Invest Alongside the World’s Top Managers for Dividends Up to 13%

No one likes digging through pages of regulatory filings, but they can often yield valuable information.

For example, institutional investors with at least $100 million of assets must file a 13F form with the Securities and Exchange Commission once a quarter. Think of this as a quarterly scorecard or a window into the holdings of some of the most successful and often secretive investors in the market.

Should you follow suit and piggy-back some of these trades? Well, it’s certainly cheaper than the $1 million minimum buy-in it often takes to invest with the most successful hedge funds, if you’re even invited.

However, there are two important caveats with 13F’s: First, the data can be stale. Holdings at the end of the second quarter aren’t often reported until mid-August, which is an eternity in some investing circles. In addition, a lot of these investors keep their cards close to the vest, so you can’t be entirely sure the purchase is a vote of confidence in the dividend.

The following two stocks have been gleaned from the pages of recent 13F filings and offer readers the opportunity to invest alongside some of the most successful managers on Wall Street.

Top Investment Manager Stock No. 1: New Leader Can Resuscitate Growth

Plains Group (PAGP) is the general partner for energy midstream operator, Plains All-American Pipeline (PAA). The company’s underlying assets transport and store crude oil and natural gas across North America. While commodity prices can be volatile from one-quarter to the next, 93% of Plains’ business is fee-based, providing more stability.

Plains Group was recently listed as a new position of Keith Meister’s Corvex Management. Meister was previously the chief executive officer of Icahn Enterprises (IEP), a vehicle of noted activist investor, Carl Icahn.

Meister and Corvex have yet to show any activist intentions with the company, which is already going through a transition. Plains Group yields 4.6%, in part because of a 45% cut in its quarterly distribution last year. Willie Chiang, COO of the company, is also stepping up to become chief executive officer later this year. He is replacing Greg Armstrong, who was at the helm of Plains for more than two decades.

In the meantime the company’s investment thesis is two-fold: grow its midstream business in the Permian Basin and reduce debt on the balance sheet. Management made progress on both fronts in the second quarter and boosted its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) guidance by 4% earlier this month.

Plains is seeing higher growth in its supply and logistics division and has cut debt by over $1 billion in the past four quarters. Management expects 179% coverage of the dividend this year and is targeting another double-digit increase in adjusted EBITDA in 2019. The company still has progress to make in the coming quarters, but could soon begin rebuilding its dividend.

Top Investment Manager Stock No. 2: Propane Dividend Could Still Burn Investors

Ferrellgas Partners (FGP) could certainly be seen as a contrarian pick, as the master limited partnership has been as volatile as the propane the company sells under the popular Blue Rhino brand. The shares trade in the low-single digits, sport a 13% dividend yield and recently showed up as a new holding of Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors.

Whatever potential value Cooperman and Omega see in Ferrellgas, it likely isn’t in the lofty dividend yield. Similar to Plains Group, the company slashed its payout in late 2016, but even the current payout of $0.10 a quarter could be in peril.

Earlier this month, management declared the next distribution to be paid in September, which carried an ominous warning. Ferrellgas isn’t generating enough cash to cover the fixed charges of its $2 billion mountain of debt. Because of these covenants in the bonds, the company has said it may not be able to pay its dividend beginning in December.

Bondholders always receive their interest payments before stockholders get paid dividends. This is especially the case of Ferrellgas, whose balance sheet is “upside down” and has negative shareholder equity.

Following Carl Icahn or your other favorite investors into new stocks is a popular strategy. But buyer beware— the reliability of the dividend yield may be secondary to these top managers. They are often placing bets in the midst of a diversified portfolio and willing to wait several quarters, if not years to see a positive return.

If, however, you’re nearing retirement, or have already retired and are living off income from your investments, there are better bargains to be had for secure 7% to 8% yields with upside and monthly payouts to boot.

Like These Plays: The 8 Best 8% Dividends with Big Upside to Buy Today

The biggest investment managers and Wall Street brokers say you can’t have both the income and safety of bonds and the upside of stocks. You either have to pay hefty fees or be “lucky” enough for the privilege to be invited to invest with them.

They’re wrong. They don’t realize that the nine bond funds in our Contrarian Income Report portfolio have delivered average annualized returns of 23.9% (including dividends)!

Our three top picks today are poised to continue the tradition. These funds are a cornerstone of our 8% “no withdrawal” retirement strategy, which lets retirees rely entirely on dividend income and leave their principal 100% intact.

Well that’s not exactly right. Their principal is more than 100% intact thanks to price gains! Which means principal is actually 110% intact after year 1, and so on.

To do this, we seek out closed-end funds that:

  • Pay 8% or better…
  • Have well-funded distributions…
  • Trade at meaningful discounts to their NAV…
  • And know how to make their shareholders money.

And we talk to management, because online research isn’t enough. We also track insider buying to make sure these guys have real skin in the game.

Today we like three “blue chip” closed-end funds in particular. And wait ‘til you see their yields! These “slam dunk” income plays pay 8.5%, 8.7% and even 8.9% dividends.

Plus, they trade at 10-15% discounts to their net asset value (NAV) today. Which means they’re perfect for your retirement portfolio because your downside risk is minimal. Even if the market takes a tumble, these top-notch funds will simply trade flat… and we’ll still collect those fat dividends!

Editor's Note: The stock market is way up – and that’s terrible news for us dividend investors. Yields haven’t been this low in decades! But there are still plenty of great opportunities to secure meaningful income if you know where to look. Brett Owens' latest report reveals how you can easily (and safely) rake in 8%+ dividends and never worry about drawing down your capital again. Click here for full details!

Source: Contrarian Outlook

3 Stocks to Invest In If the Market Nosedives


Source: Chascar via Flickr (Modified)

After nearly a decade of impressive gains across all three major stock indexes, investors are understandably starting to get a little bit nervous about where the market is headed. After all, share prices can’t continue to rise indefinitely … can they? Many analysts are predicting that the bears will have their reckoning next year, but it’s also important to note that pulling out of the market completely comes with its own set of risks — we’ve been wringing our hands about a major pullback for years now and it’s never actually materialized.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take analysts’ warnings to heart.

Now is an excellent time to re-evaluate your holdings and take profits in order to stockpile some cash in the event that a pull-back does eventually come. It’s also a good time to load your portfolio with defensive stocks that will still benefit from the market’s bull run, but are unlikely to tank if the market takes a nosedive.

Here’s a look at three stocks to invest in to prepare for the dreaded bear market.

Value Pick: Coca-Cola (KO)

In a market that’s soaring to fresh highs, the best thing you can do is look for stocks to invest in that have fallen out of favor among investors, making their valuations much more reasonable. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is one such company whose share price has been stuck in the mid-$40’s for years. While the beverage company isn’t delivering the attractive gains that companies like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are, it’s a good pillar to lean on in times of trouble.

