This 7.6% Yield is Paid Monthly, Trades at 96% of Fair Value

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High-yield bonds have never paid less. Which is too bad, because let’s be honest—dividends are the reason we income investors wade in “junk bond” waters in the first place.

Fortunately, by being selective rather than lamestream, we can double our existing high-yield bond dividends. Nothing fancy, either. We sell the unselective ETFs and buy the ones with proven bond investors at the helm.

Before starting, let me make one huge point. It is true that almost all actively managed equity mutual funds aren’t worth the management fees investors pay. But some actively-managed bond funds most definitely are worth it.

The ETFs we would be selling are the two most popular high-yield bond ETFs.… Read more

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Brilliant bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach—aka the “bond god”—has decreed that it’s time to sell “junk” bonds. And he’s gone as far as to say that one-third of corporate bonds should probably be rated as junk.

Gundlach is one of the few “gurus” that we pay attention to. He called the subprime mortgage crisis ahead of time in 2007, an epic rally in US Treasuries earlier this decade, and President Trump’s election in early 2016 (when few gave the Republican candidate a chance.)

And his two closed-end funds (CEFs) are excellent long-term additions to a retirement portfolio. Over the last six years his two DoubleLine funds have roared to 72% and 54% total returns (with the majority of these gains coming as cash dividends:)

DoubleLine CEF’s Deliver: Distributions Plus Gains

But no guru is perfectly clairvoyant!… Read more

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A big thank you to the 1,186 subscribers who attended our Contrarian Income Report webcast! As we discussed in the session, I did my best to address presubmitted questions during the session.

More questions came in during the live webcast. I love the enthusiasm. Let’s use our time together today to chat about your shared thoughts, curiosities and concerns.

Q: What do you think about trailing stops (with percentages)?

Q: Do you recommend trailing stops, or should we just wait for you to tell us when to sell?

Q: Would a 10% trailing stop work for your picks?

Q: How did these holdings perform during a bear market?Read more

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A big thank you to the 1,186 subscribers who attended our Contrarian Income Report webcast! As we discussed in the session, I did my best to address presubmitted questions during the session.

More questions came in during the live webcast. I love the enthusiasm. Let’s use our time together today to chat about your shared thoughts, curiosities and concerns.

Q: What do you think about trailing stops (with percentages)?

Q: Do you recommend trailing stops, or should we just wait for you to tell us when to sell?

Q: Would a 10% trailing stop work for your picks?

Q: How did these holdings perform during a bear market?Read more

Read More

A big thank you to the 1,186 subscribers who attended our Contrarian Income Report webcast! As we discussed in the session, I did my best to address presubmitted questions during the session.

More questions came in during the live webcast. I love the enthusiasm. Let’s use our time together today to chat about your shared thoughts, curiosities and concerns.

Q: What do you think about trailing stops (with percentages)?

Q: Do you recommend trailing stops, or should we just wait for you to tell us when to sell?

Q: Would a 10% trailing stop work for your picks?

Q: How did these holdings perform during a bear market?Read more

Read More

“There it is – Freddo’s Ice Cream. It should be right next door,” I half-heartedly explained to my wife.

And with feigned confidence, I added, “I’ll be right back.”

I crossed the street once, then again… and walked up toward this monolith:

I didn’t see a teller window, so I walked around into the ice cream shop. Maybe that was the entrance.

Nope, just a wall. So I circled back, and the door on the left “buzzed” at me. I tried to pull it open—to no avail.

It buzzed again. I tried pushing this time, and it opened. Inside there were two teller windows, both guarded by bulletproof glass.… Read more

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Closed-end funds (CEFs) are increasingly becoming favorites of retirees looking for income. And why not? Many pay 5%, 6% and even 7% or more today. In a world where stocks yield 2% and bonds just 3% or so, the extra dividends can be the key to a comfortable retirement.

The “closed” in CEF technically means that the fund’s pool of shares is fixed. Which is why these vehicles can have wild price swings above and below the values of their actual assets. (Good for us contrarian income seekers – we can buy below fair value to maximize our yields and upside.)

They are also closed in their actual communications with the financial world.… Read more

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Certain closed-end fund (CEF) investors are getting a little desperate for dividends. It’s tough to blame them for reaching for 5%, 6% and even 7%+ yields in a 2% to 3% world.

But by grossly overpaying for funds, they are risking too much capital to bank these payouts. If you own any of the five popular funds I’m about to call out, you should consider selling them immediately.

(There are bargain replacements, after all. I’m talking about funds trading as cheap as $0.88 on the dollar and yielding 7.2%. We’ll discuss specifics in a moment.)

“First-level” income seekers can be greedy one minute and fearful the next.… Read more

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Legendary investor and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett recently gave us an insight into the type of dividend-paying fund he’d invest in if he could:

“Our aversion to leverage has dampened our returns over the years. But (partner Charlie Munger) and I sleep well. Both of us believe it is insane to risk what you have and need in order to obtain what you don’t need.”

“Leverage” stands out because it’s a common tool used among several high-yield classes, from mortgage real estate investment trusts (mREITs) to business development companies (BDCs). Even closed-end funds (CEFs) – which some investors turn to for relative safety versus individual stocks given CEFs’ diverse portfolios – can sport high leverage of between 30% and 60%.…
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The term closed-end fund (CEF) is a bit of a double entendre. An unintended one, I’m sure – and one we can leverage for safe 6%, 7% and even 8% yields with upside to boot.

The “closed” in CEF technically means that the fund’s number of shares are fixed. Which is why these vehicles can have wild price swings above and below the values of their actual assets. (Good for us contrarian income seekers – we can buy below fair value to maximize our yields and upside.)

They are also closed in their actual communications with the financial world. Fund information is often limited (sometimes to one-page fact sheets) and it’s difficult to get management to talk to you.…
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