Investors are always looking for good yields. While bonds are seeing higher yields now, high paying stocks offer something special because of the chance of capital appreciation. Such investors might be tempted by financial stocks right now, which are sporting juicy yields. However, Goldman Sachs is warning that investors need to beware. JP Morgan and other banks have been beaten up over the last year and are sporting payouts of above 3% in some cases. However, the big risk that is financial stocks are highly rate sensitive and tend to lose value as rates fall because of their lower profitability in such times. This pushes up dividends, but moves prices lower.
FINSUM: If you think we are even close to heading into a recession, buying financials is not a good idea. If you think this is a false signal, then banks may be a great buying opportunity right now.
Advisors tend to really like dividend stocks, and it makes sense why: clients need good income as they head into retirement. However, this desire leads some (especially retail investors) to overreach, choosing high paying, but ultimately fragile or unsustainable stocks. Right now is a good time to be looking for quality dividend payers, as their valuations relative to the market are the lowest in about 20 years. Some high quality names to look at include Macy’s (6.2%), General Motors (4.1%), Kellogg (4.1%), and Verizon (4.2%).
FINSUM: One of the best ways to judge the quality of dividend stocks is through focusing on free cash flow as that measure shows whether companies can really afford what they are paying out without hurting their underlying business.
Markets have moved so fast that investors are now once again braced with the question that plagued them for almost a decade—how to get some income in a low yield world. Ten-year Treasuries are now yielding a very weak 2.36%, way down from the 3.2% they reached in 2018. That means investors need a place to park money. High yield savings accounts are still looking like a strong option, while a plethora of dividend funds and dividend stocks now look much more appealing than just a couple of months ago. Yield-sensitive sectors like REITs and utilities also have good outlooks.
FINSUM: The good news for investors is that short-term yields are still high, so it is not nearly as hard to get good yielding, low duration, investments as it was a few years ago.
Barron’s has been running a series of articles outlining the best dividend funds by different category. They have also put out a piece outlining the best performing dividend funds overall. The funds mentioned below have all provided top performance over the last half decade. The three top funds are the Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX), The Bishop Street Dividend Value Fund (BSLIX), and the Madison Dividend Income Fund (BHBFX). The Vanguard fund has achieved an annual 10.19% average return over the last five years, just under the S&P 500’s 10.67%. Its fees are much lower than the others at only 0.26%.
FINSUM: VDIGX is a great option for solid dividends and returns, but the field of these kinds of funds is growing and diverse.
Where is the best place to find inexpensive income? That is a great question for any portfolio. With that in mind, here is a list of seven funds that can help investors get solid yields via inexpensive ETFs: iShares Core High Dividend ETF (HDV), SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 High Dividend ETF (SPYD), Invesco Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend ETF (DJD), Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM), JPMorgan U.S. Dividend ETF (JDIV), Xtrackers MSCI EAFE High Dividend Yield Equity ETF (HDEF). All the funds have expense ratios of between 0.07% and 0.20% and average yields ranging up to around 4%.
FINSUM: These are very core funds with good awareness, but always nice to have them all in one place. We particularly like the Xtrackers internationally-focused income fund because it can help get income from differing rate environments.
“Cheap dividend” is a welcome phrase for many advisors. Income investments are precious, especially as clients age, but inexpensive and good-performing dividend funds are not quite as easy to find as one might expect. With that in mind, here are few names to consider: the Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF (SPHD), the Oppenheimer S&P Ultra Dividend Revenue ETF (RDIV), and the Wisdom Tree US Quality Dividend Growth ETF (DGRW). The first two average just under 4% yields and have fees well under 40 bp. The Wisdomtree fund seeks dividend growth names, has lower yields, and costs 28 bp.
FINSUM: We are fans of the high dividend and low volatility approach, so quite like the Invesco fund here. LeggMason also has another good option with that theme, LVHD.