For one, KO stock is a relatively stable consumer products company that looks unlikely to go under anytime soon. The company’s name recognition and massive portfolio of brands makes it a relatively safe bet even in the event of a recession.

Another reason you want to have KO in your portfolio should the market take a turn is the company’s reliable 3.5% dividend yield, which will continue to deliver even when the market is down.

Recession Buster: Duke Energy (DUK)

Recession Buster: Duke Energy (DUK)

Source: Shutterstock

Another way to prepare for a market downturn is to arm yourself with companies that can make money no matter what. The bull run has made utility companies unpopular among investors, but it’s utilities will be popular stocks to invest in if things take a turn for the worst. 

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is one of the nation’s top utility companies and the fact that its operations are largely regulated makes it a relatively safe bet in times of trouble. Even though DUK stock has underperformed the market this year, the company’s earnings reports show a sound financial base that won’t be shaken in a recession.

Plus, it’s a great income stock, delivering a 4.6% dividend yield that will help boost your portfolio in the event of a bear market. 

All Around Good stock to Invest In: Kraft Heinz (KHC)

When picking stocks to invest in for a bear market, there are a lot of avenues to take — stocks that have been beaten down, consumer staples stocks whose products will still be in demand come a recession and, of course, dividend stocks that will bolster their earnings with reliable payments. Kraft Heinz (NYSE:KHC) is one such company that pretty much meets all of that criteria. The firm’s share price is down nearly 25% so far this year, making it a bargain even in today’s inflated market.

KHC is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world with a brand portfolio that houses some of the most iconic names in the business. That kind of size is a huge asset in times of recession because people are unlikely to make major changes to their normal grocery buying habits. On top of that, the firm offers a 4.3% dividend yield which will help ease the pain in a tumultuous market.

It’s worth noting that KHC has some debt issues that make it a little riskier than some of its peers, however it looks like the firm has a plan in place to turn things around through a strategic acquisition that will help the company get its finances back under control.

As of this writing, Laura Hoy was long AMZN and NFLX.

Get up to 14 dividend paychecks per month from safe, reliable stocks with The Monthly Dividend Paycheck Calendar, an easy-to-use system that shows you which dividend stocks to pick, when to buy them, when you get paid your dividends, and how much.  All you have to do is buy the stocks you like and tell them where to send your dividend payments. For more information Click Here.

Market Preview: U.S. / Canada Trade Talks Stall, Ahead Broadcom Earnings and Unemployment

Tense negotiations between the U.S. and Canada stunted the week long rally in the markets, but so far it looks like a small pause as opposed to a reversal. The Nasdaq largely ignored the trade issues, which appear to be hung up on dairy farming subsidies, with Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) leading the tech heavy index higher. Amazon is making a push to become the second trillion dollar market cap company after Apple reached that lofty valuation.  Monday may bring a different story if the Canada discussions continue with rancor, and EU tariff troubles make it back into the headlines. Thursday President Trump rekindled the smoldering trade war with the EU saying the European Union was not doing enough when they offered to remove tariffs on autos.

Monday is the Labor Day holiday in the U.S., and markets are closed. But the rest of the week brings plenty of earnings action. Tuesday Workday (WDAY), HealthEquity (HQY) and the business spend management company, Coupa Software (COUP) all report earnings numbers. Analysts will dissect earnings from (CTRP) info security firm Zscaler (ZS), as well as data management company Cloudera (CLDR) on Wednesday. Some heavy hitters step to the plate on Thursday. Broadcom (AVGO), Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and Marvell Technology (MRVL) all report after the close. Dell Technologies (DVMT) will lead off on Thursday morning. Closing out the first week of September on Friday are Genesco (GCO) and Greece based Tsakos Energy Navigation (TNP).  

Due to the holiday, no economic numbers will be reported on Monday. But for the rest of the week it’s back to business as usual. Tuesday kicks off with ISM manufacturing, PMI manufacturing, and construction spending. Wednesday investors will pick through motor vehicle sales, mortgage applications, Redbook data, and international trade. The trade numbers may be of particular interest if the tariff wars heat back up next week. Thursday is all about jobs, jobs, jobs. Analysts will decipher the job cut report, ADP employment report, and jobless claims. New claims last week came in at 213K. Also on tap for Thursday are productivity and cost numbers, the PMI Services Index, factory orders, and the ISM Non-manufacturing Index. And finally, Friday continues the jobs theme when the employment situation numbers are released. This includes the unemployment rate, average hourly earnings, and the month-over-month change in non-farm payrolls.

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Oppenheimer’s 7 Top Stock Picks for September

Source: Shutterstock

Are you looking for a post-summer portfolio boost? Look no further. Investment firm Oppenheimer has just released a bullish report highlighting its latest Top Stock Picks for August-September 2018.

“These are the most timely stocks in the opinion of our research analysts” stated the firm. “Each analyst was asked to contribute the one idea they considered to outperform over the next 12 months, based on their view of the company’s fundamentals in the context of current market conditions.”

The report lists 30 top stocks. But here I focus on the seven stocks that truly stand out from the crowd. I used TipRanks’ market data to cherry-pick the report’s best stocks. These are the the stocks which boast a “strong buy” consensus rating from the Street. This is based on all the ratings each stock has received over the last three months. That way we have the added reassurance of knowing that these stocks score big across the board.

Let’s take a closer look at these hot shots now:

Top Stock Picks: CymaBay Therapeutics (CBAY)

Source: Shutterstock

CymaBay Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CBAY) is a cutting-edge biotech company working in liver disease. Right now, all eyes are on lead product candidate seladelpar. This is for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). The big news is that Phase 3 testing of seladelpar in PBC is set to begin by the end of the year.

Analysts are very excited about the drug’s potential. Compared to current treatments, seladelpar boasts a potentially far superior safety profile. “We estimate that seladelpar can become the standard of care for second-line treatment of PBC” writes Oppenheimer’s Jay Olson (Profile & Recommendations). He has a bullish $20 price target on the stock (59% upside potential).

Plus, serious upside could come from development in NASH. This non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is estimated to affect over 16 million Americans — and represents a large commercial opportunity. A Phase 2b trial of seladelpar in NASH has already begun.

Overall, CBAY — a “strong buy” stock — has received only buy ratings from the Street. Their average price target of $21.80 suggests big upside potential of over 70%. See what other Top Analysts are saying about CBAY.

Top Stock Picks: Albemarle (ALB)

If you mix bullish market dynamics and strong execution you get Albemarle (NYSE:ALB). This is the No. 1 lithium company in the world. Luckily for Albemarle, lithium is a key component of automotive batteries. “We believe that ALB deserves a premium multiple given the multiyear growth opportunity we see in lithium” writes top Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch (Profile & Recommendations).

