The Best CEFs for Rising Interest Rates

Our Archive

Search completed

Thank you to our 1,578 Contrarian Income Report subscribers who attended our Q1 webcast last week! We received 114 questions during our one-hour call, plus several dozen more beforehand. Amazing.

Thank you for the thoughtful questions. I’ve read each and every one. Let’s chat about popular closed-end fund (CEF) topics today. (Next week, we’ll circle back with your equity-focused dividend questions.)

Q: Brett, what are your thoughts about Calamos Convertible Funds (such as CCD, CHI and CHY), which are currently yielding about 8%? Thank you.

Convertible bonds are a big beneficiary of Jay Powell’s money printing activity. Convertibles pay regular interest.… Read more

Read More

Here at Contrarian Outlook, our beat is income, and we’re often asked for analysis on high-yield ETFs. Today, we’ll look at three funds paying up to 11% (yes, that’s no typo).

I appreciate the ETF popularity. They’re cheap. They’re tax-efficient. They’re  well-marketed. They’ve got cutesy tickers.

But income investors who blindly buy into the hype, unfortunately, are not getting the most dividend for their dollar.

The real dividend deals are found in ETFs’ lesser-known cousins, closed-end funds (CEFs), which often dish even bigger payouts (and a monthly cadence, to boot). CEFs can also trade at discounts to their net asset values, because they fly under Wall Street’s radar.… Read more

Read More

Four years ago, I published an article detailing how a young upper-middle-class professional could quit working and still survive on dividends alone in just five years. It was a claim that many folks thought was impossible to achieve (and they told me so in the comments!).

But history has proven that, in fact, it was true.

Today I want to show you how following the advice I gave back then would have produced financial independence (or an income stream that could cover basic needs) in just five years—and how you can replicate that same success today.

How It Works

Back then, I made three arguments:

  1. A young professional earning $70,000 a year and, being very disciplined, managed to save about two-thirds of that income, could use the stock market to build a substantial nest egg in half a decade.

Read more

Read More

Right now, millions of people are plowing cash into this market, gambling that the worst of the dividend cuts is behind us.

I hope you’re not one of them, because this “dividend trap” is likely to spring—and steal away the income (and value) these folks have spent years building!

Just look at the numbers: unemployment is likely over 20%. Consumer spending cratered 7.5% in March, before this mess even really got started. And now Uncle Sam is demanding that any company seeking government aid first send its payout to the scrapyard.

Meantime, even cash-rich companies are pulling in their horns, like the Walt Disney Co.Read more

Read More

Have four months of “dead money” ever caused this much drama?

Let’s put last week’s pullback in perspective. As uncomfortable as it may have been for investors who watch the market daily, it simply served as a public service reminder that most investors are probably better off not watching the market daily.

The result of one of the worst weeks in Wall Street history? A mere return to late October 2019 price levels:

Wall Street’s Tower of Terror

Typically, an erasure of four months’ worth of gains wouldn’t be a big deal. However, this stock market had been unusually bullish, gaining nearly 12% in less than four months.… Read more

Read More

Right now, with 2020 just hours out, is the perfect time to show you my two-step dividend strategy for the year ahead.

We’ll also dive into four specific stocks and funds to buy. They’ll hand you 6%+ dividends now and set you on the path to unreal payouts of 17.6%+ down the road.

How Powell Crushed Savers

First, if you’re disappointed in the dividend options out there today, you can blame one man: Jay Powell. (Actually, you’ll have to get in line to dump your frustrations on the poor fellow’s head!)

We all know that Powell’s clumsy “pivot” from rate hikes to rate cuts at the start of 2019 sent stocks soaring (and dividend yields plunging—as you calculate yield by dividing a company’s annual dividend payout into is current share price).… Read more

Read More

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

Read More

If this were any “normal” time, we’d be able to buy safe bonds and collect enough income on our nest egg to fund our retirements. Unfortunately, this is the “new normal” where the Fed is not the friend of us current and hopeful retirees!

Jay Powell is afraid for his job, which means he’s going to cut rates and keep them low for a long time. This means we must look beyond traditional bonds for meaningful income.

What about blue chip dividend-paying stocks? Well, an 11-year stock market rally has ruined that idea. Anyone putting new money in a pricey dividend aristocrat is “buying and hoping” that the stock continues to levitate while the firm dishes its dividend.… Read more

Read More

Nine weeks ago, our fellow income investors were concerned about rising tariff tensions and falling stock prices. (Sound familiar?) So, in late May, we discussed seven dividend payers (yielding 6% on average) that wouldn’t go down if stocks-at-large kept dropping.

The broader markets soon reversed, as they usually do when pessimism is running high. But our defensive dividend machines did even better. Five out of my seven “never go down” plays beat the S&P 500. On average they returned 12.5% (including their big dividends) over the last nine weeks. A percent a week or better will sure boost your retirement account quickly!… Read more

Read More

“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

Read More

Categories