Warning: These 10 Funds Could Pull a 2008 Repeat (sell now)

By Michael Foster

I want to show you 10 funds that yield up to 9.4%aEUR"and that you should sell now (or steer clear of if you donaEURtmt own them).

Of course, near-10% yields are attractive, and I often see attractive funds yielding as much as (and more than) the 10 funds IaEURtmll reveal in a second. But sometimes a big yield is too good to be true, and thataEURtms the case here.

The reason IaEURtmm saying this now? These funds have been on a tear in the last few months, which is far out of character for both them and their asset class.

IaEURtmm talking about utilities funds.

Utilities are typically seen as a boring investment and, historically, a good one to be in. An investor who stuck to just utilities over the last 20 years has crushed the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY), even if they simply bought the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) and left it at that:

aEURoeBoringaEUR Picks Crush the Market

This is one reason why I love utilities for the long term, but sometimes the market gets irrational and bids these stocks up too much.

Now is such a time.

There are two trends at play here. The first involves all utilities funds; after a short dip in late 2018, investors are running back to utilities, as they are with many other investments. The idea is that utilities fell too hard in late 2018, creating value that needs to be scooped up now.

ItaEURtms a good hypothesis, and itaEURtms true for many assets. But itaEURtms not true for utilities.

Too High, Too Fast

What investors forget is that utilities didnaEURtmt go down in 2018; in fact, they were one of the few asset classes to have a positive year, gaining about 5%. That means theyaEURtmre now up nearly 24% in the past year and 16.7% since the start of 2018.

ThataEURtms just too much too soon.

Why? Because utilities arenaEURtmt terribly surprising assets. They buy commodities and produce electricity and other, well, utilities for consumers, while hedging their commodity exposure. ItaEURtms a predictable industry, which makes for a strong cash flow and a high yield (XLUaEURtms 2.9% yield is one of the highest among passive stock funds).

While that means XLU is best avoided now, there are also warning signs in the world of utility-focused closed-end funds (CEFs). Of the 10 utilities CEFs out there, seven have had year-to-date market-price returns exceeding their NAV returnsaEUR"or the performance of their underlying portfolios:

With the exception of DNP, these funds have pretty much priced in their NAV returns (which are all exceptional) for 2019, which curbs their upside.

That might make DNP look appealing hereaEUR"especially when you consider that it has a decent track record compared to its peers:

With an annualized 10.7% return over the nine-plus years since its IPO, DNP is just a bit better than a typical utilities CEF, even if it has trailed XLUaEURtms 12.5% annualized return over the same period. But DNPaEURtms reliable dividend and 6.7% yield more than make up for that. With this in mind, DNP isnaEURtmt a bad fund, despite the market privileging other utilities funds over it.

Unfortunately, that doesnaEURtmt mean DNP is an option for income investors right now. Remember, one of the key benefits of buying CEFs is getting a strong collection of investments at a discount, yet DNP currently trades at the second-highest premium of any utilities CEF:

While DNPaEURtms 15% premium is nowhere near as massive as GUTaEURtms near 40% premium, itaEURtms still a large amount that could feasibly disappear any minute if the market decides to turn on utilitiesaEUR"which appears to be an imminent threat.

And while the discounted CEFs above could all be considered attractive, only GLU, DPG and MGU have discounts wider than their long-term averages. But in the case of GLU and DPG, that discount makes a lot of sense; both funds are duds, being the worst performers in the CEF utilities universe and trailing the index by a wide margin.

And as for MGU, its foreign exposure at a time when global growth is slowing and American growth is strengthening makes it a high-risk ventureaEUR"which explains its big discount.

The bottom line? Utilities are a reliable sector for income, and utilities CEFs are a great high-yield way to buy into that sector, but now is clearly not the time to buy these funds.

Forget Utilities: This 10.7% Dividend Grew 150% (and itaEURtms just getting started)

Now that weaEURtmve covered the 10 funds you need to sell in this soaring market, letaEURtms talk about what weaEURtmre going to buy now.

Because contrary to popular belief, there are still plenty of bargain dividends to be found out thereaEUR"especially in CEFs.

Like the ignored fund my team and I just uncovered: it boasts something most people will tell you is impossible: a 10.7% dividend thataEURtms growing triple digits!

ThataEURtms right: this unsung fund yields a mammoth 10.7% as I write, and its payout hasA exploded 150%A in the last decade:

1 Click for a Massive Yield and Soaring Payout Growth

How does this fund do it?

My 10.7%-paying pick is run by a hand-picked investment aEURoeall-star team.aEUR These pros have quietly assembled a aEURoeno-gimmicksaEUR portfolio of value and growth stocks from across the economy, such as Visa (V), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT).

I know what youaEURtmre going to ask next: how has this so-called aEURoeall-star teamaEUR performed in the past?

See for yourself:

A 10.7%-Paying Market Dominator

Best of all, this monstrous return includes dividends, a huge slice of it was in cash, thanks to my pickaEURtms massive dividend payout.

Finally, this fund trades atA an unreal 5.1% discountA as I write. When you consider its market dominance, 10.7% dividend and 150% dividend growth, you can only come to one conclusion:

ItaEURtms only a matter of time before investors bid this CEF up to a huge premiumaEUR"driving its price through the roof!

The time to buy is now.

Click here and IaEURtmll share everything you need to know about this powerful income generator (name, ticker, buy-under price and more), plus full details on my 3 other top high-yield CEFs to buy now (average yield: 8.7%).

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.