11 Stocks to Buy That Prove Boring Is Beautiful

The following first appeared on Kiplinger’s as 11 Stocks to Buy That Prove Boring Is Beautiful.

Stocks aren’t all that different than cars, in some ways. Sure, the Ferrari is a lot of fun to drive, and you look cool sitting behind the wheel. But it’s also going to cost you a fortune, and high-performance cars spend a lot of time at the mechanic’s shop.

Now, compare that to a Honda Civic. You never really notice a Honda Civic on the road. It’s utterly forgettable. But it’s also just about indestructible, requires virtually no attention from you, and it quietly and efficiently does its job.

Consider that mentality when you’re tracking down stocks to buy. A highflying growth pick can be a lot of fun to own. You look smart owning it, and it’s fun to talk about at parties. But when the market’s mood swings the other way, you’re often left with some nasty losses and a bruised ego. Meanwhile, that dividend-paying value stock in your portfolio might not be particularly interesting. But over the long haul, it’s a lot less likely to give you problems. Like that Honda Civic, it will quietly do its job with no stress and no drama.

“Some of our most profitable trades over the years have been some of our most boring,” explains Chase Robertson, principal of Houston-based RIA Robertson Wealth Management. “We’ve done well for our clients by mostly avoiding the trendy sectors and focusing instead on value and income.”

Here are 11 boring but beautiful dividend stocks to buy now. They might not be much to look at, but they’re likely to get the job done over the long term. And when you need them most – in retirement – they’ll be less likely to break down on you.


AT&T (T) has been a boring play for many years now. Even its seemingly transformative recent buyout of Time Warner (which owns HBO, Cinemax, TBS and TNT) was a drawn-out affair that got bogged down in court battles.

It seems almost silly now, but in the late 1990s and early 2000s, AT&T was a bubble stock. Investors couldn’t get enough of everything related to telecommunications, and AT&T delivered the goods. But when the bubble burst, AT&T crashed hard. Today, nearly 20 years after the peak of the internet mania, T shares still are more than 40% below their old highs.

Of course, 20 years later, AT&T is a very different company. Its mobile and home internet businesses are mature, and its paid TV business is actually shrinking, albeit slowly. AT&T is essentially a utility stock. But T belongs on any short list of boring stocks to buy now given its current pricing.

AT&T took a tumble in 2018 that brought it to its most attractive prices in recent memory. The stock has recovered somewhat, but not completely, and still offers a value at less than 10 times analysts’ expectations for future profits, and a fat dividend yield of 5.9%.

Are you going to get monster growth from AT&T? Of course not. But modest capital appreciation and high levels of income should deliver a very respectable total return.

To continue reading, please see 11 Stocks to Buy That Prove Boring Is Beautiful.

13 High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Watch

The following first appeared on Kiplinger’s as 13 High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Watch

High-yield dividend stocks have gained even more allure lately in the face of shrinking bond yields. However, while a handful are ready buys right now, several more sport alluring yields – at least 5%, and up into the double digits – but need a little more time to simmer before it’s time to dip in.

Patience is a virtue in life. That’s particularly true in the investing world. It’s even true across investing disciplines. Sober value investors wait for their price before buying, but disciplined market technicians also know to wait for the proper setup before trading.

Sometimes, you need to wait for a fundamental catalyst to make your trade worth making. Other times, it’s simply a matter of waiting for the right price. But the key is having the self-control to wait for your moment. Lack of patience can be a portfolio killer.

“We tell our clients during the onboarding process that we won’t be investing their entire portfolio on day one,” explains Chase Robertson, Managing Partner of Houston-based RIA Robertson Wealth Management. “We tend to average into our portfolios over time as market conditions warrant, and we’re not opposed to having large cash positions. Our clients thank us in the end.”

Today, we’re going to look at 13 high-yield dividend stocks to keep on your watch list. All are stocks yielding over 5% that you probably could buy today, but all have their own unique quirks that might make it more prudent to watch them a little longer rather than jump in with both feet.


The high-yield dividend stocks of the tobacco industry have been resilient survivors during the past 50 years. While smoking rates have plummeted around the world, the major brands have managed to stay relevant by raising prices and cutting costs.

The best-run operators, such as Marlboro maker Altria (MO), have managed to chug along despite a difficult environment and have managed to reward their patient shareholders with regular dividend hikes. Altria has hiked its dividend every year without interruption for nearly half a century, and the shares yield an attractive 7% at current prices.