Indeed the company has just reported strong Q2 results. We continue to see robust global growth in EV/PHEV, particularly in China notes Rusch. He has a $157 price target on the stock (64% upside potential). Bottom line: “We believe a capable management team is likely to succeed in achieving its targeted overall revenue growth of 7%-10% and adjusted EBITDA margins of 32%-35% over the next five years.”

Four analysts have published buy ratings on the stock in the last three months. This is with an average price target of $133 — 39% upside potential. See what other Top Analysts are saying about ALB.

Top Stock Picks: Take-Two Interactive (TTWO)

Top Stock Picks: Take-Two Interactive (TTWO)

Source: Via Rockstar

Are you ready for the next big thing? Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) is a developer and publisher of video games for console, PC, and mobile platforms. After an 8-year hiatus since the first installment, TTWO is finally about to release Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2). This much-hyped game is scheduled for release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Oct. 26.

“If we are correct, RDR2 lifetime sold-in will reach 50M units, ranking among one of the best-performing video game franchises of all time” predicts five-star Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz (Profile & Recommendations). He expects RDR2’s shelf life to last well into the ninth console cycle.

According to Uerkwitz we could be looking at a new generational classic. Think: superior graphics, unique gameplay and a deeply immersive story. Bear in mind, the game was created by some of the foremost experts in the field.

Overall, this “strong buy” stock has received eight recent buy ratings vs two hold ratings. Meanwhile the average analyst price target stands at $139. See what other Top Analysts are saying about TTWO.

Top Stock Picks: Jefferies (JEF)

Top Stock Picks: Jefferies (JEF)

Source: Shutterstock

I highly recommend taking a closer look at this underrated top financial stock. Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) is transforming from a conglomerated holding company into a focused financial firm. But the move has gone largely under the radar — creating a sweet investing opportunity.

According to Oppenheimer’s Christ Kotowski (Profile & Recommendations) the “unique” firm “combines a strong investment bank’s deal-sourcing capability with the power of being able to write a large equity check at a moment’s notice.”

In fact, until very recently, Kotowski was the only one from a sell-side firm covering the stock. This all changed on Aug. 21 when KBW’s Ann Dai initiated JEF with a “buy” rating and $29 price target (24% upside potential).

“While we normally do not comment on other analysts’ reports, we were glad to see this one because it is the most visible and concrete step forward in our thesis that the shares will be revalued as JEF gains more of a following” cheered Kotowski. He has more bullish price target on the stock of $35 (49% upside potential). See what other Top Analysts are saying about JEF.

Top Stock Picks: Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT)

Top Stock Picks: Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT)

Source: Shutterstock

Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GBT) is a clinical-stage biopharma company focusing on sickle cell disease. Shares are up 82% over the last year, and plenty of upside potential still lies ahead. The stock also boasts a stellar Street rating. This means 10 back-to-back buy ratings and an $85 average price target (72% upside potential).

Top Oppenheimer analyst Mark Breidenbach (Profile & Recommendations) sees prices spiking 45% to $74. He is optimistic that the company’s Phase 3 asset, GBT440, could find regulatory and commercial success in sickle cell disease (SCD). According to Breidenbach, GBT440 could “substantially improve the standard of care in this indication.”

Intriguingly, he also adds that based on recent M&A activity and interest in SCD, GBT could be a takeout target in 2018-2019. So watch this space. See what other Top Analysts are saying about GBT.

Top Stock Picks: BorgWarner (BWA)

Auto-parts maker BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA) is a leading provider of clean, energy-efficient propulsion systems and tech solutions for cars. Its diverse offering is keeping Oppenheimer’s Noah Kaye (Profile & Recommendations) bullish on the stock’s prospects.

“We see BWA well-positioned to remain nimble, with respect both to market conditions and to the evolving fuel mix, given its portfolio of combustion, hybrid and electric products” writes the analyst. For example, BWA posted 7.3% organic growth in 2Q- driving a sound earnings beat.

And this should have a knock-on effect on share prices: “In our view, the platform should support robust organic market outgrowth and multiple expansion for shares currently trading below historical multiple averages.” With this in mind, Kaye has a $58 price target on the stock (26% upside potential).

This “strong buy” stock has received six recent buy ratings vs two hold ratings. The $58 average price target mirrors Kaye’s own target. See what other Top Analysts are saying about BWA.

Top Stock Picks: XPO Logistics (XPO)

Top Stock Picks: XPO Logistics (XPO)

Source: via XPO Logistics (Modified)

As its name suggests, XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO) is a leading provider of outsourced transportation and logistics services. The company just crushed it with Q2 earnings. Not only did XPO deliver 2Q18 top to bottom outperformance, but it also announced $1 billion-plus of new revenue.

No question about it, XPO knows how to win new business. It is now tracking $2.1B (annual revenue) in the first half of 2018. “Pairing XPO’s momentum with the potential for sizable, accretive acquisitions on the horizon, we reiterate our Outperform rating/$119 target” gushes top Oppenheimer analyst Scott Schneeberger (Profile & Recommendations).

He believes XPO possesses a compelling adjusted EBITDA/free cash flow growth story and is “anticipating continued top-line growth with gradual margin expansion over 2018E-2019E.”

Over the last three months, 7 out of 9 analysts have rated XPO a ‘Buy’. This is paired with a $122 average analyst price target. See what other Top Analysts are saying about XPO. offers exclusive insights for investors by focusing on the moves of experts: Analysts, Insiders, Bloggers, Hedge Fund Managers and more. See what the experts are saying about your stocks now at As of this writing, Harriet Lefton did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Source: Investor Place

4 Tech Stocks That Are Running Hot (and 4 That Are Cooling Down)

Source: Shutterstock

U.S. equities have surged to new record highs on Wednesday, storming out of the gate led by the mega-cap tech stocks (surprise, surprise). The catalyst is ongoing hopes of a thaw in President Trump’s trade stance, after he penned a deal with Mexico that Canada is expected to join onto.

Stocks are also encouraged by the seasonal tailwinds that have historically been in play heading into mid-term elections. According to UBS, around the 17 mid-terms since 1950, the S&P 500 has returned an average of 6.8% from the end of August vs. 3.4% for other years. Why? Because the market likes the specter of gridlock, which is sort of ironic given the massive gains stocks have posted since Nov. 2016 amid excitement for Trump’s tax cut plan.

But not all stocks are participating equally, even within the hot big-tech area. To illustrate this dynamic, here are four red-hot tech stocks and four that are demonstrating weakness:

Hot Tech Stocks: Apple (AAPL)

Hot Tech Stocks: Apple (AAPL)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are pushing to new record highs above the $220 level, capping a near 40% rise from the late April low as investors prepare for the release of the iPhone product refresh in September. The iPhone X has been successful, despite a slight slowdown in units sold, thanks to its $999 price tag. The full-screen form factor is expected to be expanded into three new models, including an entry-level model with an LCD screen.

