3 Easy Ways to “Crash-Proof” Your Portfolio, Grab 7%+ Dividends

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With the swift stock-market decline we’ve seen since the start of 2022, and now, you can be forgiven if your stomach tightens just a bit when you go to check your retirement account.

So today I’m going to give you my three best tips for securing your hard-earned cash—and even better, locking in a dividend stream you can easily live off of in retirement. And no, you won’t need a seven-figure nest egg to pull off what I’m going to show you now.

Step #1: Diversify the Right Way

You no doubt know that diversification is key to protecting your wealth, but if you only go halfway, you’re hurting your gain potential (and exposing yourself to potentially severe losses).… Read more

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The S&P 500 is about as pricey as it ever gets. It’s also in freefall as I write.

This is good news for anyone looking for a future bargain. The plunge, however, is really bad news for most retirees who don’t read this column. They tend to own nothing except “America’s ticker” via the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (SPY).

At 24-times earnings (P/E ratio), SPY is expensive. After all, who has 24 years to wait to get paid back?

But the actual payback period is even worse for SPY. Most of its firms don’t pay out all of their profits as dividends.… Read more

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Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) sure are easy to buy. There’s an ETF for just about anything we can think of—stocks, bonds, commodities, growth, value, sectors, industries and, of course, high yield.

Dividends are our beat here at Contrarian Outlook. And ETFs keep us busy, because for every income investing angle, there is a popular dividend fund that we can easily improve upon.

I commend you for realizing that ETFs are not the final retirement solution. Convenient, yes. But we contrarians have more effective income tools available than ETFs.

Let’s walk through seven popular dividend ETFs (yielding a mouthwatering 5% to 10%), and tinker with each a bit to improve their future performance and their payouts.Read more

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It’s the most common rule in investing: if you want to cut your risk (and protect your dividends!), you need to diversify.

Yes, we’ve all heard it before, but what most people don’t get is just how much you can damage your finances by not sticking with it—or, conversely, how much you can reap in gains (and safe dividends) by following a smart diversification strategy.

From $0 to $1 Million in Assets … and Back to $0

I’ve seen this play out firsthand; a friend was an early employee at a social media startup that got a big investment from a tech billionaire.… Read more

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I know you’re struggling to find cheap stocks to buy these days (or at least stocks that aren’t cheap for a reason!). This pullback is a bit helpful, but not enough for us dividend investors—the average S&P 500 stock yields a pathetic 1.7% as I write this.

That’s nowhere near enough dividend income to retire on, unless you’re sitting on a portfolio $2.5 million or more!

But don’t worry, there are always bargain-priced dividends out there—we just have to go a step beyond what the mainstream crowd is buying. Today I’m going to show you one such investment; it’s my favorite one to buy for big dividends and upside.… Read more

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Here’s a critical mistake anyone can make while hunting for big dividends in a market like today’s: you can buy the right stocks at the right times—and still lose money!

2020 is a good example: even though the S&P 500 is back now positive on the year, you almost certainly suffered some degree of the following wipeout, no matter which stock you would have bought at the start of 2020:

The Headache of Going All in on Stocks

Ask anyone and they’ll likely say the market has been totally unhinged this year; bulls will say stocks shouldn’t have fallen as far as they did in March, and bears will say they shouldn’t have recovered so quickly.… Read more

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With the S&P 500 yielding just 1.8%, and 10-Year Treasuries paying a pathetic 0.7%, many folks are getting desperate for income—and they’re falling for dangerous dividends like exchange-traded notes (ETNs).

Note I said “ETN” here, and not “ETF.” It’s a critical distinction—and overlooking it could cost you a fortune in gains and dividends.

A Crippling 70% Loss

To see how dangerous ETNs can be, consider the (now defunct) UBS Etracs Monthly Pay 2x Leveraged Closed-End ETN (CEFL), which I first warned readers about in October 2017. CEFL went on to be crushed by the S&P 500 from that first warning until the start of 2020.… Read more

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Has this market gone too far, too fast? Is another crash coming? And what the heck should we be buying now?

I’ll dive into all three questions today, and I think my answer to that last one will intrigue you: it’s a tech-focused closed-end fund (CEF) paying a growing 7% dividend! This under-the-radar fund also employs an unusual strategy that hedges its downside if we do get another pullback.

The One Number to Watch Now

Let’s start with where I see the market headed from here.

At its worst point in this latest crash, the S&P 500 lost about 30% of its value, and it did so in less than a month, only to begin recovering a few weeks later.… Read more

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Last Thursday was the sixth-worst day on record for the S&P 500 (according to information from Nasdaq Dorsey Wright). Was. It’s already down to seventh place (yikes).

On Monday, it was quickly eclipsed by the third-worst day ever for the S&P 500 on record. Even in 2008, we didn’t have a single down day as severe as either of these days.

In fact, we’ve only had selling pressure this intense happen twice in the post-World War II era. The first was the October crash in 1987, and the most recent was in the fall of 2008.

Believe it or not (and most did not at the time), both were actually buying opportunities.… Read more

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We named our income investing website Contrarian Outlook for times like these. When the rest of the world is selling everything, we are sorting through their hastily discarded dividend bargains.

Sales like this don’t happen every year. In fact, the last blue-light special actually began to wind down the last time I reminded readers to “keep calm and 8% on.” It was December 26, 2018, and the stock market had just plunged nearly 20%.

Fear was rampant, which meant it was time for us contrarians to be greedy. Or, at minimum, not panic.

I don’t take the responsibility of being your Chief Investment Strategist lightly.… Read more

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