2 Quick Steps for $40,000 in Dividends, and Upside, in 2021

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If you’re making buy decisions based on the daily gyrations of the S&P 500, you’re setting yourself up for big losses—and costing yourself a shot at big dividends, too.

Why? For starters, at a 1.6% average yield, the popular names simply don’t pay enough. You’d need to save $2.5 million just to generate $40,000 in yearly dividends!

We need a better option—one that lets us save a reasonable amount of money (I’m talking $500,000 to $600,000 here) and still generate meaningful income.

I’ll give you two of my best contrarian strategies for doing that in a moment. First, let me show you why it pays to be patient right now, even though many folks are rushing to buy stocks, with the S&P 500 up 14% as I write this.… Read more

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When this closed-end fund (CEF) lowered its monthly dividend for the first time in 17 years, many income investors (understandably) panicked and sold.

Too bad for them. They missed out on 27% returns over the next 20 months.

Can a dividend cut actually be a good thing? Like life itself, it’s complicated—but my short answer is “yes.” Here’s when (and why).

CEFs are the exception to the “dividend cuts are bad” rule. In CEF-Land, payouts are taken from a fund’s portfolio, which is represented by a fund’s net asset value (NAV). Sure, the funds that we buy generally have income streams that are supposed to “power” NAV higher.… Read more

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“Brett, how you hanging in there?” My CPA leaned into his computer on our latest Zoom call.

“Well, every time Gavin Newsom talks, my life seems to get a bit worse.” (The governor of California had just announced that public and private schools would not open in the fall.)

He cracked up. “That comment reminds me of a column you wrote years ago about (then Fed Chair) Janet Yellen. Something about Yellen yapping and closed-end funds (CEFs) rising?”

“Right. Poor Janet. She sure was level-headed compared to (current Fed Chair) Jay Powell. Every time Powell speaks, gold pops!”

The reason is obvious.… Read more

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The way most folks invest, they’ll need way more than a million bucks to retire—in fact, they’ll need almost double that!

No wonder so many people throw up their hands and commit to working till they’re 100. Maybe you’re one of these frustrated souls. With the world in the state it’s in today, I can’t blame you.

But what if I told you that you could retire on a lot less? Like 75% less.

That’s right: a fully paid-for retirement on just a $437,500 nest egg. Save up that much and you can look forward to a steady $35,000 in dividends (which is right around the average personal income in the US) year in and year out.… Read more

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If you’re making buy decisions based on the daily gyrations of the S&P 500, you’re setting yourself up for big losses—and costing yourself a shot at big dividends, too.

Why? For starters, at a 2% average yield, the popular names simply don’t pay enough. You’d need to save $2 million just to generate $40,000 in yearly dividends. And let’s be honest: if you have that much cash, you may as well just live on your $2 mil—and forget about dividends entirely!

The rest of us need a better option—one that lets us save a reasonable amount of money (I’m talking $500,000 to $600,000 here) and still generate meaningful income.… Read more

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I hope you are taking care of yourself, and your family. This is a good time to hunker down, both in life and in our investing strategy. Brighter days are ahead—let’s make sure we get there with ourselves and our portfolios relatively intact.

On the other side of this pandemic and shutdown, we may eventually be presented with a “March 2009” type of buying opportunity. Big yields for dimes on the dollar. When the time is right, we’ll load up our income portfolios with these bargains and resume our usual light banter in this weekly missive.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re on the other side of this just yet.… Read more

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I hope you are taking care of yourself, and your family. This is a good time to hunker down, both in life and in our investing strategy. Brighter days are ahead—let’s make sure we get there with ourselves and our portfolios relatively intact.

On the other side of this pandemic and shutdown, we may eventually be presented with a “March 2009” type of buying opportunity. Big yields for dimes on the dollar. When the time is right, we’ll load up our income portfolios with these bargains and resume our usual light banter in this weekly missive.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re on the other side of this just yet.… Read more

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A financial friend of mine, an income-focused money manager, called me to brag about one of his clients. He’s used his CIR subscription to smartly help her turn a modest $387,000 nest egg into monthly dividend income that’s on track to last, well, just about forever.

Three years ago, he explained how he was using my “retire on monthly dividends” strategy to help this nice grandmother.

“She brought me $387,000,” he told me originally. “And wants to take out $3,000 per month for ten years.”

Well, so far, so good for grandma. She’s now 38 months into her $3,000 per month dividend gravy train.… Read more

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Should we income investors buy any bonds right now? Bond prices have rallied, but the rear view mirror doesn’t help any new money we’re putting to work right now. Meanwhile interest rates are tanking, which tends to defeat the point of purchasing fixed income in the first place.

But, stocks are on a roller coaster ride. If you’re getting a bit nauseous with the violent day-to-day swings, you may appreciate a little stability to balance out your portfolio.

Whether you’re looking for dividends, sanity, or both, you’ve come to the right column. Let’s take a spin around Bondland and rank ‘em worst to first.… Read more

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Today, the 10-year Treasury pays just 2.4%. Put a million bucks in T-Bills and you’re banking $24,000 per year. Barely above poverty levels!

Hence the appeal of closed-end funds (CEFs), which often pay 8% or better. That’s the difference between a paltry minimum-wage income of $24,000 on a million saved or a respectable $80,000 annually.

And if you’re smart about your CEF purchases, you can even buy these funds at discounts and snare some price upside to boot!

The market’s fast run-up since January 1 has made cheap CEFs just a bit harder to find. And some CEFs have become so pricey that, if you hold them, you should consider selling before their premiums fall to earth.… Read more

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