Can This 9.9% Utility Yield Weather “Transitory” Inflation?

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The Federal Reserve is finally beginning to admit that it’s here and, at the moment, it’s spectacular. Chairman Jay Powell is still sticking with his “it’s only transitory” story, at least for now. Mr. and Ms. Market were spooked for a moment, until they remembered that money printing flows directly into the stock market.

So, we dividend investors continue our hunt for safe, meaningful yields amidst this mania-of-sorts that has enveloped everything from tech to lumber to crypto to big tech again. We’ll discuss five safe utility dividends—paying up to 9.9%!—in a moment.

First, let’s review the agency’s acclaimed “dot plot” which showed not only that the central bank was now expecting rate hikes by 2023, but that we’d get a pair of them.… Read more

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What’s better than a 6% yield paid every quarter?

An 8% annual yield—paid every month—of course.

These hidden gems aren’t easy to find, but they are out there. While 99% of the market’s dividend payers dish out dollars every quarter or longer, it is possible to find dividends that match up with our monthly bills.

Monthly dividends can be a “must have” in retirement. While those in the workforce can cash a check once or twice a month, retirees don’t have active income. (That’s the point of retirement—less required activity!)

Our leisure and financial security is possible. We simply need our money to work harder for us.… Read more

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On Sunday night, our old friend exclaimed to my wife and me: “How have you all been??”

It’d been, well, almost a year since we’d been to her bar. We had plenty to catch up on with our drink-slinging pal as we sipped and snacked. Back on the home front, our babysitter had recently resurfaced and appeared to have bedtime under control. It was nice to have a throwback evening, the type we all took for granted just 12 months ago.

In the interim, many income investors have, likewise, taken low long-term rates for granted. Not we contrarians, of course.… Read more

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Our beat here at Contrarian Outlook is dividends. We seek to collect them using proven income strategies.

Dividend stock investing isn’t easy, even though it looks so on the surface. (Find a high yield, and buy it!) We’ve all had our heart broken by one or more “disappearing” dividend payers in the past. These delinquents are the reason we place such a premium on dividend security.

One secure-looking strategy is (unfortunately) known as dividend capture. I don’t like the name because it sounds like something we should be interested in. I don’t like the approach itself because it doesn’t really work.… Read more

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Since we last connected last Wednesday, we’ve had a few notable events happen (to say the least!)

First, former vice president Joe Biden became president-elect Joe Biden. Depending on your perspective, this may or may not be a “done deal” as far as you are concerned. That’s fair. However, it is mostly a done deal as far as the prediction markets are concerned.

Leading website PredictIt is giving Biden a 90% chance of winning this never-ending November election. I like PredictIt better than any poll because punters are betting “real money” on the website. Heading into the election, the prediction marketplace correctly foresaw a close election, outperforming any pollster I’m aware of.… Read more

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Make no mistake: now is the time to buy dividend stocks. That’s because stocks tend to rally from Election Day to the end of the year—no matter which party wins.

The important thing is that the election, and the uncertainty it brings, is over.

The post-election surge is already on, with the S&P 500 jumping 6% since the market close on November 2. Plus we’ve got a nice seasonal effect working in our favor, as stocks tend to gain from October to May.

A Second Chance to Buy Cheap

But don’t worry—if you haven’t used this opportunity to set yourself up for some strong upside (and growing dividend payouts) you’re not too late.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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Have utility stocks been stripped of their safe-haven status?

I’ve fielded that question from a few readers who have rightly pointed out the utility sector’s unimpressive performance during 2020’s market rout and partial recovery.

The short answer? No, it hasn’t. At least not for those of us who look through short-term price jitters to lock-in long-term payouts.

Back in the “good old days,” utility stocks delivered enough income to actually retire on. And thanks to this once-in-a-decade panic, that’s the case once again. Even though utility stocks are well off their bottom, investors still can grab perfectly safe yields of up to 7% in the space.… 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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It’s easy to see why investors love utilities:

  1. Low volatility
  2. High yields

But there’s a problem: recent scares like the inverted yield curve mean some utilities, and utility funds, have gotten ahead of themselves and are more prone to a pullback than most folks think. (The three 7%+-yielding closed-end funds (CEFs) I’ll show you shortly top this “overpriced” list.)

The worst part is, many people think utilities are underbought, because the benchmark Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) is up 8.3% year-to-date, half the 16% gain of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).

But that’s recency bias. Stretch the timeline to 12 months and things look very different:

Utilities Get Pricey

Interest-Rate Pause Should Boost Utilities.Read more

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