This “Trick” Lets Us Play the VIX for Strong 7.5% Payouts

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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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While the pundits continue to (unsuccessfully) try to call the bottom of this Fed-spooked market, we CEF investors are doing what we always do: collecting our 7%+ dividends as we patiently move through to brighter days.

In fact, we’re doing more than that: we’re making some careful long-term buys as our fellow CEF investors—a conservative lot if there ever was one—toss out funds that are actually well suited to the higher-rate world we’re moving into.

I want to talk about one such fund today: it does something that has a lot of appeal in a market like this—it keeps you invested in the S&P 500, but with a twist: it hands you an outsized income stream that actually grows more stable as volatility picks up.… Read more

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In a plunging market like this one, it’s critical to play the long game. For us closed-end fund (CEF) investors, that means staying invested, because we simply do not want to be out of the market when the (inevitable!) bounce comes.

More important, we need to keep our income streams rolling in. They’ve never been more critical than they are now. And CEFs are throwing off some very healthy payouts these days, with the average CEF yielding north of 7% as I write this.

But there are a few things we can do to further reinforce our dividends and tone down our portfolio’s volatility.… Read more

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If you’re like most investors I hear from these days, you’re suffering from a serious case of market vertigo.

On the one hand, stocks have posted strong gains over the last couple of years: with an annualized average return of over 19% since the start of 2020, the main US indices are up over double their long-term average of 7.5%.

Stocks Soar—Even With the Early 2022 Dive

But of course, the last two months have been stomach-churning, and more pullbacks are likely: the Fed has made no bones about the fact that it plans to raise rates quickly. And while the US economy recently cracked $24 trillion in annual GDP, an impressive 10.5% jump from before the pandemic, that’s still short of the 19% rise in stocks in that time.… Read more

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As dividend investors—and closed-end fund (CEF) investors, specifically—we know to stay the course when market corrections hit: we don’t want to sell and cut off our precious payouts!

That’s the opposite of the fanboys and girls who dabble in crypto, profitless tech stocks, NFTs and God knows what else. When recessions arrive, they’re free to bail—though they always do so way too late. Then they’re forced to sit and watch what’s left of their cash get devoured by inflation!

By staying the course, we don’t have to worry about those risks: with our CEFs’ high yields, we can sit tight during rocky times, happily collecting our payouts until things calm down.… Read more

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Here’s my best advice as 2022 dawns: ignore the media’s constant bleating about inflation and supply-chain issues—these two boogeymen are nowhere near the threats everyone thinks they are!

In fact, terror-ridden headlines about either mark an opportunity for us contrarian income-seekers. So let’s go ahead and tap these investor fears for dividends yielding up to 10%, plus market-crushing returns as the crowd (inevitably!) comes around to our view.

Hints of a Supply-Chain Revival

More data will come in over the next few weeks to make things clearer, but so far there is one strong hint that the business press’s doomsday scenario—surging inflation, a stock-market correction and tighter corporate profits—just isn’t on.… Read more

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With 2022 likely to be a wild ride, we income investors are going to lean on two key advantages. In doing so, we’ll secure 7% dividends no matter what the broader markets do.

First, we can secure this “head start” by January 1 by purchasing funds that yield 7%, on average. And these aren’t risky payouts, by the way. I’m talking about secure dividends funded by real cash flows.

And secondly, we can buy them from the bargain bin for just 90 or 95 cents on the dollar! That’s better than most investors, who pay full price (or more!) for their stocks.… Read more

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Plenty of people blindly buy into the line that market volatility is a bad thing.

It’s easy to see why, after last year’s crash dented retirement savings around the world. Contrarians like us, of course, fight against the emotional pull to retreat when volatility stirs—and buy into a pullback instead.

The last year’s market run is proof this approach works. And it’s nothing new: we’re simply following the old Warren Buffett adage and buying when others are fearful. But it’s what we plan to buy now that separates us from the crowd, as I’ll show you in a moment.

It’s Not You—the Market Is More Skittish Than Before

One thing we can be clear on is that, yes, the market is more volatile these days.… Read more

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Over the last few days, my inbox has been filling up with questions from readers about how this GameStop (GME) drama will affect their dividends, their pensions and even their retirement.

Let me say off the top that if you’re invested in top-quality stocks and funds for the long haul, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, this entertaining episode in financial history has created a nice opportunity for us to add to our positions in high-yielding closed-end funds (CEFs).

We’ll dive into that in today’s column, along with the most common questions I’m getting about this unique time in financial history.… Read more

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