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If you’re serious about investing, you have to develop a head for math. Hard numbers not only keep you grounded, but sometimes offer the only way to make sense of the weird ways that Wall Street works.

Consider that odd fact I shared recently about how a 50% loss followed by a 50% gain actually leaves you 25% in the hole. Strange, but true!

And here’s another fun fact: In a room of just 23 people there’s a 50/50 chance that two people share the same birthday. In a room of 40 people, the chance is more than 90%… And at 55, the chance is 99%.… Read more

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I’m an investor in Invesco QQQ, a fund that gives me access to Nasdaq-100 innovations like volumetric video technology.

My fellow hoops fans watching March Madness are seeing a million commercials for Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ). They feature flashy camera angles with average investors “dropping knowledge” about the tech stocks they are proud to own via this ETF.

In the spot, the investor humble brags about her “volumetric” video technology investment. English translation: The use of many cameras at different angles to make a sporting event look three dimensional on TV. (Last week, ESPN broadcast a professional basketball game for the first time using this technology.)… Read more

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What are we dividend investors to expect in 2021? Let’s look to Washington, DC, where the switch on Jay Powell’s printing press is stuck in “high”:

Money Supply Surges—With No End in Sight

With Powell’s fiat money keeping (what’s left of) the Main Street economy afloat, you can bet that his “instant” cash will keep rolling in. He’ll have a willing partner in incoming Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who followed the same strategy when she was Fed chair:

New Boss Same as the Old Boss

This is a recipe for inflation once the economy gets back on its feet. Back in September, we discussed some stocks that make solid inflation hedges by hiking their dividends faster than prices (and inevitably, interest rates) rise.… Read more

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Tech has taken a punch in the face this past few weeks—prompting many readers to wonder if it’s time to sell after booking some big gains in the sector this year.

No way. We’re dividend investors first and contrarians second, so we’re going to take the other side of that bet and buy this tech “mini-dip.” We’ll do it with closed-end funds (CEFs) yielding 7% (and more) that also give us a unique “double discount” to hedge any downside we might see in the coming months (this is 2020, after all) and a good shot at outperforming tech and the broader market, too.… Read more

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Few people realize it, but there’s a way to get big dividends (I’m talking 6%+ payouts) from popular tech stocks—Facebook (FB), Amazon.com (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) among them.

I know that when most people hear about tech these days, they immediately think the sector is overvalued. It’s easy to see why: tech is the sole driver of the S&P 500’s gain this year. In fact, when you hear people say the stock market is up in 2020, you might want to correct them and say that, in fact, it’s tech, and not the market as a whole, that’s up.… Read more

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These days, everybody’s looking for the one magic indicator that says when an investment is overbought—or better yet, reveals if it’s a terrific bargain.

Of course, no signal is right 100% of the time, but there is one that gives us the next best thing and unlocks high, “crisis-resistant” dividends, too.

The Perfect Crisis-Investment Indicator (for 7%+ Dividends)

The “bargain alert” I’m talking about is a figure called the discount to net asset value (NAV). And you’ll only find it in a high-yielding investment called a closed-end fund (CEF).

Before we venture too far into financial-jargon land, let’s unpack this, because what I’m about to show you is the simplest, most effective way I know of to grab steady 7%+ dividends and predictable upside in any market.Read more

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You can be forgiven for not looking to the big-name tech stocks for high dividends. Just look at this rogue’s gallery of pathetic payouts!

  • Facebook (FB): Dividend yield: 0%
  • Amazon.com (AMZN): Dividend yield: 0%
  • Apple (AAPL): Dividend yield: 0.9%
  • Netflix (NFLX): Dividend yield: 0%
  • Google, a.k.a. Alphabet (GOOGL): Dividend yield: 0%

Those are the so-called FAANG stocks—the darlings of the tech world. But they’re no place for retirees, or anyone else on the hunt for dividends. (Though there is one often-ignored way to get an 8.5% dividend from them; more on that in a second.)

Luckily for the folks who hold these stocks, which make up about 17% of the S&P 500, they’ve made up for their pathetic—or nonexistent—dividends in outsized price gains as the market has bounced back.… Read more

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If you’re like most people, you’re wondering how in the world the market can be doing this when the country has been on lockdown for the better part of two months:

Stocks Soaring

As you can see above, stocks spiked 22% since late March, going by the performance of the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI). Meantime, the economy is a shadow of its former self: the Federal Reserve expects it to shrink 40% in the second quarter—worse than the 23% drop seen at the depths of the Great Depression.

Before you ask, no, this disconnect isn’t a recipe for another crash.… Read more

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Has this market gone too far, too fast? Is another crash coming? And what the heck should we be buying now?

I’ll dive into all three questions today, and I think my answer to that last one will intrigue you: it’s a tech-focused closed-end fund (CEF) paying a growing 7% dividend! This under-the-radar fund also employs an unusual strategy that hedges its downside if we do get another pullback.

The One Number to Watch Now

Let’s start with where I see the market headed from here.

At its worst point in this latest crash, the S&P 500 lost about 30% of its value, and it did so in less than a month, only to begin recovering a few weeks later.… Read more

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It’s a tired piece of “wisdom” you hear from personal-finance gurus over and over: you need to invest in low-cost, passive index funds to get the highest return.

Too bad it’s completely false!

Today we’re going to look at how obsessing over fees can actually cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Then I’ll name a fund that could get you big gains and pays a dividend north of 6%. What’s more, this unusual fund, a closed-end fund (CEF), to be specific, gives you that steady cash payout while holding some of the biggest stocks out there—I’m talking about household tech names like Apple (AAPL) and Amazon.comRead more

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