The company will next report results on Oct. 30, after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $2.75-per-share on revenues of $60.9 billion. When the company last reported on July 31, earnings of $2.34 beat estimates by 16 cents on a 17.3% rise in revenues.

Hot Tech Stocks: Amazon (AMZN)

Hot Tech Stocks: Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares are going vertical now, flirting with the $2,000-a-share level to mark a doubling from the lows seen around this time last year. The catalyst for the rise was a private target increase by analysts at Morgan Stanley, who are looking for $2,500 (a Street high) in anticipation of higher profitability and upward earning estimate revisions.

The company will next report results on Oct. 25, after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $3.21-per-share on revenues of $56.9 billion. When the company last reported on July 26, earnings of $5.07-per-share beat estimates by $2.54 on a 39.3% rise in revenues.

Hot Tech Stocks: Microsoft (MSFT)

Hot Tech Stocks: Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares are breaking up and out of a two-month consolidation range to push to new highs, continuing a steady uptrend that has been in play since the summer of 2016. Earnings growth has been good, driven by the company’s success in cloud-based software as a service offerings.

The company will next report results on Oct. 18, after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 96-cents-per-share on revenues of $27.7 billion. When the company last reported on July 19, earnings of $1.14-per-share beat estimates by 6 cents on a 17.5% rise in revenues.

Hot Tech Stocks: Alphabet (GOOGL)

Hot Tech Stocks: Alphabet (GOOGL)

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) shares are up 1.3% in mid-day trading on Wednesday, pushing back toward highs not seen since late July after analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their price target to $1,515 from $1,325. This follows a price-target upgrade from analysts at MKM Partners on Aug. 22, which increased to $1,465 from $1,355.

The company will next report results on Oct. 25, after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $10.69-per-share on revenues of $34 billion. When the company last reported on July 23, earnings of $11.75-per-share beat estimates by $2.05 on a 25.6% rise in revenues.

Hot Tech Stocks: Twitter (TWTR)

Hot Tech Stocks: Twitter (TWTR)

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) shares are barely lifting off of the mat, struggling to stay above their 200-day moving average after a nasty fall from the highs set in the middle of June. The company has been at the center of a growing political backlash against accusations of “shadow banning” and outright censorship of some conservative contributors — something that has attracted the ire of President Trump. CEO Jack Dorsey will testify on the subject in front of the House of Representatives on Sept. 5.

The company will next report results on Oct. 26, before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 5-cents-per-share on revenues of $703.7 million. When the company last reported on July 27, earnings of 17-cents-per-share beat estimates by a penny on a 23.8% rise in revenues.

Hot Tech Stocks: Snap (SNAP)

Hot Tech Stocks: Snap (SNAP)

Snap (NYSE:SNAP) shares are drifting lower, testing the lows seen back in May for a loss of more than 21% from the highs set in June. The company continues to struggle to regain traction lost from a widely panned app redesign and loss of hype surrounding its Spectacles glasses camera. Earlier in August, the company reported a decline in daily active users.

The company will next report results on Nov. 6, after the close. Analysts are looking for a loss of 27-cents-per-share on revenues of $282.7 million. When the company last reported on Aug. 7, a loss of 14-cents-per-share beat estimates by 3 cents on a 44.4% rise in revenues.

Hot Tech Stocks: Facebook (FB)

Hot Tech Stocks: Facebook (FB)

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares continue to languish below their 200-day and 50-day moving averages as the company continues to suffer from tepid user growth metrics, political pressure and investor confusion surrounding its pivot to focus on privacy over profits. A breakdown here would imperil the long uptrend the stock has enjoyed going back to the summer of 2013.

The company will next report results on Oct. 24, after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.48-per-share on revenues of $14.3 billion. When the company last reported on July 25, earnings of $1.74-per-share beat estimates by 4 cents on a 41.9% rise in revenues.

Hot Tech Stocks: Netflix (NFLX)

Hot Tech Stocks: Netflix (NFLX)

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares are fighting hard to cross back over their 50-day moving average, an attempt to reverse the 20%+ decline from the June/July double-top high. But growing doubts about the company’s user growth metrics, fast-rising cost of content and increasing competitive pressures from the likes of Disney (NYSE:DIS) suggest downside pressure should resume soon.

The company will next report results on Oct. 15, after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 68-cents-per-share on revenues of $4 billion. When the company last reported on July 16, earnings of 85-cents-per-share beat estimates by 6 cents on a 40.3% rise in revenues.

Anthony Mirhaydari is the founder of the Edge (ETFs) and Edge Pro (Options) investment advisory newsletters. Free two- and four-week trial offers have been extended to InvestorPlace readers.

Get up to 14 dividend paychecks per month from safe, reliable stocks with The Monthly Dividend Paycheck Calendar, an easy-to-use system that shows you which dividend stocks to pick, when to buy them, when you get paid your dividends, and how much.  All you have to do is buy the stocks you like and tell them where to send your dividend payments. For more information Click Here.

3 Dividend Stocks Paying 10% to 16% That Can Fund Your Retirement

My 36 Month Accelerated Income Plan is a guide for individuals who see retirement looming in a few short years and who want to build up their retirement savings as much as possible. The plan provides a systematic approach that can be started at any time and does not require timing the market. A recent subscriber question about picking three stocks to start her 36 Month Accelerated Income Plan was the catalyst for this article.

The plan is based on using dividend reinvestment of high yield stocks. After a decade of very low interest rates from most types of income assets, the investing world has lost touch with the power of compound growth when the yields are high enough. The 36 Month Accelerated Income Plan uses high yield stocks and automatic reinvestment of dividends to quickly grow the income potential of money you have set aside for income in your retirement years.

One example used in the 36 Month Accelerated Income Plan shows how a $150,000 starting amount could be producing a monthly income of $3,300 after just three years. That’s $39,600 in annual income. Here are some of the success factors that you need to keep in mind and employ.

  • Higher yield is better. Compound growth is powered by yield. For example, $10,000 compounds to $11,600 in three years at 5%. It grows to $13,450 at 10%, a 115% gain in growth.
  • The dividend payments from the selected stocks must be expected to continue for the three years and longer. This is the hard part of the strategy, and you may need to change stocks if individual company business results change.
  • The plan focuses on compounding the income stream, not the account value. This means that temporary share price drops are a good thing, allowing you to buy more shares with the reinvested dividends when share prices are down, boosting your income at an even rate.
  • The focus will be on the dividend income growth, which will become retirement income in the future. That income will compound even faster than your account value will grow.
  • You can boost your retirement results by making regular added investments to your high-yield stock holdings.

To help you get started, here are three stocks with yields greater than 10% and a current positive outlook that the dividend rates will continue.

Uniti Group Inc. (Nasdaq: UNIT) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns telecommunications network assets. The company was spun-off by Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) in 2015 to own a large portion of WIN’s fiber and copper wireline network.

