A Powell-Proof, Yellen-Proof Strategy for 2021 (7% dividends ahead, 20% gains)

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What are we dividend investors to expect in 2021? Let’s look to Washington, DC, where the switch on Jay Powell’s printing press is stuck in “high”:

Money Supply Surges—With No End in Sight

With Powell’s fiat money keeping (what’s left of) the Main Street economy afloat, you can bet that his “instant” cash will keep rolling in. He’ll have a willing partner in incoming Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who followed the same strategy when she was Fed chair:

New Boss Same as the Old Boss

This is a recipe for inflation once the economy gets back on its feet. Back in September, we discussed some stocks that make solid inflation hedges by hiking their dividends faster than prices (and inevitably, interest rates) rise.… Read more

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Thank you to our 1,581 Contrarian Income Report subscribers who attended our webcast last week! My publisher described it as a “firehose of information”—hopefully, that was a good thing!

We have you, our thoughtful reader and income investor, to thank for the inspiration behind the firehose. We fielded 45 questions before the event and another 127 on the call, for a total of 172. Amazing.

As promised, I have read each and every question (as has our excellent customer service team). In the weeks ahead, we’ll discuss as many as I can find white space for. Let’s start with six today.… Read more

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This crisis has hit income-seekers—particularly retirees—hard. After the stomach-churning March selloff came the slashing of “sacred cow” dividends, like those of senior-care providers Ventas (VTR) and Welltower (WELL).

Look to Closed-End Funds for Retirement Income

It’s understandable (and healthy!) if the past few months have made you extra cautious when picking dividend stocks. The good news on the dividend front is that you can still find plenty of high, safe payouts in my favorite corner of the high-yield market: closed-end funds (CEFs).

CEFs are a great pick for retirement income today, for three reasons. First, they still give you access to large-cap stocks you know well: mainstays like Visa (V), Apple (AAPL) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) feature in many equity-CEF portfolios.… Read more

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The way most folks invest, they’ll need way more than a million bucks to retire—in fact, they’ll need almost double that!

No wonder so many people throw up their hands and commit to working till they’re 100. Maybe you’re one of these frustrated souls. With the world in the state it’s in today, I can’t blame you.

But what if I told you that you could retire on a lot less? Like 75% less.

That’s right: a fully paid-for retirement on just a $437,500 nest egg. Save up that much and you can look forward to a steady $35,000 in dividends (which is right around the average personal income in the US) year in and year out.… Read more

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Most folks think retiring on $527K is a dream—but most folks haven’t heard of high-yield closed end funds (CEFs). With yields as high as 22%, these unsung income plays can fast-track your race to financial independence.

Here’s how: let’s say you’re looking to clock out and use your portfolio to replace $50,000 in yearly employment income. Many financial advisors will tell you that the most you can withdraw out of a conservative stock portfolio is 4% a year (this is known as the 4% safe withdrawal rate). Simple math tells us that this means you will need $1,250,000 to retire.… Read more

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Today we’re going to dive into the three best closed end funds of all time. These retirement-changing dividend plays—yielding all the way up to 8.6%!—have not only been crushing all other CEFs, but they’ve been demolishing the S&P 500, as well.

That’s just not supposed to happen!

After all, the pundits are constantly telling us that actively managed funds should not beat the S&P 500, and you’d be better off with a low-cost index fund like the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO).

But these three CEFs have been crushing VOO for years—and they’re on track to keep doing so.

That’s not all they offer—these funds also pay dividends more than three times higher than the S&P 500 average, boosting your nest egg while giving you a much bigger cash stream than you could ever get from index funds.… Read more

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The convenience of a one-click ETF is tempting, but in times like these, buying one can seriously cap your upside—and cause you to leave serious dividend cash on the table, too.

I know that’s a controversial statement, with the millions of ETF fanboys and fangals out there, so let me explain why you do not want to pile into these vehicles during a bear market like this one.

I’ll start with a very popular ETF, the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM). True to its name, it holds the stocks that pop into most people’s minds when they think about dividends, like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG), Verizon Communications (VZ) and Pfizer (PFE).Read more

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When you think about the biggest returns you could get on the market today, what do you think of? Tech? Biopharma? Gold stocks?

What about utilities?

This “boring” sector is known for high-yield stocks with little volatility. The (usual) downside to that income is lackluster capital gains, with many utilities staying range bound for years.

Except when they don’t.

Today we’re going to look at two utility funds that, over time, have crushed the S&P 500: the Cohen & Steers Infrastructure Fund (UTF) and the Reaves Utility Income Fund (UTG). Over their near 20-year histories, these funds have returned an annualized 11% per year.… Read more

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To be sure, no one expected stocks to notch big double-digit losses in just two weeks, and while I don’t know when a rebound will happen (anyone who claims they do is lying), the economic numbers do carry a ray of light.

So let’s dive into them, and talk a little bit about the 18 funds in our CEF Insider portfolio, too.

Of Lizards and Dividends

First, there’s one thing we must not do at a time like this: follow our “lizard brain”: the primeval part of our thought process that tells us to flee when danger rears up, to keep our precious capital safe.… Read more

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Until a flu-like virus emerged halfway around the world, it’s been three peaceful months since we’d seen a “1% up or down day” in stocks. As usual, the volatility inspired investors to reflect upon the advanced age (almost eleven years) of our current bull market.

To paraphrase the legendary rock band Chicago, does anybody really know what time it is in the rally right now? “Late cycle” is a popular guess. But how late?

Did the streetlights just pop on, or is it 2am with money managers stumbling into their taxis and Ubers outside?

Most rallies don’t make it to eleven, but then again, most don’t follow financial crises either.… Read more

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