The Fed's decision to keep interest rates near zero through 2015
has left a huge void in the income investing world. Fortunately,
U.S. companies are trying to fill that void.
Corporate earnings have improved in recent years, and more
U.S. companies have excess cash on their balance sheets than at
any time since the recession. With CDs and money market accounts
all but worthless, demand for
has rarely been higher. To appease the masses, many companies are
using their excess cash to initiate or increase dividend
As a result, nontraditional dividend payers are suddenly
becoming reliable sources of income.
Here are three surprising sectors that upped their dividend
payouts in 2013:
The tech sector isn't known for rewarding shareholders. The
appeal of investing in technology companies is the potential to
discover the next
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)
- a cutting-edge innovator that becomes the next big thing on
Wall Street. Dividends are associated with reliable, low-risk
(read: "boring") companies that have been in business for more
than a century.
That's quickly becoming an antiquated notion. Tech companies
are flush with money, and many of them are using it to reward
According to Morningstar, the 65
in the S&P 500 have nearly doubled their annualized dividend
payouts over the last two years to $52 billion from $28 billion.
The list of tech companies that now offer a higher yield than the
U.S. Treasury now includes the likes of
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC)
(3.5% yield), and
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO)
(3% yield), to name a few.
Overall, the tech sector still trails the S&P in terms of
its average yield. Given how fast tech companies are increasing
those dividends, however, that could soon change.
Most banks cut their dividend payouts during the recession.
Many of them are still struggling to regain their footing. Slowly
but surely, however, U.S. banks are becoming healthier. For the
first time since 2007, yields among bank stocks are back on the
Wells Fargo (
, for example, has tripled its quarterly dividend payout over the
last three years. It currently yields 2.6%.
offers the same yield.
U.S. Bancorp (
, meanwhile, has increased its dividend every year since 2009,
and currently offers a yield of 2.2%.
Other smaller, regional banks offer much higher yield. Those,
however, can carry a bit more risk. But as the banking industry
recovers, the opportunities for income investors should become
The decline in
on a downward spiral. But it hasn't stopped gold mining companies
from increasing their dividends.
Some of the most prominent gold miners have been upping their
dividend payouts for years. Now that their share prices are so
depressed, the increased dividends are making for attractive
- The second-largest publicly traded gold miner,
, offers a yield of 2.6% after more than tripling its dividend
payments since 2010.
- The third-largest public gold miner,
Newmont Mining (
offers a yield of 3.3% despite a dividend that has been all
over the map. From 2010 to 2011, Newmont tripled its payout.
Since then, Newmont's dividend has been up and down, settling
at 20 cents per share as of December.
- The fourth-largest gold miner,
Yamana Gold (AUY),
offers a yield of 2.7% after increasing its dividend every year
Gold had an awful year in 2013. Despite that, many gold stocks
have continued to increase their dividends. For income investors,
that's one more reason to buy gold stocks while they're
The traditional income avenues are essentially closed off. Thus,
to find yield, income investors must think outside the box. And
that means turning over nontraditional stones such as tech
stocks, banks and gold miners.
We don't normally think of those as high-yielding income
options. But these are abnormal times for income investors.
The One Stock to Own in 2014 - The Year Mobile Takes
On Dec. 31, something incredible happened. For the first time
in history, the majority of Internet traffic originated from NOT
from PCs or desktops - but from mobile devices including
smartphones and tablets. We're never going back. Mobile is taking
over. And even though the biggest player in mobile, Apple, is
selling over 200 million iPhones this year alone… here at Wyatt
Research, we're recommending the one company no one is taking
about. The one reaping massive profits each time a new Apple or
Samsung smartphone is activated. In fact, as mobile data usage
explodes in the year ahead, its stock is set to soar! Shares are
already on the move. So, before this stock moves any higher, read
our latest report for all the details:
Click here for the full story