3 Strategies for a Flat Market (and a 12.8% Payer for Whatever Comes Next)

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There are reams of investment strategies out there for maximizing gains in a rising market and protecting ourselves when stocks tumble. But what do we do when markets simply grind sideways?

That’s what we’re going to delve into now, with three potential moves. Our favorite of these three involves buying a closed-end fund (CEF) yielding 12.8% with a payout that’s actually grown over the long haul.

September Swoon Not Unusual

So far this year, we’ve seen the S&P 500 come close to recovering 100% of its losses from last year, only to pull back in recent weeks. Even though this has made for a bit of a stressful September, it’s pretty normal; market recoveries often result in a slow and tentative return to a previous all-time high.… Read more

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When I explain the appeal of closed-end funds (CEFs), I usually start with the big headline and throw a few bullets afterwards, kind of like this:

CEFs yield an average 8%, and many of those dividends are sustainable and growing.

  • CEFs invest in a variety of reliable and popular assets, like stocks, bonds and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
  • CEFs often trade at discounts to the value of their portfolios. This is known as the discount to net asset value (NAV), and it means we can buy stocks, bonds and real estate through CEFs for less than we’d pay on the open market.

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One of the most difficult things for me in 2022 was that, with all the doom and gloom in the air, I heard about a lot of people giving up on the dream of financial independence.

The worst part was that they were doing so at exactly the wrong time—right when the market decline had driven the yields on our favorite closed-end funds (CEFs) way up. Even now, after the S&P 500 has posted roughly 15% gains in 2023, as of this writing, plenty of CEFs yield 10%+, including nine in the portfolio of our CEF Insider service.

Worse, these folks were doing it because they’d bought into the media’s false narrative that a recession was looming, a trap I regularly warned about falling into here on Contrarian Outlook and in the pages of CEF Insider.Read more

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If there’s one thing we can be thankful for when it comes to the banking crisis, it’s this: at least it means fewer headlines about Fed rate hikes!

That’s actually a good thing for us, because, as the Fed statement hinted on Wednesday, the Fed is getting set to finally pivot. It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for all along! And it feels like almost no one is paying attention.

But we contrarian dividend investors are. And there are a couple of closed-end funds (CEFs) out there that are well-positioned to profit from the Fed’s quiet shift: the Nuveen S&P 500 Dynamic Overwrite Fund (SPXX) and the Nuveen Nasdaq 100 Dynamic Overwrite Fund (QQQX), which yield 7.8% and 7.3% respectively.… Read more

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With the markets off to a hot start so far this year, it’s only natural to think things just might be getting a little toppy.

I get it—and the truth is, this market is not without the risk of a short-term pullback.

Here’s the good news: if this possibility has you worried, there are a few closed-end funds (CEFs) out there that are perfectly designed for this risk. And they’re trading at attractive valuations, while paying big dividends, too. We’ll delve into one particular ticker a little further on. It’s a “goldilocks” fund that yields a steady 7.3% and charts a steady course through any volatility we might hit in the near term.… Read more

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A recession is on the way—and stocks are … rallying? It makes zero sense on the surface, but there is good reason for the bounce we’ve seen this week. And we’re going to play it with a 7.3%-paying fund that’s set to roll higher with a recovering market.

No, we’re not talking about an index fund like the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (SPY). My colleague Brett Owens calls SPY “America’s ticker” for good reason: pretty well everyone owns it!

Instead we’re going with a fund that pays us a 7.3% dividend today. That’s more than 4-times SPY’s meager 1.7% payout.… Read more

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Plenty of folks are starting to look toward the new year, and I’m getting a lot of questions about my outlook for high-yield closed-end funds (CEFs) for the rest of ’22 and into ’23.

Of course, no one has a crystal ball when it comes to CEFs, stocks or the economy in the short run, but my take is that we’ll likely see continued volatility in the back end of 2022, with better conditions in 2023, as the so-called “terminal rate” of the Fed’s hiking cycle comes into view.

Luckily, there are CEFs out there called covered-call funds that are purpose-built for this environment, handing us safe 7%+ dividends that actually get stronger when volatility picks up.… Read more

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By now you’ve likely heard that September is the worst month for stocks. It’s all over the media! But September is also a great time to buy a unique type of dividend fund that cashes in when volatility rears up (these funds will pay you blockbuster yields north of 7%, too!).

I’m talking about a special type of closed-end fund (CEF) called a covered-call fund, which makes more money every time the market panics. They then turn that cash over to us in the form of a dividend that crushes anything you’d get on a blue-chip stock or Treasury.

Don’t let the jargon-y name throw you.… Read more

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Today we’re going to look at how we can play the market’s “fear gauge”—known as the VIX, for a 7.5% dividend that’s as steady as they come.

As you can guess, the VIX has been on the rise this year as the Fed-induced market selloff has deepened:

Fear Gauge Rises. A Plus for Our Dividends?

You can’t outright buy the VIX, and even if you could, you wouldn’t get any dividends from it. But there is an asset class that uses the higher volatility the VIX is showing us to generate extra cash, resulting in a higher (and safer) income stream for you: closed-end funds (CEFs) that sell covered-call options.… Read more

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Crypto is a mess, and many (former) crypto fans are finally realizing that shares of companies that make goods and services people actually want—and pay dividends—are the place to be.

Of course, that’s no secret to those of us who know about closed-end funds (CEFs), many of which hold these companies and pay us rich dividends, often yielding north of 7%. To us, crypto is just the latest “investment” that held out the promise of building wealth faster than “boring” stocks ever could—and failed to deliver.

You might have even heard that crypto is a great inflation hedge. Anyone who bought Bitcoin based on that idea is now struggling with 71%+ inflation as their money literally disappears before their eyes!… Read more

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