Since its IPO, UNIT has grown through the acquisition of additional fiber networks and cell tower assets. Controversy around how Windstream spun-out UNIT has lead to the current low share price/high yield of UNIT. Those problems should not affect UNIT and the current dividend rate is well covered by distributable cash flow.

The shares currently yield 11.6%.

New Residential Investment Corp. (NYSE: NRZ) is a finance REIT that owns a diversified portfolio of residential mortgage related assets. This has been one of the great high-yield investments of the last five years.

The company invests at the edges of the mortgage business including mortgage servicing rights and mortgage backed securities call rights.

Over the last few years, New Residential has expanded its ability to become a full service mortgage origination and servicing companies. These new capabilities have not yet made a meaningful difference to the business results, but they will.

The NRZ dividend has grown slowly and steadily. The stock currently yields 10.9%.

The InfraCap MLP ETF (NYSE: AMZA) is an exchange traded fund (ETF) that owns an actively managed portfolio of master limited partnerships (MLPs). The MLP sector is comprised of publicly traded partnerships that provide energy infrastructure services such as pipeline, storage terminals, export facilities and processing services.

AMZA boosts the already high yields of the MLP sector by selling call options on the fund’s portfolio holdings. The returns of AMZA have been comparable to other MLP focused funds. Admittedly, the sector has been in a bear market since early 2016 and is just recently started to recovery. The options selling supported high yield boosts the effect of dividend reinvestment with this fund, leading to outperformance when using a reinvestment strategy.

AMZA currently yields 16%.


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7 Best ETFs for Investors Wondering How to Start a Retirement Fund

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Figuring out how to start a retirement fund can be a daunting task for any investor, but that is especially true for younger, novice investors that are nowhere near retirement age.

Investors wondering how to start a retirement fund do not need to scramble for ideas and vehicles to immediately start retirement planning. Easy-to-access instruments include 401k plans (for some workers) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

“You may want to think about opening an IRA in addition to or instead of a 401k plan if your employer doesn’t offer one. Even if you have a 401k, you may have more investment choices through an IRA,” according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Whether you choose a Traditional or Roth IRA will depend largely on your income and age. (If you’re a small business owner, you may also be able to contribute to a small business IRA).”

For novice investors pondering how to start a retirement account, exchange-traded funds and mutual funds are excellent places to start for a number of reasons, including the ability to bolster portfolio diversification and access multiple asset classes.

With that in mind, here are a few ideas for investors wondering how to start a retirement fund.

ETFs for Starting a Retirement Fund

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)

Expense Ratio: 0.04% per year, or $4 annually per $10,000 investment

Home to $101.8 billion in assets under management at the end of July, the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (NYSEARCA:VTI) is the third-largest U.S.-listed ETF by assets. Across its various share classes, the Vanguard Total Market Fund is one of the largest index funds in the world with nearly $726 billion in combined assets under management.

Not only that, but VTI is cheap. Really cheap. Its annual fee of just 0.04%, which makes it less expensive than 96% of competing funds, according to Vanguard data. Focusing on fees is an important factor for investors wondering how to start a retirement fund because when investing for the long-term, the more an investor saves on fees, the more his or her capital grows.

Another element investors pondering how to start a retirement account need to consider with equity investments is broad-based exposure. VTI delivers on that with a roster of more than 3,650 stocks, or more than seven times the number of components found in the S&P 500.

ETFs for Starting a Retirement Fund

iShares Core S&P U.S. Growth ETF (IUSG)

iShares Core S&P U.S. Growth ETF (IUSG)

Expense Ratio: 0.04%

Younger investors pondering how to start a retirement account should remember that they have the benefit of time, meaning some of their investments should be aggressive in nature. Growth stocks fit the bill as aggressive plays.

The iShares Core S&P U.S. Growth ETF (NASDAQ:IUSG) offers cost-effective exposure to a broad basket of domestic large- and mid-cap growth stocks. This $5.11 billion ETF, which turned 18 years old in July, tracks the S&P 900 Growth Index and holds 543 stocks.

Something else investors wondering how to start a retirement account should remember about growth strategies is that this investment factor typically leans toward the technology and consumer discretionary sectors. IUSG allocates nearly 57.50% of its combined weight to those sectors compared to just under 39% in the S&P 500.

ETFs for Starting a Retirement Fund

Invesco QQQ (QQQ)

Source: Shutterstock

Invesco QQQ (QQQ)

Expense Ratio: 0.20%

Keeping with the theme of younger investors being aggressive in the earlier stages of establishing retirement accounts, the Invesco QQQ (NASDAQ:QQQ) is a fund worthy of consideration.

QQQ, which tracks the Nasdaq-100 Index, is home to 103 stocks, nearly 61% of which are classified as growth stocks. And if the exposure to technology and consumer discretionary stocks in a typical growth fund is not enough, QQQ devotes over 82% of its roster to those two sectors.

QQQ is also an appropriate vehicle for investors looking for exposure to each of the FAANG stocks. Those five stocks combine for approximately 40% of the ETF’s weight.

ETFs for Starting a Retirement Fund

WisdomTree U.S. LargeCap Dividend Fund (DLN)

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WisdomTree U.S. LargeCap Dividend Fund (DLN)

Expense Ratio: 0.28%

A frequently asked question when wondering how to start a retirement fund is how to generate income. Dividend-paying stocks are a key component of that equation and the WisdomTree U.S. LargeCap Dividend Fund (NYSEARCA:DLN) is one of the better dividend ETFs to consider.

DLN is not a yield-focused strategy, nor does it take into account for how many years a company has boosted its payout. Rather, the fund’s underlying index, “is dividend weighted annually to reflect the proportionate share of the aggregate cash dividends each component company is projected to pay in the coming year, based on the most recently declared dividend per share,” according to WisdomTree.

DLN’s expense ratio is higher than some of the legacy funds in this category, but DLN also warrants that fee because, over long holding periods, it has handily outperformed some of its cheaper rivals. The fund, which yields almost 2.50% on a trailing 12-month basis, allocates about 45% of its combined weight to the technology, financial services and healthcare sectors.

ETFs for Starting a Retirement Fund

Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCIT)

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Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCIT)

Expense Ratio: 0.07%

Investors wondering how to start a retirement account should remember that diverse, effective retirement planning also includes some fixed income exposure. The Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF (NASDAQ:VCIT) can help with that.

Historically, investment-grade corporate bonds are not significantly more volatile than U.S. government debt, but corproates do offer a better income profile, making this an ideal, lower risk asset class for retirement-minded investors. VCIT holds over 1,700 bonds, but over a third of its portfolio comes via financial services issuers.

“The strategy’s five-year annualized return through June 2018 of 3.5% matched the category average. The portfolio’s low fee helped it produce the competitive return against its peers that dabble in higher-yielding junk bonds,” according to Morningstar.

