need to fund a retirement that’s much longer than their parents’ was: according to the Brookings Institution, nearly one in four men who were 65 in 2015 will live to 90. Women have better odds: over one in three.

That adds up to 25 years (or more!) out of the workforce.

And today’s retirees are clocking out as old retirement-income “go-tos” scrape bottom: the average S&P 500 stock pays out just 1.7% today, near 7-year lows.… Read more

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