Eq: Dividends

(New York)

Despite all the headlines to the contrary, beware of dividend stocks right now. On the surface, dividend stocks look attractive at present, as falling rates make their yields look more attractive. However, picking the wrong ones can be very costly. For instance, the most commonly held high dividend stocks are from blue chips. The problem there is their growth is usually weak and they generally have weaker valuations than the market.


FINSUM: The wrong dividend stocks could go very badly in the current environment, so it will be wise to have a very particular strategy.

(New York)

Buyback stocks have developed a poor reputation recently. Stock buybacks are seen as financially irresponsible and a way for executives to manipulate earnings and share prices. While that may be true to a degree, they also happen to be a great way for companies to return money to shareholders. Additionally, and what is not well understood, is that buyback stocks have a great track record historically. Since 1995, the one hundred S&P 500 stocks with the highest level of buybacks have significantly outperformed the index, earning a 13% return versus the index’s 10%. The same is true for the Russell 3000, so it is not just a case of buybacks working for large caps.


FINSUM: Yes, buybacks may be at their highest total levels historically, but they are flat as a percentage of earnings, so buying hasn’t been any less conservative than in the past. The other good thing is that buyback stocks are usually cheaper than average.

(New York)

Retirement income is such an important aspect of a financial advisor’s job, that one could reasonably argue it is the main duty of the profession. With that in mind, here are a couple ways to create lasting retirement income for clients. The first tip is simple, and every advisor should know it—delay claiming Social Security until 70, which significantly boosts annual income. Social Security is uniquely built to help protect against many of the risks of retirement, with one specialist saying “It’s indexed for inflation, it protects against longevity risk, and if the stock market crashes, it doesn’t go down”. The second part of this two-part strategy is to invest like one is still young. Since once is more hedged by greater Social Security income, one can afford to be more aggressive in markets.


FINSUM: This is a good basic strategy, though it requires working longer and a good degree of self-control.

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