What’s Better Than 7%-8% Yields? A 17% Sale on Them.

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Historically, for whatever reason, stocks have made most of their gains between November 1 and May 1. (Hence the phrase “sell in May and go away.”)

I won’t bore you with the statistical details because they don’t matter for our purposes. Every year is unique, and we treat each as such. But, for our contrarian edge, it is helpful that the onset of fall provokes fear in the hearts of mainstream investors.

The S&P 500 is acting like it’s about to slip off a cliff. It’s been a year since the market’s last meaningful correction. We’re in the fragile half of the year and, seasonally speaking, September and October tend to be particularly weak.… Read more

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Nice to see our friends over at Barron’s finally catching up to us on the big dividends sitting right under our noses in oil and gas!

It’s almost like the magazine’s writers are sharing a subscription to our Contrarian Income Report service, because the six stocks they cited in an article they ran last week are almost all picks in our portfolio—specifically our “crash ‘n rally” energy bucket.

(It’s not the first time’s Barron’s has shadowed us. In April, they put out a strategy for retiring on dividends, a subject we literally wrote the book on two years ago.)… Read more

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As I write this, the 14 funds in our CEF Insider portfolio yield a tidy 6.7%, on average. And while that’s down from the 7.5% average (and above) we’ve seen in the past, there’s a good reason: big price gains! (Because prices and yields move in opposite directions, of course.)

And recently, we’ve locked in some of those big returns with timely sales. In our June 2021 CEF Insider issue, for example, we sold the PGIM High Yield Bond Fund (ISD), which we bought in late 2019 (a lifetime ago!) when it was trading at a 10.3% discount to net asset value (NAV).… Read more

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“It’s my money, and I want it now!”

That’s the rallying cry of everyday folks in commercials for J.G. Wentworth, a financial services firm that offers lump-sum cash payments for structured settlements, annuities, lottery payments and more. (If you’ve never seen one of these TV spots, I suggest you try one out. They’re so bad they’re good.)

Every income investor could (and probably should) take a cue from its motto. To quote another spot: “Show us the money!”

Monthly dividend stocks, of course, pay more often than any other income investment. Dividend checks coming in every 30 days are especially handy for retirees who have bills to pay.… Read more

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“Hey Brett… you joined two partnerships last year?”

What? I didn’t. Or I thought I didn’t. In reality, I did–by buying shares in not one but two master limited partnerships (MLPs).

One of them was Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) and while I can’t recall the other, I can vividly the annoyed look on my accountant’s face like it was yesterday.

Master limited partnerships (MLPs) are required to issue you a K-1 package at the end of the tax year. These are generally headaches for the person who does your taxes (whether it’s you, or a professional).

That year my accountant calmly but sternly asked me to stop buying MLPs in my personal portfolio.… Read more

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Every so often, a CEF Insider subscriber asks if I see oil-related closed-end funds (CEFs) as solid income plays. You might be wondering the same, given the surge in oil prices—and oil stocks—since the start of 2019.

Today we’re going to answer that question. Along the way, we’ll uncover an energy CEF you need to steer clear of, no matter how you feel about oil.

Let’s start by making a quick run through history: what would have happened if you invested in energy CEFs over the last few years?


Source: CEF Insider

While the last three years have seen a decent average annualized return, and a negative return if you got in five years ago.… Read more

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Every so often, a CEF Insider subscriber asks if I see oil-related closed-end funds (CEFs) as solid income plays. You might be wondering the same, given the surge in oil prices—and oil stocks—since the start of 2019.

Today we’re going to answer that question. Along the way, we’ll uncover an energy CEF you need to steer clear of, no matter how you feel about oil.

Let’s start by making a quick run through history: what would have happened if you invested in energy CEFs over the last few years?


Source: CEF Insider

While the last three years have seen a decent average annualized return, and a negative return if you got in five years ago.… Read more

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Thanks to the December selloff, it’s relatively easy to find 9% yields. The stock market was a relentlessly receding tide in the fourth quarter, which is bad for “buy and hope” investors but quite helpful for income specialists like us.

Let’s look first at real estate investment trusts (REITs). Many now pay 9% – some good, some bad. The main index Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ) has only paid this much (4.9%) twice before in the past ten years:

VNQ Is Rarely This Generous

By cherry picking the lot we can find 49 stocks paying 9% or more. But we should avoid names like Government Properties Income Trust (GOV), which frequently pops up on cute recession-proof dividend lists.… Read more

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The big rebound is on! But don’t worry, your opportunity to grab big gains (and dividends) hasn’t evaporated.

There’s still time!

And you can start with 3 of the 4 funds I pounded the table on back on February 19. At the time, all 4 of these cheap selloff buys were paying a combined 13.4% income stream.

So why are just 3 of these funds still worthy of your attention, only a few weeks later?

I’ll unpack that—and name these 3 top-flight funds—in a moment. First, let’s step back and take a look at what happened in a very wild February, and where it all leaves us now.…
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There’s one question I’ve been getting from a lot of folks lately. You may have wondered about it yourself.

It’s simply this: “Is the stock market even safe anymore?” Or another, less anxious, variation: “How can I bank fast returns while slashing my risk?”

I have great news. As I wrote back on February 8, this selloff was way overdone, and now is the time to be buying—not selling!

Better still, there’s a class of totally ignored funds that fits the bill, and many of them are screaming bargains now. That puts us in line for a big, quick price pop while they pay us up front with a massive income stream.…
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