Ignore the Pundits: These 63 “Safe” Stocks Are Dangerous

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If you’re like many investors these days, you’re warily eyeing your portfolio, wondering where the next dividend cut will come from.

Fear of dividend cuts is reasonable, even if you hold the Dividend Aristocrats—the 63 S&P 500 firms that have raised their payouts for 25 years (or more). This club includes well-known names like McDonald’s (MCD), Lowe’s (LOW), Kimberly-Clark (KMB) and Procter & Gamble (PG), as well as less familiar firms, like Sysco (SYY), VF Corporation (VFC) and Linde (LIN).

For many folks, the Aristocrats are sacred cows. But the crisis will inevitably force some of these companies to cut payouts in the weeks and months ahead.… Read more

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If you have cash to deploy in this market, you’re in luck: dividend yields on some top-name stocks are scraping historic highs. And these same stocks are often so oversold they’re primed for big upside, too.

The obvious question follows: how do you find these income-and-growth plays? Let’s dive into a two-step “screen” that does just that. It starts with the lifeblood of share prices (and dividends): corporate earnings.

Unfortunately, growing profits are getting rarer these days. Look at this chart from FactSet, showing projected earnings for the just-completed first quarter, as more S&P 500 firms report:

Earnings Drop, But Look to the Left

So far, it appears that most companies will see earnings declines in the first quarter of 2020, but when we take the market apart sector by sector, we see that there are a few sectors, like consumer staples, utilities and health care, showing rising earnings—and in the case of utilities and telecoms, significant earnings gains.Read more

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In normal times, we contrarians are stuck combing the market’s backwaters—REITs, closed-end funds (CEFs) and the like—in our hunt for outsized dividends.

But, of course, these are not normal times.

This crisis has flipped the script. Now we can get the same big payouts but with much less work. In fact, we can get them from the same stocks you’ll find in any American’s portfolio! This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and it can’t last.

Fishing Close to Shore

The last time I saw a situation like this was in March 2009, days before the S&P 500 bottomed in the financial crisis.… Read more

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“Efficient market” believers are adorable, but they are also wrong. It is possible to make 15% to 19% per year, every year, from perfectly safe dividend stocks.

In a moment, I’ll outline this little-known yet simple formula. But first, let’s talk about what not to do–just in case you’re following bad advice today!

Sure, the market has been rolling in recent years, but most individual investors aren’t able to keep up with the indices. In fact, most have no clue how to make 15% per year or more in any market, bull or bear.

“Buy and hope” investing is what most of your peers do.… Read more

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Quite often, investors come into the market with the false perception that making money is a guarantee.

However, many learn the hard way that’s not often the case.

That’s because they come into the market without a game plan.

And as any investor will tell you, that’s a bad idea — especially in today’s volatile market.

In fact, with markets saturated with fear over the trade war, and with an inverted yield curve pointing to a recession, you must have a plan.  After all, if you fail to plan ahead, you plan to fail.

If you want to do well in a fear-based market, plan ahead like a billionaire.… Read more

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Is it time to tariff-proof our dividends (again)?

A couple months into the U.S.-China trade tensions, I said the key was to buy dividend-growth stocks: “Payout growth like that is proven to throw an updraft under share prices when the markets get skittish due to any kind of worry: trade spats, terrorist attacks, wars—you name it.”

Then I highlighted a trio of dividend growers–Life Storage (LSI), Ecolab (ECL) and Carnival Corp. (CCL)–that looked primed to swim upstream. Unpredictable fuel costs helped weigh on our Carnival pick, but even then, the combined total return of all three selections nearly doubled the S&P 500’s return.… Read more

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Today I’m going to show you how to tap safe dividends so massive, they were only available once before in in our lifetimes—and even then for mere days!

The dividend yields I’m talking about are more than enough to transform your retirement, with reliable payouts of 7.5%, 8.0%—even 10% and up.

I’ll also show you a one-step indicator that reveals, quickly and easily, just how safe your stocks’ payouts are. It’s so reliable it held strong in the toughest battleground you could ask for: the 2008/09 meltdown.

A Battle-Tested “1-Click” Strategy for Finding Safe Dividends

When most dividend investors think of early March 2009, they don’t see it as a golden age for income.… Read more

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Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to dividends. Deutsche Bank recently pointed out “the first half of 2018 has seen the sharpest underperformance of dividend stocks since the financial crisis”, as measured by the Dividend Aristocrats.

Most readers are already familiar with this group of 53 names within the S&P 500 index, many paying out billions of dividends each quarter, with the most common trait being they’ve each boosted payouts a minimum of 25 consecutive years.

However, another item several of the Aristocrats share in common, is that the Law of Large Numbers is catching up to them. They may be paying out more to investors each year, but as my colleague Brett Owens has often pointed out, it’s how much the dividend is growing that is the best predictor for building wealth over time.…
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What if I told you there’s a way you can buy your favorite blue chips and get a dividend up to 6 times bigger than what these stocks pay today?

Let’s be honest: with an income stream like that, backed by household names like Pfizer (PFE) and AT&T (T)—more on these two stocks below—you’d leap at the chance, right?

The truth is, you’d be crazy not to.

Well, now you can. And today I’m going to show you exactly how to do it—and 2 quick moves to get you there instantly.

Like Buying Cheap in 2009 … and Knowing What Happens Next

Funny thing is, for a brief, shining moment in the not-so-distant past (early March 2009), many blue chips actually did deliver payouts of 7%, 10% and more.…
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“Hey Brett, what do you think of telecom?”

“Well, let’s take Verizon (VZ). It pays a 5% dividend. It’s growing that dividend by about 2% or so per year. So I’d expect the stock to return 7% or so in the years ahead,” I replied.

“What about profitability metrics like return on invested capital (ROIC)? Or margins? Or…?” my investor friend rebutted.

“If it doesn’t flow through to a higher dividend, then it doesn’t really matter.”

I was “grilled” with many thoughtful dividend-related questions while speaking to subscribers and fellow income hounds at Denver’s AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) chapter last week.…
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