All the same, the popularity of vaping has come as a new shock to the industry. Nielsen reported annualized volume declines of 3.5% to 5% throughout 2018. But the declines have accelerated this year, and recent Nielsen data saw volumes declining at an 11.5% rate during one four-week stretch this past spring.

Big Tobacco benefits from the popularity of vaping, but margins tend to be smaller than on traditional cigarettes. Furthermore, there is a growing concern that much of the growth in vaping is due to underage smokers picking up the habit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stepped up its regulation and has gone so far as to order some vaping products removed from store shelves.

It remains to be seen how hard the regulators crack down or if traditional cigarette volumes continue to shrink at an accelerated pace. Like Ford, Goldman likes Altria right now. But it might make sense to watch Altria and the other Big Tobacco players for another quarter or two before committing. The shares have been in near-continuous decline since 2017, and trying to catch a proverbial falling knife is a good way to cut your hands.

The continue reading, see 13 High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Watch

20 New Dividend Stocks

John D. Rockefeller – one of the wealthiest men who ever lived – once said that the only thing that gave him pleasure was to see his dividends coming in.

That’s a strong statement. But if Rockefeller meant it, he must have truly been the happiest man in the world. Rockefeller was the founder and majority of Standard Oil, which was the predecessor of both ExxonMobil and Chevron. And he insisted that 2/3 of the annual profits of the largest energy monopoly in history be paid out in dividends. That’s a lot of income rolling in every quarter.

For most investors, a dividend is simply a check that arrives in the mail every quarter (or more likely gets posted to their brokerage account). And to be sure, this is a nice perk. Getting a regular stream of income allows you to realize regular profits along the way without having to sell your stock. You can think of it as enjoying the milk from a cow without having to slaughter it for meat. Sure, steak might be tasty. But once it’s gone, it’s gone, whereas the milk can last a lifetime.

But dividends are about more than just income. They’re about being a better kind of company. Earnings can be manipulated. Even sales can be manipulated. But dividends have to be paid in actual cash. There’s no amount of dodgy accounting that can fake cold, hard cash.

Furthermore, knowing that cash has to be on hand to pay dividends forces management to be more disciplined. They are less likely to burn shareholder money on expensive vanity projects when they know they might need that cash to fund the dividend next quarter. They’re also less likely to dilute their shareholders with stock-based employee compensation or secondary stock offerings, as they’d have to pay dividends on any new shares created.

Some might argue that initiating a dividend is an admission by management that the company’s best growth days are behind it. But as Sonia Joao, President of Houston-based RIA Robertson Wealth Management explains, “Paying a dividend doesn’t suggest slower growth ahead. If anything, it’s the exact opposite. Precisely because the company expects durable growth, they’re more willing to part with their cash.”

This isn’t just academic. Dividend-paying stocks have been proven to outperform their non-paying peers over time. Research Ned Davis Research showed that the equally weighted S&P 500 index enjoyed a compound annual growth rate of 7.70% over the 1972 to 2017 period. But breaking the index down gave very different results. The dividend payers collectively enjoyed returns of 9.25% per year, while the non-payers lagged with returns of just 2.61%.

Even better, stocks that initiated or grew their dividends fared best of all, enjoying compound annual returns of 10.07% per year.

So, not only do dividend stocks put a little change in your pocket every quarter. They also massively improve the performance of your portfolio.

Today, we’re going to take a look at 20 stocks that have initiated a dividend in recent years. As these are all new dividend payers, not all are exceptionally high yielders. But all have made a commitment to start rewarding their patient shareholders with a regular cash payout.

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High-Yield MLPs to Buy as Oil Prices Climb

The following is an excerpts from 7 High-Yield MLPs to Buy as Oil Prices Climb, originally published on Kiplinger’s.

After close of a decade of uninterrupted bull market, it’s hard to find many stocks that truly qualify as cheap today. But not everything is pricey – you can still find values if you know where to look. And oil and gas master limited partnerships (MLPs), as a sector, are a screaming buy at today’s prices.

A combination of low interest rates, a shrinking pool of available shares due to buybacks and mergers, and a general lack of investable alternatives have all conspired to create one of the most expensive markets history.

To put numbers to it, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index’s cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (“CAPE”), which compares a 10-year average of corporate earnings to today’s share prices, clocks in at 31. That’s late 1997 levels. Meanwhile, the S&P 500’s price-to-sales ratio recently hit 2.0, putting it on par with its levels in 2000 … at the peak of the greatest bubble in market history.

