Investors should receive better returns with higher interest rates than with lower rates. It is a simple task to take advantage of the interest rate cycle because you have to simply select the correct securities. The government lowered interest rates in an attempt to heal the wounds left by a misguided Wall Street attack on traditional investment strategies. Investors benefit from higher rates, especially when saving for retirement is a concern. The higher the rate of return on your reinvested funds, the less likely you are to need a second job.
When it comes to paying bills, more is always better than less. Only increasing income levels can protect you from inflation. Out of the traditional categories listed above, preferred stock holdings are easy to add to during rising interest rate movements and cheap to sell when rates fall. These assets appeal to Wall Street because they attract the highest possible trading fees… fees that do not have to be disclosed to the consumer, particularly when they are in distress.
Unit Trusts are common securities set to music, a melody that typically ensures a higher yield for the investor. A REIT or Royalty Trust is clearly riskier than a CEF comprised of Preferred Stocks or Corporate Bonds. When compared to the market value of the assets in the portfolio, the price you pay for the shares is frequently a bargain. No matter how well-managed a junk bond portfolio is, it is still junk.
How to Choose the Right Investment in Income Investing
When is a percentage of 3 percent better than a percentage of 6 percent? Sure, we all know the answer, but only until the prices of the securities we currently own start to decline. Then rationality and mathematical prowess fade away, and we become vulnerable to a variety of specific treatments for the occurrence of rising interest rates regularly. We’ll be instructed to either keep our money in cash until rates stop climbing, or sell the securities we already possess before they lose any more of their market value. Other experts would advise investors to buy shorter-term bonds or CDs (ugh) to halt the flood of portfolio value destruction. There are two crucial points about income investing that your mother never taught you: (1) higher interest rates are better for investors than lower rates, and (2) selecting the correct securities to take advantage of the interest rate cycle is not difficult.
Higher interest rates are the outcome of the government’s efforts to halt the economy’s growth to avoid the three-headed inflation monster’s arrival. A glance behind you might remind you of recent times when the government was cutting interest rates to attempt to heal the scars of a misguided Wall Street attack on classic investment ideas. The strategy worked, the economy recovered, and Wall Street is now attempting to reclaim the position it held nearly six years ago. Consider the effects of interest rate changes on your Income Securities over the last five years. Bonds and preferred stocks, as well as government and municipal securities, all saw their market value rise. Sure, you felt more prosperous, but the rise in your Annual Spendable Income was diminishing. As higher interest rate holdings were called away (at face value) and reinvestments were made at lower yields, your total income might have fallen!
How many of you have mental scars from the understanding that you could have profited on the same stocks that you now bemoan throughout the cycle’s downward trajectory? The audacity of selling them for less than you bought them years ago. However, the profits from these traitors are the same as they were in 2004 when their prices were ten to twenty percent higher. This is Mother Nature’s financial twin sister’s task. Acorns, snowfalls, and crocuses come to mind. Seasonal changes necessitate appropriate clothing and cyclical fluctuations necessitate appropriate investment. Do you recall the days of Bearer Bonds? There was never a mention of Market Value Depreciation. Was it the IRS or Wall Street Institutions that took them away?
Higher rates are beneficial to investors, especially when saving for retirement is a consideration. The higher the return on your reinvestment money, the less likely you are to require a second job to keep up your level of living. I’m not aware of any retailer, from a grocery shop to a cruise line, that will accept your portfolio’s Market Value as payment for products or services. More is always better than less when it comes to paying the bills, and only rising income levels can safeguard you against inflation! So, you ask, how does one take advantage of interest rates’ cyclical character to get the best potential return on investment-grade securities? You could also wonder why Wall Street is making such a big deal about the bond market’s poor performance and is offering more of their patented Sell Low, Buy High recommendations, but that should be self-evident. A dissatisfied investor is an ideal customer for Wall Street.
It’s not difficult to pick the correct securities to profit from the interest rate cycle, but it does necessitate a shift in focus away from the statement’s bottom line… as well as the use of a few security types with which you may not be completely comfortable. I’ll presume you’re familiar with the following investments, each of which could be considered (from time to time) for a space in your Asset Allocation’s well-diversified Income Portion:
(1) Individual Municipal and Corporate Bonds, Treasury Bills, Government Agency Securities, and Preferred Stocks, to name a few.
