10 High-Yield Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy in 2020

The following is an excerpt from 10 High-Yield Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy in 2020, originally published by Kiplinger’s.

The typical American’s life tends to be organized around monthly payments, yet somehow, monthly dividend stocks are the exception, not the norm.

Your mortgage, your car payment, your phone bill … even your Netflix payment is on a regular monthly payment plan. That’s perfectly fine when you’re working and are used to getting one or two paychecks every month. Budgeting is simply a matter of making sure your regular monthly income covers your monthly expenses with a little left over for emergencies.

But once you retire, the situation changes. Sure, the Social Security check still comes monthly, and if you’re lucky enough to still get a pension, your income generally comes in monthly as well. But the payout from the vast majority of your investments tends to be a lot more sporadic. Most stocks pay their dividends quarterly, and most bonds pay interest only semiannually.

“Cash flow mismatch is a common problem for recent retirees of all income levels,” says Mario Randholm, founder of alternative investments specialist Randholm & Co. “And the cash drag from keeping more cash on hand to compensate for erratic income reduces long-term returns.”

High-yield monthly dividend stocks can be part of the solution. Stocks that pay monthly dividends better align your income to your spending.

You shouldn’t buy a stock simply because it pays a monthly dividend, of course. That would be as ridiculous as choosing a mortgage bank based on the specific day of the month your payment would be due. Clearly, the stock needs to meet your criteria for yield, quality or growth prospects. But if a stock checks all the right boxes, why not also enjoy a monthly payout?

Here, we’ll look at 10 high-yield monthly dividend stocks to buy in 2020.

Let’s start with Main Street Capital (MAIN), a blue-chip business development company (BDC). Main Street provides debt and equity capital to middle market companies that are generally too large to go to the local banks for capital, but not quite large enough to do a proper stock or bond offering.

The capital Main Street provides typically is used to support management buyouts, recapitalizations, growth investments, refinancings or acquisitions.

BDCs are similar to real estate investment trusts (REITs) in that they are required to pay out substantially all of their earnings in the form of dividends. This is good news for income investors, of course, as many BDCs end up being high-yield dividend stocks, some of which pay monthly.

But there is one downside: It can be difficult to maintain a steady payout when you can’t keep extra cash on hand. For this reason, many BDCs end up having to cut their dividends after a slow quarter or two.

That’s obviously upsetting to investors. However, Main Street avoids this problem by keeping its regular dividend comparatively low and then topping it off twice per year with special dividends that can be thought of as “bonuses.” This makes it among the most conservatively managed high-yield monthly dividend stocks to buy, but shareholders aren’t complaining.

At current prices, Main Street yields an attractive 5.7%. The special dividends over the past 12 months have added an extra 1.2% for a total yield of about 7%. That’s far from shabby.

To finish reading, please see 10 High-Yield Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy in 2020.

25 Stocks Every Retiree Should Own

The following first appeared on Kiplinger’s as 25 Stocks Every Retiree Should Own.

Retirement is a major life milestone, eclipsed only by marriage or the birth of your first child in terms of financial impact. For many, it’s an exhilarating leap into the unknown. In your working years, you can take investing setbacks in stride, as portfolio losses can be offset by new savings or working an extra year or two.

But once retired, you no longer have that luxury. Your portfolio must last for the the rest of your life, and that of your spouse as well. So, the decision of what retirement stocks you should include your portfolio is an important one.

An ideal retirement stock will pay a healthy dividend. As Sonia Joao, president of Houston-based RIA Robertson Wealth Management, explains, “Four out of five of our clients are in or near retirement, and essentially all of them tell us the same thing. They want safe, secure streams of income to meet their living expenses and replace their paychecks.”

While a good dividend is probably the most important characteristic to look for, it’s certainly not the only one. Yields across most asset classes are lower today than in years past, and retirees need growth to stay ahead of inflation. So, while a retirement portfolio should have a large share of income stocks, it also will include some growth names for balance.

The following are 25 stocks every retiree should own. This group of retirement stocks includes both pure income plays and growth companies, with a focus on very-long-term performance and durability.

