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

Our Archive

Search completed

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

Read More

If you’re like most people these days, you’re desperately searching for any kind of meaningful dividend stream.

Finding one is no easy task. The S&P 500, after all, yields 1.5%, on average. Treasuries? With their 0.9% yields, they’re not even worth talking about.

With the old income go-tos off the table, plenty of folks are looking further afield. Some are boosting their holdings of high-yield bonds through exchange-traded funds like the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK). Others are going with more esoteric investments, like high-yielding business development companies (BDCs), which you can tap through the UBS Etracs Business Development Company ETN (BDCS).Read more

Read More

Something shocking just happened: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin cut off a $454-billion program the Federal Reserve uses to keep the bond market running.

A disaster, right?

You’d think so. After all, we’ve heard time and time again that the Fed will do whatever it takes to support the bond market through the crisis. Now a big source of cash needed to do that is gone.

The bond market’s response was even more surprising: crickets.

The junk bond–tracking SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) and iShares National Muni Bond ETF (MUB) held on to post-election gains after Mnuchin’s decision was announced.… Read more

Read More

There’s a dangerous dividend trap setting up out there. It’s easy to fall into, and if you make this mistake, you could do fatal damage to your nest egg—and income stream—in 2021.

It’s a classic error called “reaching for yield.” It happens when investors put too much weight on an investment’s current dividend yield without considering what’s behind that payout. More and more folks are making this blunder today.

I know what you’re thinking: “Michael, I can easily sidestep a mistake like that.” That’s easy to say, but it can be hard to resist when you’re confronted with, say, a 5% payout that seems safe at a time when income go-tos like Treasuries and stocks pay a meager 0.8% and 1.5%, respectively.… Read more

Read More

They’re here again: more articles warning us of the “dangers” of municipal bonds. Don’t take the bait, because these wrongheaded articles will steer you away from some of the safest (and highest) dividends out there.

One claim you’ll read in many of these pieces is that states are losing tax revenue, which could mean they’re gong to default on their debt or go bankrupt. In reality, municipal-bond bankruptcies are really rare.

And I mean really rare: since 1970, the municipal-bond default rate has been 0.0043%, according to Moody’s Investor Services. To put that in perspective, the CDC says your chance of getting hit by lightning is 0.0002%.… Read more

Read More

These days, you can be forgiven for thinking a wave of bankruptcies is going to hit your portfolio (and your dividends!). But there’s no need to worry: this so-called “wave” is way overhyped—in fact, it could send your portfolio higher.

It’s just one more upside-down thing we investors have to deal with in this crisis.

And get this: you could line yourself up for triple-digit returns (and 8%+ dividends!) if you tap into investors’ (overwrought) bankruptcy fears through a corporate-bond-focused closed-end fund (CEF). I’ll have a ticker (paying a monthly dividend yielding 9.2%) in a moment.

First, let’s dispel one myth: that COVID-19 is behind all the bankruptcies we’re hearing about these days.… Read more

Read More

There’s a joke going around that the S&P 500 isn’t the S&P 500 anymore. It’s now the “S&P 5.”

(Well, last Thursday, the five got punched in the face. With no meaningful dividends to cushion the fall, it was all “red on the screen.”)

I’m talking about the five mostly dividend-less stocks that have been driving the rebound since March—tech darlings and low/no yield wonders Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon.com (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB).

Rebound Leaves Dividend Investors Behind

If you’re not holding these big names, or if you only have a small position, well, the joke’s been on you (with the exception of last Thursday, of course!).… Read more

Read More

I don’t know why you’d try to cobble together an income stream with miserly ETFs when there are plenty of closed-end funds (CEFs) trading at big discounts, even after the huge market rebound we’ve seen since March.

What’s more, many of these CEFs are throwing off life-changing 7%+ payouts!

Why are we seeing some great deals in CEFs now? Because the folks who invest in these funds tend to be slower to react to events than the jumpy crowd holding the typical S&P 500 stock. That lag gives us a nice opportunity to buy while these funds’ prices are still deeply discounted from the value of the assets in their portfolios (a figure known as the net asset value, or NAV).… Read more

Read More

There’s a strong buying opportunity unfolding in an ignored corner of the market right now. Steady dividends of 5.8% (and higher) are waiting for savvy contrarians who jump on it.

By “savvy contrarians,” I, of course, mean us!

And the corner of the market I’m referring to is municipal bonds.

If you’ve been following the muni-bond saga over the last two months, you might find my enthusiasm a bit unfounded. After all, the coronavirus is hammering the finances of cities and states across the country and driving up the risk of muni-bond defaults—right? Not so fast.

Your Muni Default Risk? 0.042%Read more

Read More

Subscribers to my CEF Insider service are asking me a lot about corporate bonds these days, so today we’re going to take a close look at it—and what it means for bond funds.

First, let’s talk about interest rates, which are plunging.

Debt Getting Cheaper 

This means companies pay a lower rate than ever when they issue bonds. When rates fall, it can make sense to take on more debt, because you can use that debt to raise cash. If you don’t need that cash, you can pay off the debt later at a low cost because, again, rates are so low.… Read more

Read More

Categories