Wall Street’s January ritual is to roll out “new” investment strategies. This year, fund manager Bill Gross has proclaimed the end of a 30-year bull market for bonds. So it’s no great surprise income advisors further down the food chain are pushing investors to adjust portfolios for higher interest rates.
Ready to lock up money for 54 years at just 3.4 percent annual interest? More than a few investors did this week when their funds bought Enterprise Products Partners’ (NYSE: EPD) 7.034 percent bonds maturing January 15, 2068, a barely investment grade BBB- credit.
Will the Federal Reserve really “taper” off its easy money policy? The stock market has already reacted, with dividend-paying stocks leading the selling: The Dow Jones Utility Average is now flat for the fourth quarter, after being up better than 5 percent through mid-November.
Our favorite Canadian midstream companies–names that own pipelines and processing capacity–generate the majority of their cash flow from fee-based services, a business model that provides a degree of protection against volatile oil and gas prices.
No group of dividend-paying stocks has been more profitably shorted the past few years than high yield telecoms. Short sellers make their money when stock prices fall. And sector companies have not only cut dividends eight times since 2009, but we’ve seen a pair of bankruptcies as well.
Taper talk is rife again in the financial media. And the all-too-familiar consensus is still that the Federal Reserve will abandon cheap money in the near future, driving up interest rates and sending dividend-paying stocks plummeting.
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