Earn Up to 10% a Month on Your Investments (If You Like Risk)
Think this sounds like a scam? It's not. Our senior investing editor Jeff Kosnett sifted through piles of historical and current data from bond funds, ETFs, trusts and stocks looking for the highest and most reliable dividend-paying sources. Then he configured three portfolios to suit investors with various risk levels.
These investments are paid out monthly and are good for those who need more income now, versus 20 years from now.
See what it takes to maximize your dividend income?
Kosnett's High-Risk, High-Yield Plan for the Recession Aftermath
Estimated yield: 9.5%
1. Put 35% in energy trusts.
Energy is still the leading category to hunt for high current income. The typical royalty trust or master limited partnership is priced to yield about 10%. Cross Timbers Royalty Trust (CRT), Enerplus, Penn West Energy Trust (PWE) and Provident Energy Trust (PVX). All are fairly diversified. Avoid trusts that sell only natural gas. Gas should be a good long-term investment, but there's a surplus of it now and its price will stay depressed longer than oil's price will.
2. Put 20% in bank-loan funds.
The best no-load, open-end fund in this category is Fidelity Floating Rate High Income Fund (FFRHX). Among leveraged, closed-end funds, two possible choices are BlackRock Floating Rate Income Strategies Fund (FRA) and BlackRock Floating Rate Income Strategies II (FRB). In early May, both sported high yields, and their share prices traded at discounts to the value of their underlying assets (that's a must if you invest in a leveraged closed-end).
Two parts Fido to one part BlackRock sounds like a good recipe.
3. Put 15% in corporate junk bonds.
Vanguard's low-cost, no-load offering, Vanguard High-Yield Corporate (VWEHX), is the first choice here. Loomis Sayles Bond Fund (LSBRX) is really more of a go-anywhere fund, but it usually holds a substantial amount of its assets in junk bonds and emerging-markets bonds, as well as investment-grade corporates. The fund, a member of the Kiplinger 25, yields about 9.7% and complements the Vanguard fund well.
4. Put 15% in real estate.
The anchor of every check-a-month plan should be Realty Income (O). This is a high-quality, one-of-a-kind REIT that calls itself the Monthly Dividend Company. It owns more than 2,000 properties leased to well-known retailers and restaurant chains. Realty Income has paid 463 consecutive monthly dividends. Not every streak is solid these days, but this one is as close as you can get to a sure thing. Plus, the share price fell far less than that of most REITs during the market's downturn. Realty Income yielded 8% in early May.
5. Put 10% in preferred stocks.
The PowerShares Preferred Portfolio (PGX) is an unleveraged ETF that passes through dividends from an array of preferred bank and utility stocks. It has stabilized after losing half its value from May 2008 to February 2009.
6. Put 5% in emerging-markets bonds.
Two ETFs, iShares JPMorgan U.S. Dollar Emerging Markets Bond (EMB) and PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt (PCY), invest in bonds from such places as Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia and Mexico. After running into trouble in the fall of 2008, the funds, both of which pay monthly, have rebounded handsomely.
If this portfolio combination carries more risk than you're finances can handle, see Kosnett's plans for conservative and moderate risk investors.
Note: By clicking on the link above, you can also ask Jeff questions in the Comment Box on that article.