Public Storage

Self-storage REIT Public Storage (PSA) may be the single least sexy stock in the entire Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. If you mention it at a cocktail party, don’t expect to be the center of attention.

But the boringness is exactly what makes Public Storage such an ideal retirement stock. Self-storage is one of the most recession-proof investments you’re ever likely to find. In fact, recessions are often good for the self-storage industry, as they force people to downsize and move into smaller homes or even move in with parents or other family – and their stuff has to go somewhere.

With the economy looking a little wobbly these days, that’s something to consider. But there’s another angle to this story as well. According to Ari Rastegar – founder of Rastegar Equity Partners, a real estate private equity firm with expertise in the self-storage sector – changes to the broader economy are at work.

“Despite unemployment being exceptionally low, wages haven’t kept pace with rising prices,” Rastegar explains. “This has led to the rise of micro apartments and the general trend of smaller units closer to city centers. All of this bodes very well for the future of the self-storage sector. Your apartment might be shrinking, but you still need to put your personal belongings somewhere.”

Public Storage has a diversified portfolio of nearly 2,500 properties spread across 38 states and additionally has a significant presence in Europe. While the REIT has kept its dividend constant at $2 per quarter for the past two years, it historically has been a dividend-raising machine. Over the past 20 years, Public Storage has raised its dividend by nearly 10-fold.

At current prices, Public Storage yields 3.4%. That’s not an exceptionally high yield by any stretch, but it’s still better than what you’re able to get in the bond market these days – at least not without taking significantly more risk.

To continue reading, please see 25 Stocks Every Retiree Should Own.

LyondellBasell Is Set for a Strong Second Quarter

The following is an excerpt from Best Stocks for 2019: LyondellBasell Is Set for a Strong Second Quarter

As we near the end of the first quarter, the competition is fierce in InvestorPlace’s Best Stocks for 2019 contest. Cannabis product maker Charlotte’s Web Holdings (CWBHF) is leading the pack, up 67% at time of writing, but onshore oil and gas producer Viper Energy Partners (VNOM) isn’t far behind at 29%.

Against this competition, LyondellBasell Industries (LYB) and its modest 4% would seem to be getting left in the dust.

But it’s still early, and we still have a lot of 2019 left to go. And I’m expecting LyondellBasell to make it a competitive race, come what may in the market.

LYB Stock Valuation

I’ll start with valuation.

A cheap price is no guarantee of investment success, at least over short time horizons. But it certainly creates the conditions to make outsized gains possible. LyondellBasell trades for 7.2 times trailing earnings and just 0.83 times sales.

To put this in perspective, LyondellBasell’s P/E ratio was over 16 in late 2012; by this metric LYB stock is trading at less than half its valuation of seven years ago despite price/earnings multiples expanding prodigiously across most of the stock market over that same period.

Likewise, LYB’s price/sales ratio has been bouncing around in a range of 1 to 1.4 since 2013. Today’s 0.9 takes the stock’s valuation back to early 2013 levels.

Again, a cheap stock price doesn’t guarantee a hefty stock return, at least not over any specific time horizon. But it certainly creates the conditions that make outsized returns possible.

To read the full article, see Best Stocks for 2019: LyondellBasell Is Set for a Strong Second Quarter

What to Do Now If You’re Losing Sleep Over the Stock Market

The following is an excerpt from What to Do Now If You’re Losing Sleep Over the Stock Market, originally published by Kiplinger’s.

As discussed ad nauseam in the financial press and in mutual fund literature, stocks “always” rise over the long-term.

This may very well continue to be true. But you also should remember that you have limited amounts of capital, and your cash might be better invested elsewhere.

Stocks are not the only game in town.

Even after the recent selloff, the S&P 500 still trades at a cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (“CAPE,” which measures the average of 10 years’ worth of earnings) of 27, meaning that this is still one of the most expensive markets in history. (Other metrics, such as the price-to-sales ratio, tell a similar story.)

