Floating Rate Bonds: The Retirement Play for 2021?

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My friends and I couldn’t have been more excited about our college commencement speaker. Fresh off an electrifying cameo in the 2003 comedy movie Old School, James Carville’s next act was Cornell University.

At 21 years old, we had no idea what Carville actually did for a living. (Answer: Political consultant.) And though he was an engaging and entertaining speaker, I don’t remember a single word the “Ragin’ Cajun” said. Too bad, because he has had some major wisdom to impart.

Ten years earlier, Carville made an observation that is more prescient now than ever. After watching bond investors rebuff President Clinton’s economic stimulus proposals because they demanded a higher interest rate for US Treasuries, Carville coined this gem:

“I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as a president or the pope or as a .400 baseball hitter.

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Historically speaking, it’s best to avoid bonds when your central bank is printing money like crazy. More cash can lead to inflation, which can lead to higher interest rates—and put a damper on any fixed-rate holdings.

But not all bonds are bad ideas. Some have their coupons tick higher with rates. Others can even provide you with the upside of a stock! Let’s review US-centric fixed income, starting with the “outhouse” and working our way up to the “penthouse” quality bonds paying as much as 8% today.

US Treasuries: For 0.5%, Why?

Ten-year Treasuries pay just 0.5% or so as I write.… Read more

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Volatility has taken over, and if you’re like most folks, you’re wondering where to find the safe dividends you need to sustain your savings—and income stream—as this pandemic drags on.

There’s one intriguing alternative you may not have thought of: senior loans, also called floating-rate loans. Because they’re far up the corporate food chain, they offer a layer of safety in the event of bankruptcy, something that’s on every investor’s mind these days.

In addition, senior loans offer yields of 6%, on average, making them an income investor’s dream, too. But are these loans—which I only recommend holding through a closed-end fund (CEF)—a buy today?… Read more

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It happened so quietly, you may not have even noticed. But the script has flipped on interest rates—and today I’m going to give you my favorite way to profit. (hint: this buy pays an 8.8% dividend—enough to hand you $8,800 a year in cash on every $100k invested—and is poised for quick 10% price upside, too!).

Let’s start at the beginning.

A Low-Key 180

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the big story of the last three years has been the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes. But the big story of the next three years will likely be a lack of aggressive rate hikes.… Read more

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