(2) The Unit Trust types, Closed-End Funds, Royalty Trusts, and REITs that raise eyebrows. [Specifically omitted are CDs and Money Funds, which are not investments by definition; CMOs and Zeros, which are mutations produced by some sicko MBAs; and Open-End Mutual Funds, which simply can’t operate because they are truly “managed by the mob”… i.e., investors.] The market rules that apply to all of them are pretty predictable, but the capacity to build a more secure, higher-yielding, and flexible portfolio differs greatly amongst securities kinds. Most people who invest in individual bonds, for example, end up having a laundry list of odd lot positions with short durations and low yields, all of which are geared to benefit that smiling guy in the huge corner office. There is a better approach, but you must prioritize your earnings and be willing to trade on occasion.
The greater your portfolio, the more probable you are to be able to purchase round lots of a diverse assortment of bonds, preferred stocks, and other securities. Individual assets of all types, regardless of size, have liquidity issues, higher risk levels than are necessary, and smaller yields spread out across inconvenient time periods. Only preferred stock holdings, out of the traditional categories listed above, are easy to add to during rising interest rate movements and cheap to sell when rates fall. The drawback to all of these is that they are all callable in best-yield-first order. Wall Street likes these assets because they attract the highest possible trading charges… charges that do not have to be disclosed to the consumer, especially when they are in a problem. Unit Trusts are typical securities set to music, a melody that normally ensures the investor of a greater yield than can be achieved through the building of a personal portfolio. Additional benefits include immediate diversification, quality, and monthly cash flow that may include principle (better in rising-rate markets, ya follow?), as well as protection from year-end swap frauds. Unfortunately, because the Unit Trusts are not managed, there are few capital gains distributions to cheer about, and the party is over once all of the securities are redeemed. Trading opportunities, which are the lifeblood of good Portfolio Management, are essentially non-existent.
What if you could buy common stock in organizations that handle classic Income Securities as well as other well-known income generators such as real estate, energy generation, and mortgages? Closed-end funds (CEFs), real estate investment trusts (REITs), and royalty trusts all demand your attention… Also, don’t be alarmed by the term “leverage.” leverage includes AAA+ insured corporate bonds and Utility Preferred Stocks. The holy 30-year Treasury Bond is referred to as “leverage.” Leverage is used by most organizations, all governments (and most individual people). Most individuals would ride their bicycles to work if they didn’t have leverage. As part of your choosing process, you can look at each CEF to see how much leverage it has and what benefits it offers… When you understand what you’ve been talked out of, you’re not going to be happy! CEFs, as well as the other Investment Company securities discussed, are managed by experts who aren’t influenced by the mob (also mentioned earlier). Even after the management costs, they give you the option to have a well-designed portfolio with a substantially greater yield.
A REIT or Royalty Trust is unquestionably riskier than a CEF made up of Preferred Stocks or Corporate Bonds, but it gives you access to the broadest range of fixed and variable income options in a much more manageable format. Profit-taking is common in a liquid market when prices increase; when prices fall, you can add to your position, increasing your yield while lowering your cost basis. Don’t get too excited about the thought of investing your entire fortune in Real Estate and/or Gas and Oil Pipelines. Make sure that your living expenditures (actual or predicted) are covered by the less risky CEFs in your portfolio, just as you would with any other investment. Unleveraged portfolios, state-specific and/or guaranteed municipal portfolios, and other options are available in bond CEFs. Monthly income (sometimes supplemented by capital gains distributions) is often much higher than what your broker can get for you. I warned you that you’d be enraged!
Another surprise and difficult-to-explain feature of Investment Company shares (and please avoid gimmicky, passively managed, or indexed types) is their liquidity. The price you pay for the shares is often a bargain compared to the market value of the assets in the managed portfolio. So, instead of paying a premium for a diversified collection of illiquid individual securities, you get a discount on a portfolio of (potentially identical) securities. Moreover, unlike normal Mutual Funds, which can issue as many shares as they like without your permission, CEFs will offer you first dibs on any additional shares they plan to distribute to investors.
Put the phone down and come to a halt. Purchase these assets with caution, avoiding needless losses on high-quality holdings, and never purchase a new issue. I meant to say: for all the normal reasons, you should never buy a new issue. There are causes for abnormally high or low yields, just as there are causes for abnormally high or low yields in particular securities, such as too much risk or bad management. A junk bond portfolio, no matter how carefully managed, is still junk. So conduct some study and disperse your money amongst the various management companies available. If your financial advisor tells you that everything you’re doing is hazardous and ill-advised, well, that’s Wall Street, and the baby needs shoes.