This doesn’t mean that we “have” to have a major bear market, and stock returns may be soundly positive in the coming years. But it’s not realistic to expect the returns over the next five to 10 years to be anywhere near as high as the returns of the previous five to 10 years, if we’re starting from today’s valuations. History suggests they’ll be flattish at best.

It’s not hard to find five-year CDs these days that pay 3.5% or better. That’s not a home run by any stretch, but it is well above the rate of inflation and it’s FDIC-insured against loss.

High-quality corporate and municipal bonds also sport healthy yields these days.

And beyond traditional stocks, bonds and CDs, you should consider diversifying your portfolio with alternative investments or strategies. Options strategies or commodities futures strategies might make sense for you. Or if you want to get really fancy, perhaps factored accounts receivable, life settlements or other alternative fixed-income strategies have a place in your portfolio. The possibilities are limitless.

Obviously, alternatives have risks of their own, and in fact might be riskier than mainstream investments like stocks or mutual funds. So you should always be prudent and never invest too much of your net worth into any single alternative strategy.

Just keep in mind that “investing” doesn’t have to mean “stocks.” And if you see solid opportunities outside of the market, don’t be afraid to pursue them.

To read the rest, please see What to Do Now If You’re Losing Sleep Over the Stock Market

The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in 2019

The following is an excerpt from The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in 2019

Everyone is looking forward to 2019 if only because 2018 has been so ugly. But investors will have to mentally sturdy themselves: Before we can talk about the best investments to make in 2019, we have to quickly explore what has gone wrong in 2018.

The year started with a bang. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index returned nearly 6% that month following an epic 2017 that saw the index pop by 22%. But after that, it got rocky. Stocks stumbled in the first quarter, rallied for most of the second and third quarters, then rolled over and died again in October. It hasn’t gotten better since, and investors have had plenty to digest the whole way.

Much of the massive gain in 2017 was likely powered by investors looking forward to the profit windfall following the corporate tax cuts at the end of last year. But that’s a year in the past. Going forward, we’ll be comparing post-tax-cut profits to post-tax-cut profits as opposed to higher post-cut to lower pre-cut. Meanwhile, stock prices are still priced for perfection. At 2 times sales, the S&P 500’s price-to-sales ratio is sitting near all-time highs, and the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, or “CAPE,” of 29.6 is priced at a level consistent with market tops.

Fortunately, the new year provides an opportunity to wipe the slate clean. So what might we expect in the new year? Today, we’ll cover five of the best investments you can make in 2019, come what may in the stock market.

Consider Alternatives

It’s difficult to beat the stock market as a long-term wealth generator. At roughly 7% annualized returns after inflation, the market has historically doubled your inflation-adjusted wealth every 10 years. No other major asset class has come close.

Still, you shouldn’t put all of your money in the stock market.

To start, there is no guarantee that the future will look like the past. The stock market as an investment destination for the masses is a relatively new concept that really only goes back to the 1950s, or perhaps the 1920s if you want to be generous. You can’t credibly say that the market “always” rises with time because, frankly, we’re writing history as we go.

Bonds have a longer track record, but bonds are also priced to deliver very modest returns in the years ahead. Adjusted for inflation, the 3% yield on the 10-year Treasury looks a lot more like a 1% yield.

Investors should consider alternative strategies as a way to diversify while not sacrificing returns.

“Alternative” can mean different things to different investors, but for our purposes here we’re taking it to mean something other than traditional stocks and bonds. Alternatives could include commodities, precious metals and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But more than exotic assets, an alternative strategy can simply use existing, standard assets in a different way.

“The vast majority of options contracts expire worthless,” explains Mario Randholm, founder of Randholm & Company, a firm specializing in quantitative strategies. “So, a conservative strategy of selling out-of-the-money put and call options and profiting from the natural “theta,” or time decay, of options is a proven long-term strategy. You have to be prudent and have risk management in place, as the strategy can be risky. But if done conservatively, it is a consistent strategy with low correlation to the stock market.”

That’s a more advanced way to skin the cat. But the key is to keep your eyes open for alternatives with stock-like returns that don’t necessarily move with the stock market.

To continue reading the remaining four investments, see The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in 2019