These 8.9% Dividends Are Shockingly Cheap Following The Crash

| November 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

If you’re still fearful about stocks as we pick up the pieces from the market’s grim October, let me ease your mind with one chart:

Stocks Still a Long-Term Winner


As you can see, that’s the market’s return over the last 10 years. As you can also see, stocks have returned nearly 2.5 times a person’s original investment in just a decade! Few other investments can make that claim.

The real problem? Income.

The average S&P 500 stock pays a lousy 1.9%, but let’s say you need 8% of your portfolio in monthly income to pay your bills in retirement. If you buy the popular SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and withdraw 8% monthly, you’ll be forced to sell in a falling market like the one we’ve seen. That will amplify your losses without letting you take advantage of the market’s tendency to snap back.

Fortunately, there’s a better way. You just need to buy a fund that doesn’t need to sell holdings to maintain that 8% income stream.

Sounds impossible, right? It isn’t. In fact, there’s a group of closed-end funds (CEFs) that’s designed to do just that: provide reliable income with minimal portfolio turnover, especially during moments of market weakness, where fund managers are scooping up deals left and right.

The key is to find a safe, reliable sector that provides a high income stream and doesn’t go down every time the market does. That sector exists: utilities.

In the last month, every single sector has fallen, even the supposedly safe and defensive consumer staples sector, with only one exception: utilities.

Utilities Buck the Trend

Utilities SPDR ETF

The reason for this is straightforward: with the markets (wrongly) panicking that the economy is about to take a turn for the worse, there’s a sudden thirst for reliable income, and utilities have provided that for decades.

This does mean that the Utilities SPDR ETF (XLU) and its 3.4% dividend yield are particularly compelling right now, but don’t settle for that; we can do much better with 10 CEFs that more than double up XLU’s payout.

The average income from a utility CEF right now is a whopping 8.5%, or two and a half times greater than what XLU pays. So a $100,000 investment would get you $708.33 per month in income from these CEFs, much better than the $283.33 you’d get from XLU.

Utility CEFs Deliver Big Dividends

Source: Contrarian Outlook / CEF Insider

What’s more, all but one of these funds have impressive long-term annualized returns of over 6%, with 4 delivering double-digit returns over the long haul:

Strong Returns Across the Board

In fact, 4 of these funds have beaten the S&P 500, and half of them have beaten the utilities index fund. But even that strong track record isn’t the best reason to buy these funds now.

With two (very big!) exceptions, all of these funds are priced at a discount to their net asset value (NAV), meaning you’re buying their holdings for less than their true intrinsic value. Three of these funds have double-digit discounts:

Utility CEFs Are on Sale (except for 2)

Utility CEFs

Source: Contrarian Outlook / CEF Insider

While GUT and DNP might best be avoided right now because of their high premiums, the combined big discounts and strong long-term returns with MGU, UTF, MFD and UTG make them all attractive buys. On top of that, buying these 4 funds would get you a diversified utility portfolio with a whopping 8.9% yield—even higher than the average yield for all utility CEFs.


My colleague Brett Owens has created an “8% No-Withdrawal Portfolio” that generates steady income and impressive capital gains.

Whether you’re already retired, or looking to augment your paycheck with the passive income that dividends afford, you no longer have to choose between measly 2% to 3% yields from dividend “aristocrats”, government-secured interest payments that barely keep up with inflation and dicey double-digit dividends.

Brett’s system could hand you $40,000 a year on every $500,000 invested with under-appreciated income plays like:

  • Closed-End Funds (CEFs)- We’ll share our top three CEF picks with you, each of which pay a monthly dividend (all the way up to 9.4%) and trade at a discounts to net asset value you’ll never find among ETFs.
  • Preferred Stock- Brett reveals two of the best active managers in this space to invest alongside with.
  • Recession-Proof REITs- discover two REITs (paying 7% or better) that actually benefit from higher interest rates; rather than being crippled by the Fed.

That’s 7 contrarian investment picks just to get started. Click here for instant access to the full 8%, No-Withdrawal portfolio.


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Category: Dividend Stocks To Buy?

About the Author ()

Michael Foster is the Senior Analyst at Contrarian Outlook.

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