ETFs for Starting a Retirement Fund

Invesco S&P SmallCap 600 Pure Value ETF (RZV)

Source: Shutterstock

Invesco S&P SmallCap 600 Pure Value ETF (RZV)

Expense Ratio: 0.35%

Historical data confirm that one of the most potent factor combinations is size and value. Novice investors pondering how to start a retirement fund should include small-cap and value stocks in that fund. The Invesco S&P SmallCap 600 Pure Value ETF (NYSEARCA:RZV) conveniently does that and has been one of the best-performing small-cap funds during the current bull market in U.S. stocks.

RZV tracks the S&P SmallCap 600 Pure Value Index and holds 165 stocks with an average market capitalization of just over $1 billion. Over longer holding periods, RZV has been less volatile than broader small-cap benchmarks, such as the Russell 2000 Index.

Although it is a value fund, RZV allocates over 35% of its weight to the consumer discretionary sector, a group often associated as a growth destination. Industrial and financial services names combine for over 28% of RZV’s weight.

Over the past three years, which were a trying time for value stocks, broadly speaking, RZV has outpaced the large-cap S&P 500 Value Index, by 320 basis points.

ETFs for Starting a Retirement Fund

How to Start a Retirement Fund: ProShares Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged (IGHG)

ProShares Investment Grade–Interest Rate Hedged (IGHG)

Expense Ratio: 0.30%

If you’re wondering how to build a retirement account in a rising interest rate environment, a newer breed of bond funds offer protection against Federal Reserve tightening cycles. The ProShares Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged (BATS:IGHG) was one of the first ETFs to offer income and rising rates protection under one umbrella.

IGHG has a minuscule net effective duration of 0.04 years and arrives at the reduced sensitivity to rising rates by “including a built-in hedge against rising rates that uses short positions in U.S. Treasury futures,” according to ProShares.

Traditionally, short-term bond funds mean less income as the trade-off for reduced rate risk, but that is not the case with IGHG. The ProShares fund offers a solid 30-day SEC yield of 4.04%, which is exceptional among rate-hedged and investment-grade bond funds.

As of this writing, Todd Shriber did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Market Preview: Possible Trade Deal with Canada, Earnings from Dollar Retailers, Lululemon

Good news on several fronts is keeping the market in rally mode this week. A trade deal with Mexico, and what appears to be an imminent deal with Canada, have come much quicker than most pundits believed possible. GDP numbers released Wednesday morning revealed a 4.2% growth rate, the highest in 4 years. With Apple (AAPL) up on the trade news, Morgan Stanley fueled the fire even more by raising price targets on both Alphabet (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN). Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit record highs for the fourth straight session.

Thursday morning Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Dollar General (DG) trot into the earnings arena. While Dollar General has done well this year, bouncing back from an earnings disappointment at the end of May, Dollar Tree has been hammered after earnings reports in both March and May. Both companies blamed the weather for last quarter’s disappointment, which apparently contributed to lower sales and raised costs. Lululemon will report earnings after the close. The stock has been on a major run this year, and will need to report a perfect quarter to continue the blistering pace. Analysts expect new CEO Calvin McDonald to report an earnings increase of just over 25% when the athletic retailer takes the spotlight.

Thursday’s economic calendar includes jobless claims, the EIA natural gas report, and personal income and outlays. Income is expected to rise .3% and spending is expected to rise .4%. The core PCE Core Price Index, which is closely watched by the Fed as it sets interest rates, is expected to rise .2% for a year-on-year gain of 2%, which happens to be the Fed’s target. Friday, the last day of August, investors will see Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment, and Baker-Hughes rig count numbers. Consumer sentiment is expected to rise slightly after a sharp downturn in July. The preliminary August report was the lowest since September of last year, with consumers still fretting over the then unsettling trade tariff news.

The lone earnings report delivered Friday morning will come from discount retailer Big Lots (BIG). Last quarter same-store sales fell a whopping 3%, and the stock breached a two year low before recovering and staging a rally. Analysts will be watching to see if the Big Lots earnings are on the mend, or if the retailer will continue to stumble through the rest of 2018. Traders may want to keep an eye on what technicians call a cup and handle pattern which could be forming in the stock.

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3 Great Semiconductor Stocks to Buy Now

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Semiconductor stocks are having a bumpy 2018. While the sector is in the green overall, the chipmakers are trailing the Nasdaq Composite, as measured by the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ:QQQ) by a wide margin. The QQQ ETF is up 16% year-to-date, with the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SOXX) up just half that for the year.

It’s not hard to see why investors are worried about chipmakers. Several of the trends that had powered them in recent quarters and years are starting to fade. The group of chipmakers tied to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), for example, have lost momentum as the global smartphone market looks increasingly saturated. Other trends that had been powering increased semiconductor demand, such as cryptocurrencies and Internet of Things are starting to see their expectations come back in a bit.

On top of that, semiconductor stocks were among the hottest groups in the market since 2016. A pause in their momentum is not a big surprise. That said, given the recent underperformance in the sector, it could be time to go fishing for a little value. And yes, that means steering clear of the controversial and expensive high-fliers like Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) in search of more compelling value.

Here are three such semiconductors stocks to buy today.

Semiconductor Stocks to Buy: Texas Instruments (TXN)

Semiconductor Stocks to Buy: Texas Instruments (TXN)

Source: Shutterstock

Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) suffered from a bit of unwanted publicity recently. Its new CEO, Brian Crutcher, resigned due to personal conduct issues less than two months after being promoted to the role.

Texas Instruments has reinstated long-time top executive John Templeton, who guided the company to great prosperity in recent years, to the CEO role indefinitely. While the management shake-up may have made some investors nervous, TXN’s core business keeps on humming. Last quarter produced yet another earnings beat on both the top and bottom line.

With the string of earnings-per-share growth in recent years, Texas Instruments now tops $100 billion in market cap. It dominates its niche: analog chips that process real-world measurable data for digital applications. It continues building out its patent library, manufacturing capabilities and product lines with additional acquisitions. As such, it has achieved massive scale and can continue plugging more products into its platform.

Texas Instruments has its fingers in many pies, with its efforts in automotive and communications chips showing particular promise given current market trends. Additionally, the company has more security and recurring revenue than most chipmakers, as its products tend to have much longer lifecycles than the sorts of designs that go into hot consumer products such as phones.

TXN stock has soared in recent years; it’s up from $50 to more than $110 just since early 2016. But the fun isn’t over yet.

TXN stock sells for 18x forward earnings. Combine that with its 15% projected five-year EPS growth rate, and you have a reasonably priced tech growth company. On top of that, the company pays a market-beating dividend of 2.2%, and management raises the dividend by a double-digit percentage every year.

