GameStop Is History, but It Will Fuel Our 7%+ Dividends (and Gains) in 2021

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I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to say farewell to this whole Reddit/GameStop (GME) situation.

But before we bid adieu to this weird market moment, we need to take just one more run around the horn, because it’s left three big benefits in its wake that no one is talking about right now.

These three hidden catalysts all point to stronger market gains in the weeks and months ahead—gains we can “convert” to 7%+ dividends when we pick up one of my favorite investments, stock-focused closed-end funds (CEFs), right now. Let’s dive in.

Reddit Gamblers’ Wins Will Go Into the Economy (and Boost Other Stocks)

The most immediate positive for the market comes from the big gains early investors in GameStop and other companies at the center of this battle enjoyed.… Read more

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Over the last few days, my inbox has been filling up with questions from readers about how this GameStop (GME) drama will affect their dividends, their pensions and even their retirement.

Let me say off the top that if you’re invested in top-quality stocks and funds for the long haul, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, this entertaining episode in financial history has created a nice opportunity for us to add to our positions in high-yielding closed-end funds (CEFs).

We’ll dive into that in today’s column, along with the most common questions I’m getting about this unique time in financial history.… Read more

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Can you explain GameStop (GME) stock to me?

My buddy who texted isn’t usually into stocks. They are too quaint for him—heck, bitcoin has become too mainstream for him. Something was up.

Sure enough, I checked the GME chart, and whoa! What a move. And that was before last week’s moonshot, which propelled the stock to insane 1,000%+ month-to-date gains.

GME became famous on a website called Reddit, which lets users banter about common interests. Its financial-focused wallstreetbets board has been given credit for coordinating the GME buying and subsequent moonshot.

Which, as far as I can tell, is true. But it’s important to note that the money managers who lost their fortunes in the trade have only themselves to blame.… Read more

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This GameStop madness is a clear and present danger to our dividends.

Let’s stop and look at exactly what it means for our income streams, and what we’re going to buy to protect ourselves (and cash in with monthly payouts up to 8%!)

When the Dumb Money Runs, We Need to Be Careful

The whipsawing shares of GameStop (GME), AMC Entertainment Holdings and others are classic cases of “dumb money” in action: they’re among the many short squeezes breaking out across the market—where short sellers, including hedge funds, betting against a stock lose big as buyers bid the stock up in an effort to “stick it to the suits.”… Read more

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A stock’s yield is only as good as its cash flow because, after all, a dividend is nothing more than a promise from a company.

CenturyLink (CTL) recently reminded us of this. Its promised $0.54 per share dividend exceeded its ability to pay. The firm’s payout ratio of 130% – the percentage of profits that it was paying as dividends – was an absurd overpromise that couldn’t last forever:

CenturyLink’s Payout Promise Was Always on Borrowed Time

CEO Jeffrey Storey insisted his team remained “committed to and confident in our ability to maintain the dividend.” I understood the commitment, but questioned the confidence – taking on debt to pay dividends is a losing game.… Read more

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Let’s jump into the Kraft-Heinz (KHC) mess—because it tells us a lot about how to protect our nest egg from a Dumpster fire just like it in the future.

“Dumpster fire” is no exaggeration. KHC (which investors tend to buy for safety, remember) cratered 31% in a day on February 22, after slashing its dividend 36%.  Imagine what that would have done to your retirement portfolio (and hopefully you only have to imagine!).

Further on, we’ll smoke out three stocks (including one that pays an absurd 12.9% dividend) that could easily be the next Kraft-Heinz. If you hold them, the time to sell is now.… Read more

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Most dividend investors understandably love the idea of an 8% No Withdrawal Portfolio. It’s a simple yet “game changing” idea that you don’t hear much from mainstream pundits and advisors.

Find stocks that pay safe 7%, 8% or more and you can retire comfortably, living off dividend checks while your initial capital stays intact (or even appreciates).

Now this strategy is a bit more complicated than simply finding 8% yields and buying them. Granted the recent stock market pullback has benefited investors like us because we can snag more dividends for our dollar. Yields are higher overall, and that’s a good thing.… Read more

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“Brett, I bought something for the girls. From Carter’s. Let me know when you get it.”

My mom thinks that postal delivery is a 50-50 proposition. She hedges her downside by purchasing 4X as many clothes as my young daughters actually need!

“Mom – thanks. Will do. And, you know, they’re probably good on dresses for now. They’ll be up another size in a few months.”

“Oh don’t you worry about that. I’ve got plenty of coupons,” she countered.

My folks live 2,562 miles from their granddaughters. And while long-distance grandparenting can be a challenge, the (increasingly online) experience provided by Carter’s (CRI) satisfies two of my mom’s favorite pastimes:

  1. Spoiling grandkids, and
  2. Shopping.

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“Brett, I bought something for the girls. From Carter’s. Let me know when you get it.”

My mom thinks that postal delivery is a 50-50 proposition. She hedges her downside by purchasing 4X as many clothes as my young daughters actually need!

“Mom – thanks. Will do. And, you know, they’re probably good on dresses for now. They’ll be up another size in a few months.”

“Oh don’t you worry about that. I’ve got plenty of coupons,” she countered.

My folks live 2,562 miles from their granddaughters. And while long-distance grandparenting can be a challenge, the (increasingly online) experience provided by Carter’s (CRI) satisfies two of my mom’s favorite pastimes:

  1. Spoiling grandkids, and
  2. Shopping.

Read more

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Dividend growth is the key to retirement because it fends off the effects of inflation. Even amid low inflation of 2% to 3% a year, a stagnant dividend will actually lose 2% to 3% of purchasing power a year. The only way to actually grow your income over time, then, is to invest in companies whose management makes rising dividends a priority.

That’s one reason you should buy stocks before their dividend increases. And we’ll review nine upcoming payout raises in a moment.

But there’s a second reason that’s coming to the fore of late: interest rates.

While the Federal Reserve has tried to put the spurs to interest rates with five bumps to the Fed funds rate since December 2015, bond yields haven’t cooperated much.…
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