Bond God’s Bond Warning: Should We Dump All Junk?

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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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I run into far too many investors who think the best way to build their bond income is to buy through an ETF.

It makes sense. After all, buying corporate bonds “direct” means playing in the murky over-the-counter market, or forking over a hefty brokerage commission.

What’s more, the media—with help from ETF providers’ marketing departments—has most folks believing an “automated” ETF always beats a human manager.

So it follows that more people are buying ETFs like the Bloomberg Barclays SPDR High-Yield Bond ETF (JNK). With one click, you’re getting a portfolio of corporate bonds throwing off a nice 5.6% dividend yield—and charging just 0.4% of assets.… Read more

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Members of my CEF Insider service often tell me they’d love to know a lot more about the people at the helm of closed-end funds—the good, the bad and the ugly.

It makes sense: after all, when you buy a CEF, these folks play a huge role in whether you notch a big gain (and income stream) or, well, not so much.

An Insider’s View

As one of the few analysts who focuses solely on CEFs—especially smaller CEFs, with market caps of $1 billion or less—I’ve had several conversations with managers at CEF companies from across the market.

A common theme?… Read more

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Buy funds with the lowest fees and you’ll retire earlier. That’s the so-called “wisdom” in investing, right?

Too bad it’s dead wrong.

Today I’m going to show you how. I’ll also name an incredible fund that racked up a monster 338% return in the last decade, crushing its “dumb” index-fund alternative by nearly 4 to 1!

Plus, this unsung income play pays a safe—and growing—8.6% dividend (paid monthly, no less). That’s enough to hand you $3,583 every month on a $500K nest egg.

Leaving $1,000,000 on the Table

Before we get to that, let’s look at how obsessing over fees can cause you to miss out on thousands of dollars—maybe even a million!… Read more

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We all love 7% yields here. But how do you feel about Sprint’s 7.88% bonds that mature in September 2023?

Well, the company might make it until then. Shares trade for pocket change at just over $6. Equity investors in Sprint (S), however, have been (wait for it) sprinting to the exits lately:

The Stock Feels the Weight of Sprint’s Debt

For a position this risky, I’d want to watch it closely. I’d also want to be able to sell it at the first sign of distress.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to be possible. If you own the Sprint 2023’s, you’ve got company–$320 million to be specific!… Read more

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Today I’m going to show you nothing less than a “dividend unicorn”: a closed-end fund (CEF) yielding 8.8% that’s raised its payout 24% in just the last six months. (And yes, it’s primed for many more hikes, too.)

Get this: because of the weirdness of the CEF market, this cash machine is still cheap today—trading at 13% off its “retail” price!

Let’s dive in.

I’m talking about the PGIM High Yield Bond Fund (ISD). It’s a smaller CEF (with just $552 million in assets). That small size helps set up our chance to buy cheap—and I’ll say more about why this deal exists in just a moment.… 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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The PGIM High Yield Bond Fund (ISD) trades at a huge discount that’s going to disappear soon.

Before I explain why, let me tell you something else about this fund: it boasts a huge 8.4% dividend yield. In other words, you’d get $700 per month—or $8,400 a year—in income on every $100,000 invested. And you should consider getting in now, because ISD is set to soar.

A New Fund

For years, ISD provided a solid and reliable return, thanks to its strategy. The fund would buy corporate bonds that expired in just a couple years (or less), so there was less risk of any company going bankrupt or defaulting.… Read more

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Is last week’s rate-cut temper tantrum the start of a bigger meltdown?

That’s the big question—and today we’re going to do what we have to do to protect our nest egg—and set ourselves up for big gains (and dividends) in the long run.

That means we may only have days to prepare—maybe even hours.

The one thing we’re not going to do? Sell and go to cash.

Because I know I don’t have to tell you that “money under the mattress” pays no dividend—and isn’t even safe, for that matter: you’re guaranteed to bleed money after inflation!

No way.

Instead, we’re going to play it smart—deftly pruning our portfolio of laggards and shifting into a set of low-key dividends that will balloon our income (and nest egg) for decades to come.… Read more

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“Brett, give me some bond funds with big yields. And it’d be great if their prices never went down!”

My money manager friend was chasing the holy grail of retirement income. He wanted safe payouts from bonds to balance his clients’ stock exposure.

“How about the Artisan High Income Investor Fund (ARTFX)?” I replied. “It pays a steady 6% or so. And it never goes down.”

Same S&P Yearly Return, Less Heartburn

“The only problem is that it never goes up, either. And that’s prevented me from recommending it to my Contrarian Income Report subscribers.”

Our CIR portfolio holds eight bond funds today (versus ten stocks and stock funds).… Read more

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