Semiconductor Stocks to Buy: Intel (INTC)

Semiconductor Stocks to Buy: Intel (INTC)

Source: Shutterstock

AMD’s recent gains have, to some extent, been Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) pain. While AMD stock has soared to a new 12-year high, INTC stock has slipped back under the $50 level. Intel is still up strongly over the past year, but the stock has now corrected almost 20% since early June.

The dip in INTC stock is a buying opportunity.

The market has grown concerned about repeated delays with Intel’s line of 10nm technology. For the first time in many years, it appears that AMD is reaching technological parity with Intel across both the server and laptop markets. AMD, which has been stuck in the 20% market share range for ages, could draw much closer to Intel in coming quarters.

However, don’t count Intel out anytime soon. The company still has far more resources and R&D prowess than AMD. While its delays with this product cycle have been embarrassing, they can and will be fixed. And as it is, there is more to performance than just the nanometer size of chips — Intel’s current generation of products are still highly competitive.

Intel, like other lumbering tech companies, appeared to be waking up recently. INTC stock had started to trade up to a higher price-to-earnings ratio for the first time in years. But the recent drop has Intel back well into value territory. At these prices, INTC stock is selling at 12x trailing and 11x forward earnings. The company’s dividend is also back above the 2.5% mark.

Take advantage of temporary competitive issues against AMD to score INTC stock at a nice discount to recent prices.

Semiconductor Stocks to Buy: Qualcomm (QCOM)

Semiconductor Stocks to Buy: Qualcomm (QCOM)

Source: Shutterstock

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), like Texas Instruments, has also had some excitement lately. Qualcomm finally abandoned its long-running attempt to take over NXP Semiconductors(NASDAQ:NXPI).

This acquisition would have broadly diversified Qualcomm’s business. Investors have looked nervously at Qualcomm’s concentration in patent-based revenues as its own chips have fallen prey, in some cases, to OEM competition.

However, there was also a good deal of execution risk in the proposed mega-merger. So China’s influence in scuttling the deal could come out as a plus. As it is, Qualcomm still gets huge royalties off of 3G and 4G technology, and it has an enviable position in the upcoming rollout of 5G.

Shareholders will get a concentrated ownership position on these assets. That’s because Qualcomm — now that the NXP deal is dead — announced a gigantic buyback of up to $30 billion by the end of 2019.

Given Qualcomm’s current $100 billion market cap, we’re talking about the company retiring something along the lines of a quarter of outstanding QCOM stock. On top of that, QCOM stock offers a large dividend yield, currently almost 4%, making it one of the top income plays in the tech space. QCOM stock has recovered nicely since the NXP deal failed. Still, the all-time high is up around $80, offering substantial upside as a target, especially as the buyback kicks in.

At of this writing, Ian Bezek owned shares in TXN, INTC and QCOM stock.

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9 Upcoming Dividend Hikes to “Front Run” Today

If you want to clobber the stock market – and double your money every two or three years – then buying companies with accelerating dividends is the easiest and safest way to do it.

And I’ve got good news for you: there are nine blue chip payers likely to raise their dividends next month. So why not “front run” this good news and consider these shares now?

The benefit of dividend hikes? Getting a fatter income stream is an obvious reason, but it’s just the start. A rising payout acts like a lever on a company’s share price, prying it higher and higher with every single dividend hike.

The pattern is plain as day in this chart of NextEra Energy (NEE), a supposedly “boring” utility that’s been quietly sending its shareholders bigger and bigger dividend checks over the past five years.

Look at how NEE’s stock has jumped with each and every dividend hike NextEra has delivered—and how its latest monster payout hikes have magnified those gains:

Bigger Dividend Hike, Fatter Share Price Pop

NextEra just delivered a 13% dividend hike earlier this year. But you and I can do even better by focusing on stocks that are due for a payout hike ASAP. Here are nine raise announcements we’ll probably see next month.

American Express (AXP)
Dividend Yield: 1.4%

American Express (AXP) announced in June that the Federal Reserve gave its adjusted capital plan the green light. As part of that plan, American Express will buy back $3.4 billion in shares between Q3 2018 and Q2 2019, and it’ll boost its dividend by 11% to 39 cents per share – the company’s seventh consecutive year of payout hikes. The official declaration should come sometime in the final week of September.

Another feather in the cap for AXP, which has recovered from its Costco (COST)-sparked woes in 2016, rallying for nearly two years to its current all-time-high perch.

American Express (AXP): Dividend Growth Leads the Charge!

Microsoft (MSFT)
Dividend Yield: 1.6%

Microsoft (MSFT) is the poster child for what should happen with a faithful dividend-growth stock – as the payout expands, so should the stock price.

Microsoft’s (MSFT) Price Has Finally Caught Up With Its Dividend

And come mid-September, the IT blue chip will likely announce its annual dividend increase.

Microsoft closed out its fiscal year with a boffo fourth-quarter report released in July, announcing 17% top-line growth, 11% bottom-line growth and better-than-expected profits and revenues. Better still, its fiscal 2019 guidance surprised to the upside. And even after cranking up capital expenditures to build out its burgeoning cloud business, Microsoft still generated $7.4 billion in free cash flow.

Microsoft has gobs of money. It could do with a significant payout bump – the yield has been crushed by a 145% run in three years (a wonderful problem to have, if you’re an existing shareholder) – on what would be its 15th consecutive increase. It also may be ready to update its $40 billion buyback program initiated two years ago.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
Dividend Yield: 1.9%

Like American Express, JPMorgan Chase’s (JPM) next dividend increase is, ahem, money in the bank.

The Fed approved JPMorgan’s capital plan near the end of June, and that included an absolute whopper of a dividend-and-buyback package. JPMorgan will buy back an impressive $20.7 billion worth of shares between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019. But the real eye-opener is a 43% spike in the payout to 80 cents per share.

JPMorgan has been the cream of the big-bank crop over the past five years, doubling over that time as it has recovered and retooled following the 2007-09 financial crisis. JPMorgan has benefitted from (and will continue to enjoy the fruits of) continued economic expansion as well as a return to gradually rising interest rates … and shareholders aren’t being left behind. The stock has rocketed 120% higher over the past five years, and its dividend (including the expected hike, which should be announced in the second half of September) has grown 47% in that time.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM): One of the Best Big Bank Stocks

American Tower (AMT)
Dividend Yield: 2.0%

My readers should be plenty familiar with telecommunications infrastructure REIT American Tower (AMT), as it regularly shows up in my lists of dividend stocks to watch for payout hikes, so we’ll just do a quick check-up.

AMT isn’t setting the world on fire with a 6% year-to-date return. But when you look at the flat return for the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ), it’s clear this REIT is doing something right. And so it has! Second-quarter funds from operations (FFO) of $1.90 per share easily clubbed Wall Street’s expectations for $1.78. That came on revenues of $1.78 billion that also climbed over analysts’ estimates.