However, pipeline MLPs are looking inexpensive at the same time they’re exhibiting greater quality. After a couple difficult years in 2014 and 2015, MLPs have gotten their leverage under control and started funding their growth projects with internally generated cash flow rather than new debt.

“After several years of deleveraging and structural simplifications – which unfortunately came with distribution reductions in several cases – MLPs as an asset class are in the best financial health we’ve seen in a long time with an increased focus on per unit returns and self-funding capital expenditures,” explains John Musgrave, Co-Chief Investment Officer of Cushing Asset Management. ”And based on current price-to-DCF and EV-to-EBITDA multiples, MLPs are exceptionally cheap by the standards of the past 10 years.”

For a blue-chip MLP play, consider Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD).

Enterprise Products is one of the oldest and best-respected MLPs you’re ever going to find. In an industry that has traditionally been run by cowboy capitalists, Enterprise has managed to stay remarkably level headed over the years and as reliable as Old Faithful.

Chase Robertson, Chairman of Houston, Texas-based RIA Robertson Wealth Management, says, “Enterprise Products Partners has been a core holding of our income portfolios for over a decade. It’s been a dependable workhorse for us, consistently raising its distribution like clockwork.”

Since going public in 1998, Enterprise has grown into one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in the world with approximately 50,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil and refined products pipelines and 260 million barrels of storage capacity.

Furthermore, Enterprise has eliminated the single biggest conflict of interest that has long plagued the MLP space: incentive distribution rights (IDRs). In a traditional IDR arrangement, the MLP’s general partner takes a disproportionate share of any distribution hikes to shareholders, which incentivizes them to bet the farm by raising distributions at an unsustainable pace. EPD and MMP eliminated IDRs years ago, which partly explains their more conservative profile.

Enterprise Products has raised its distribution every year since its 1998 IPO, and over the past decade, its annual distribution hikes have averaged just under 6%. At today’s prices, EPD shares yield 6.4%, which is exceptionally high by this MLP’s standards.

To finish reading the article, see 7 High-Yield MLPs to Buy as Oil Prices Climb.

Disclosures: Long EPD, ETE at time of writing.

Monthly Dividend Stocks to Pay the Bills

Source: GotCredit

The following is an excerpt from 7 Top Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy, originally published on Kiplinger’s.

The mortgage is due every month. So are utility bills, car payments and the membership to the gym that many of us don’t actually use.

That’s not a major problem for many people because they get regular paychecks. But when they eventually retire, it would be nice to at least partially match income to their expenses.

Enter monthly dividend stocks. While bonds generally pay twice per year and most American stocks pay quarterly, a few select few stocks, ETFs and closed-end funds pay monthly, making them ideally suited for retirees living off their investments.

Naturally, you should be skeptical of gimmicky stocks, and you should never buy a stock simply because it pays a monthly dividend. Any investment you buy should meet your basic smell test for quality and should be attractively priced.

Thankfully, plenty of monthly dividend stocks make the cut. Today, we’re going to take a look at a diverse lot of seven monthly payers. Three are high-quality REITs, two are conservative ETFs, one is a dirt-cheap closed-end fund and one is a more speculative business development company trading at a deep discount. But all have one thing in common: They pay their dividends monthly.

EPR Properties

Certain “oddball” dividend payersdon’t have a built-in base of buyers or that institutional investors tend to avoid because they don’t fit nicely into a style box. This tends to make them perpetual value stocks.

One such quirky stock is EPR Properties (EPR), a REIT that specializes in entertainment and educational properties.

Most REITs specialize in broad categories of real estate, such as offices or apartments. EPR’s specialty is far narrower. Forty-four percent of its portfolio is invested in entertainment properties, primarily movie theaters. Another 32% is invested in recreational properties, such as TopGolf driving ranges and ski resorts. And 21% of the portfolio is invested in educational properties such as charter schools and daycare centers. It’s an eclectic mix you’re not going to find anywhere else.

EPR Properties also sports a high yield that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else without taking a lot more risk. EPR boasts a 7.3% dividend at the moment, and it has grown its payout at about 7% per year since 2010.

REITs have gotten absolutely thrashed over the past year, and EPR is no exception. Its stock has lost more than a quarter of its value in less than a year, and the selloff might not even be over yet. But at today’s prices, expect EPR to deliver solid, market-beating returns over at least the next five years.

To continue reading, see  7 Top Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy.

Disclosures: Long EPR