Ethical Dividend Investing (Invasions, Oil and More)

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“Mom, please make sure you secure your mask first before assisting the kiddos.”

We receive this reminder every flight from at least one flight attendant. Mom receives the reminder while your income strategist sits across the aisle (a mile away as far as his parenting partner is concerned) in an uneventful seat dubbed Daddy Island.

This, of course, runs counter to Mom’s (and even Dad’s) instinct. If your kid is in trouble, your first, second and third reaction is to help your child first. The airline’s point is that we can best help our children by first securing our own oxygen.… Read more

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Once upon a time, it was hard to find an income strategy much better than the idiot-proof “Dogs of the Dow.”

And hey, in this wild market in which the S&P can drop 2% in a couple of hours, this sounds pretty good. Let’s buy some blue chips and earn 3x more income than the broader market.

Which Dogs are paying the biggest dividends for 2022? As a group these battleship businesses are paying 3.8% versus just 1.2% for the broader market. We’ll review them in a moment. First, the Dogs of the Dow rules:

  • Rule 1: After the final trading day of the year, identify the 10 highest-yielding stocks in the Dow.

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Dividend Aristocrats are popular. Too popular, if you ask me.

I’ll concede that the surest, safest way big stock market gains is dividend growth. Over time, stock prices are literally pulled higher by their payouts. Their dividends act as magnets that pull their shares higher and make their shareholders rich.

The Aristocrats have delivered plenty of wealth. Heck, to be admitted to the club they must have a track record of 25 annual dividend hikes in a row. At minimum.

Which is fantastic past performance. Problem is, the stock market looks ahead.

Many of these stocks are slowing down. Some—such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Coca-Cola (KO)—have elevated payout ratios of anywhere between 60% to 90%.… Read more

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For income investors, dividend strategies don’t come any easier than the “Dogs of the Dow.”

But does this simple technique still work?

We’ll look at the 2021 Dogs, and their attached dividends (and prospects) in a moment. Their yields aren’t too shabby, averaging 4.1% in a 1% world! First, let’s review the mechanics of the popular contrarian strategy:

  • Step 1: After the final trading day of the year, we identify the 10 highest-yielding stocks in the Dow.
  • Step 2: We buy all 10 in equal amounts.

That’s it. In just a couple of quick steps, executed just once every year, we can put together a mini-portfolio of 10 blue-chip stocks that typically out-yield the S&P 500, and currently offer 2.5 times more dividends than the broad market index.… Read more

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Imagine investing a million dollars and getting back… a pathetic $16,000 in income every year.

You don’t have to imagine—because that’s exactly what you’d get if you bought the average S&P 500 stock today, which yields a sad 1.6%. That’s not much and these days, you can lose that in one afternoon!

No wonder dividends get no respect!

But I’ve got good news: that 1.6% doesn’t matter a bit to us. In fact, it’s a distraction from the real opportunity I want to show you: a dead-simple, 3-step shot at a much bigger payout.

I’m talking about 6%+ in cash here.… Read more

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Mortgage payments. Car payments. Cell-phone bills. Power bills. Water bills. Credit card bills.

Yuck. They’re the only downside to being retired!

These bills show up (or debit our accounts) every single month. That’s OK when we have a normal j-o-b that pays us every couple of weeks, or every month. But this regular bill gets really old when we retire.

Like you, I prefer to retire on dividends (and leave my nest egg alone). Problem is, most dividends are paid out every quarter, not every month.

So, dividend cash flow is (unfortunately) often out of sync with every-30-day expenses.

Some income investors build out complicated dividend calendars that get knocked out of whack whenever they ever have to sell certain stocks.… Read more

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Last week, I accomplished something that had been on my “to do” list for no less than three months.

I figured out how to log into my 401(K)!

You would think a simple “password reset” would not be that difficult, especially for a guy who has started a software company or three in his day. Well, I’m not embarrassed, just glad that my long personal investing nightmare is over.

What is it about 401(K) access? It’s a circus when we try to log into my wife’s retirement plan, too. (Any task that starts with “logging into her company’s VPN” is off to a rough start.)… Read more

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Imagine investing a million dollars and getting back … a pathetic $19,000 in income every year.

You don’t have to imagine—because that’s exactly what you’d get if you bought the typical S&P 500 stock today, which yields a sad 1.9%. That’s not much and these days, you can lose that in one afternoon!

No wonder dividends get no respect!

But I’ve got good news: that 1.9% doesn’t matter a bit to us. In fact, it’s a distraction from the real opportunity I want to show you: a dead-simple, 3-step shot at a much bigger payout.

I’m talking about 6%+ in cash here.… Read more

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The blue-chip corporations that make up the Dividend Aristocrats are a tribute to the power of dividends. They have raised their payouts for 25 straight years or more and, most importantly, made many of their investors quite wealthy in the process.

Unfortunately for us, everyone already knows these firms are great. And as a result, their stocks are now overpriced and these well-run firms are producing mere also-ran returns. Check out the purple line below, which shows the Aristocrats trailing the popular Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices:

The Aristocrats Even Make the 124-Year-Old Dow Look Spry!

We can do better, and I’ll show you how in a moment.… Read more

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Imagine investing a million dollars and getting back … a pathetic $17,500 in income every year.

You don’t have to imagine—because that’s exactly what you’d get if you bought the typical S&P 500 stock today, which yields a sad 1.75%.

The worst part? That yield is a lot smaller than it was just 10 months ago, and down near 10-year lows as stock prices have ground higher:

Dividend Yields Scrape Bottom

No wonder dividends get no respect!

But I’ve got good news: that 1.75% doesn’t matter a bit to us. In fact, it’s a distraction from the real opportunity I want to show you: a dead-simple, 3-step shot at a much bigger payout.… Read more

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