But American Tower’s draw is its impressive streak of 26 consecutive quarterly dividend increases – every three months since 2012, AMT has upped the ante like clockwork. Q3 should be no different, with the company typically making its announcement sometime in the middle of September.

Texas Instruments (TXN)
Dividend Yield: 2.2%

Chipmaker Texas Instruments (TXN) is another perfect example of dividend growth and capital appreciation going hand in hand:

Texas Instruments (TXN): A Chip Off the Ol’ Block

Texas Instruments, by the way, isn’t your typical chip play. When you think semiconductors, your mind probably conjures names like Intel (INTC)Nvidia (NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) that fuel graphics and high-end computing.

Texas Instruments is, in fact, increasingly focusing on cutting-edge technologies, including the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and even blockchain – the tech behind Bitcoin. But its core business is the uninteresting but very necessary analog chips that power simple gadgets such as calculators and alarm clocks.

This one-two punch puts Texas Instruments in most of the devices in your house, your workplace – you name it. That has enabled this blue-chip chipmaker to explode like a growthy startup, all while fueling fantastic expansion in the dividend.

The next chapter in this dividend-growth story should come in mid-late September.

McDonald’s (MCD)
Dividend Yield: 2.5%

McDonald’s (MCD) smacked down the naysayers in 2017, showing that the world’s most ubiquitous fast-food chain still had gas in the tank with a red-hot 44% gain. But the Golden Arches have come back to earth in 2018, dropping 10% to make it one of the worst performers in the Dow.

But I can’t find much fault with the company. McDonald’s has posted earnings beats in both of its quarterly reports so far this year. Yes, same-store sales limped in a little bit for Q2, in part because the company’s $1-$2-$3 Menu hasn’t resonated the way analysts hoped it would. But I love the fast-food chain’s vow to become “more aggressive” on value and launch a “2-for-$5 mix-and-match” offering.

There’s little room for complaint on the dividend front, too. McDonald’s is a Dividend Aristocrat with 41 consecutive payout hikes under its belt – another raise, likely in the back half of September, would be No. 42. And MCD’s raises lately might not have been spectacular, but they’re decent, at about 25% growth since 2014.

OGE Energy (OGE)
Dividend Yield: 3.6%

No list of dividend-paying companies is truly complete without a utility stock, and that’s what we have in OGE Energy (OGE).

OGE isn’t as familiar as names like Southern Co. (SO) and Duke Energy (DUK). But its primary subsidiary, Oklahoma Gas & Electric (hence the OGE), serves more than 843,000 customers across Oklahoma and Arkansas. It also holds both limited partner and general partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, LP (ENBL), which owns natural gas and crude oil infrastructure.

It’s also a little growth monster for the utility space. While the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU) is up just 2% in 2018, OGE shares have ripped off a market-beating 11% run. That came on the back of a stellar fiscal Q1 report that saw residential revenues grow 5.1% to prop up the top line by 8%, and a massive 50% pop in earnings to 27 cents per share – far better than the 17 cents Wall Street’s pros expected.

OGE Energy is no slouch on the dividend front, either. The payout has exploded by 48% since 2014, and you can expect another improvement to the dividend in the last week or two of September.

Can OGE Energy’s (OGE) Generosity Push Shares Over the Top?

Verizon Communications (VZ)
Dividend Yield: 4.5%

Telecom giant Verizon Communications (VZ) hasn’t exactly been blowing the doors off their hinges with its annual payout hike. While you can find plenty of companies averaging double-digit dividend growth every year, Verizon has managed to grow its distribution by only 11% since 2013 – a snail’s pace.

It’s understandable. Operating and free cash flow have been trending downwards for years as the telecom industry has grown completely saturated, forcing the likes of AT&T (T) and Verizon to slug it out against lower-cost providers such as T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S).

That said, investors could be in for something a little special this time around. The change in corporate tax rate benefits just about every U.S. business in one way or another, but it does wonders for companies such as Verizon that derive almost all of their revenues domestically. VZ’s corporate tax rate should sink from 35% to between 24%-26%. While Verizon still has other cash considerations, such as building out its 5G infrastructure, the telecom may, in either early September or very late August, take the rare opportunity to give shareholders something to cheer about.

Because sub-5% stock gains in five years sure aren’t doing the trick.

Verizon (VZ) Is Crawling Along … Just Like Its Dividend

Realty Income (O)
Dividend Yield: 4.6%

Realty Income (O) already has secured its place in the minds of investors as “The Monthly Dividend Company” – not just by paying monthly dividends, but by advertising this fact everywhere, including on the front page of its website.

But in September, it also will be eligible to join the ranks of the Dividend Aristocrats via its 25th consecutive payout hike.

Realty Income (O), while one of the most trusted REITs on Wall Street, hasn’t had the most promising 2018. Shares have barely budged northward, but it must be Wall Street following the narrative of the retailpocalypse rather than reality. In Q2, this retail REIT reported an increase in occupancy – 98.7% that was better year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. Adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) climbed 5%, too.

That surely will help Realty Income afford its 84th consecutive quarterly increase, which you can expect to be announced sometime around the second week of September.

7 Dividend Growth Stocks with 112% Price Upside or More

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of these dividend-growth dynamos have pretty chintzy-looking yields. That’s OK. In fact, that’s a “hidden” bullish signal.

You see, the very best dividend stocks rarely show high yields because their prices keep rising in line with the increasing payments.

Most people don’t realize this. But those of us who do realize it stand to profit handsomely and almost automatically!

It’s a simple three-step process:

Step 1. You invest a set amount of money into one of these “hidden yield” stocks and immediately start getting regular returns on the order of 3%, 4%, or maybe more.

That alone is better than you can get from just about any other conservative investment right now.

Step 2. Over time, your dividend payments go up so you’re eventually earning 8%, 9%, or 10% a year on your original investment.

That should not only keep pace with inflation or rising interest rates, it should stay ahead of them.

Step 3. As your income is rising, other investors are also bidding up the price of your shares to keep pace with the increasing yields.

This combination of rising dividends and capital appreciation is what gives you the potential to earn 12% or more on average with almost no effort or active investing at all.

I’ve scoured thousands of stocks out there right now, looking for the very best companies that have both rising dividends and strong buyback programs in place … the kind of stocks that could easily spin off annual total returns of 12%, 17%, even 25% or more … doubling your money in very short order.

Right now, at this very moment, there are 7 in particular that I think you should consider buying.

They stand to do well no matter what the broad market does … regardless of what happens in Washington … and irrespective of interest rate trends.

Editor's Note: The stock market is way up – and that’s terrible news for us dividend investors. Yields haven’t been this low in decades! But there are still plenty of great opportunities to secure meaningful income if you know where to look. Brett Owens' latest report reveals how you can easily (and safely) rake in 8%+ dividends and never worry about drawing down your capital again. Click here for full details!