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“Get tomorrow’s Bloomberg headline, today, at Contrarian Outlook!”

Our new slogan for 2023? Perhaps. I bring it up because our bond recession trade has already gained steam into an outright bandwagon.

Just three weeks ago, we contrarians shouted alone in the dividend woods. “Buy these safe bonds paying 4.2% before a 2023 recession!”

Our logic was simple. The 10-year Treasury bond hadn’t paid 4% or more in 14 years. With stocks looking shaky (to say the least!), the 4-handle coupon was attracting some whale buyers, including our man the “bond god” Jeffrey Gundlach (more on him in a moment).… Read more

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“Hey Brett. How’s the weather out there in California?”

My usual reply is “warm and sunny.” Simple. Gives the asker what they expect and keeps the pleasantries moving along.

If I was one for small talk, I would be tempted to mix in a confusing and way-too-detailed response. Like this:

“The weather? Well, Sacramento hit a low of 27 degrees in the early morning hours of February 24. And we cooked at an extreme 116 degrees on September 6. It has been quite the 12 months!”

Twelve months? Who cares about 12 months? Well, bond funds do.

Last week, we highlighted the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT): “It (TLT) boasts a 4.1% yield and has some serious upside potential.”… Read more

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One week ago, money-printer-turned-inflation-hawk Jay Powell told the world he was going to keep hiking interest rates. And more than he thought his Federal Reserve needed just two months ago.

Yes, even higher interest rates. Obviously more bad news for bonds, right?

It depends. Let’s explore the second level take, because Jay’s outlook is actually bullish for a select slice of fixed income.

Our inspiration, as always, is renowned value investor Howard Marks, chief of Oaktree Capital Group, with $164 billion under management. Marks’ writing has won acclaim from legendary peers such as Joel Greenblatt, Jeremy Grantham, Seth Klarman and even Warren Buffett.… Read more

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The Bank of England has recently aroused financial animal spirits with its on and off and on again buying of long-dated bonds. Which has this 8.8% payer—and more like it—ready to rally like crazy.

But wait, isn’t this a bear market? Brett, the financial media is telling me that interest rates are going to the moon. And that my cheap bonds are about to get even cheaper.  

They don’t call us contrarians for nothing! It’s our job, as original thinkers, to identify inflection points in the market. And we have one that is setting up for a big bond bounce.… Read more

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Generally, recessions are bullish for bonds. Which makes this 3.8% bond yield a “best recession bet.”

Why are we talking bonds in a year where they have all been crushed? Well, that’s the reason. The cure for poor bond performance is the high yields that are now staring us in the face. We look forward, not backward.

If you took our cue and used cash under your mattress as a bond proxy for the year, then you are sitting pretty. Because now, we finally have attractive fixed-income yields!

Granted, safety is the key here. Remember, we are picking an economic slowdown as our catalyst.… Read more

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Have we seen the lows yet?

Well, we’re oversold and due for a rally. Overdue, really. (Stop me if you’ve heard this before…)

Assuming we get a bounce, I’m still inclined to sell any rips higher that we see.

Someday we’ll buy this dip. Heck, we’ll back up our dividend truck. I just don’t think it’s time yet.

First, I’d like to see market breadth begin to improve under the surface. This is often what typically happens before markets bottom. We see individual stocks begin to “act better” than the Dow or S&P. These leaders quietly establish their lows and begin to rally.… Read more

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“C’mon daddy.”

Pause. And a sigh.

“I’ll pay you back?”

Ah, there it was. The fiscal responsibility we’ve been working to instill in our seven-year-old clicking in. An acknowledgement that money does not grow on trees.

(Everyone knows that greenbacks only grow on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet!)

My daughter’s intentions were sweet. She had successfully lobbied to reroute the “daddy bus” to a boutique retail store. The young boss had her eyes on a toy, and offered to buy one for her sister, too.

Well, I should clarify. Initially she offered me the opportunity to purchase both. Your income strategist offered a compromise:

“How about you pay for your own.… Read more

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If you own a bond fund, it’s probably down in recent months. Let’s talk about why and walk through three popular fixed-income ideas from worst to first.

We’ll start with the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT). TLT is the knee-jerk investment that many “first-level” investors buy when they are looking for bond exposure. Unfortunately, there are two big problems with TLT:

  1. It only yields 2.1%.
  2. Worse yet, its 19-year duration is drubbing its total returns.

Any kid knows that 19 years is “way too long” to hold a bond when inflation is running a hot 7.5%. (Please, somebody get these TLT investors a Contrarian Income Report subscription!)… Read more

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“Daddy. Can you come play with me in the playroom?” my four-year-old asked.

“Sure. I’ll be right in,” I said. “Once I get done unloading the dishwasher. Would you like to help me unload?”

“No thanks,” my daughter replied. No surprise, but one day I hope to catch her off-guard.

She walked to the playroom. Barely. And reappeared.

“Daddy. You’re taking for ages.”

For ages is the equivalent of forever in our house. I think. Then again, given her level of exasperation, she could be telling me I’m taking longer than forever.

She’d make a good bond trader. With long rates rising every day, few income investors want to hold any bonds for any amount of time.… Read more

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The market isn’t doing fixed-income investors any favors right now. But one of my favorite funds—in one of the best cash flow niches in the market—is delivering a gaudy 6.6% yield at today’s prices.

And it does that by holding some of Wall Street’s most boring, stable and dependable securities.

How can we bank this 6.6% “free lunch” when 10-year Treasuries still pay less than 2%? By tapping into an income stream that most individual investors rarely think about: Preferreds.

The Power of Preferreds

If we wanted to own a piece of a company, say JPMorgan Chase (JPM), we’d go out and buy a few shares of JPM.… Read more

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