With investors puzzled about the future course of stock market momentum given the rising rate worries, investors must be wondering where to park their money. With a spike in yield, chances are high that both equities and bonds will lose their value.
Goldman Sachs has already forecast that stocks may nosedive 25% if 10-year bond yields hit a high of 4.5% and a more than 95% probability of a Fed rate hike in March. A senior portfolio manager at Sit predicts that the Fed will raise rates four times this year, one more than what has been penciled so far by the central bank.
While rising rates will lower the price of bonds, fears of faster ceases in cheap money inflows will likely hurt stocks. Against this scenario, some safe or value picks are necessary.
BofA stock strategist noted that “while we do not see a set level at which interest rates have begun to hurt equities, we may be getting closer to exiting the “sweet spot.” The strategist also indicated that “historically, the probability of loss for the S&P 500 increases when the 10-year Treasury yield rises above 3%.”
With the benchmark Treasury yield hitting a high of 2.94% this month and currently at 2.86% as on Feb 26, 2018, a 3%-yield is not a far behind. So, let’s find what could be safer stock investing options right now.
Target Dividend Aristocrats
Dividend-paying securities can be steady sources of current income for investors when returns from equity markets are at risk. But as per the analysis from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, both high-yield and no-yield can get hurt in a rising rate environment.
So, it is better to tap “companies with modest yields and plenty of potential to grow their payments. Typically, dividend growers trade at a 20% premium to high yielders, but right now the growers are slightly cheaper,” per Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Dividend aristocrats are the blue-chip dividend-paying companies, which have a long history of raising dividend payments year over year. These provide hedge against economic uncertainty and are high-quality in nature.
Further, many U.S. companies hoard a pile cash on their balance sheets and are likely to increase their dividend payouts, especially given the passing of the tax reform. The Trump administration proposed a move from the current worldwide tax system to a territorial system, allowing companies to send their offshore profits back to the United States without extra taxes.
Investors are expecting tax savings to result in fatter and faster dividend hikes and more stock buybacks. Morgan Stanley’s analysts predict that 43% of the total tax savings will go to dividends and buybacks.
Following, we highlight four ETFs that comprise stocks with a long history of increasing dividends.
Safe Dividend Growth ETFs & Stocks for a Faltering Market: Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG)
The underlying NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers Select Index consists of common stocks of companies that have a record of increasing dividends over time.
The Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (NYSEARCA:VIG) is heavy on Industrials (33.5%) followed by Consumer Services (14.7%) and Consumer Goods (13%). The fund charges 8 bps in fees.
Safe Dividend Growth ETFs & Stocks for a Faltering Market: Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD)
The underlying Dow Jones U.S. Dividend 100 Index measures the performance of high dividend-yielding stocks issued by U.S. companies that have a record of consistently paying dividends.
The Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (NYSEARCA:SCHD) is heavy on Consumer Staples and Information Technology.
Safe Dividend Growth ETFs & Stocks for a Faltering Market: ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL)
In the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (BATS:NOBL) the underlying S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index picks companies that are currently members of the S&P 500 and have increased dividend payments each year for at least 25 years.
Consumer Staples (24.1%), Industrials (14.5%), Health Care (11.5%) and Consumer Discretionary (11%) have a double-digit weight each.
Safe Dividend Growth ETFs & Stocks for a Faltering Market: iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO)
The Morningstar US Dividend Growth Index, which underlies the iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (NYSEARCA:DGRO), is composed of U.S. equities with a history of consistently growing dividends.
Financials, Technology, Health Care, Industrials, Consumer Staples and Consumer Discretionary have a double-digit weight.
Safe Dividend Growth ETFs & Stocks for a Faltering Market:KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation (KS)
We screened stocks on the basis of Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), VGM Score of A or B and a 5-year historical dividend growth rate of at least 20%.
KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation (NYSE:KS) operates businesses in the paper, packaging, forest products and related industries. The Zacks Industry Rank is in the top 19% and VGM Score of A. Its five-year historical dividend growth rate is 32.9%.
Safe Dividend Growth ETFs & Stocks for a Faltering Market: Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (HII)
Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (NYSE:HII) builds nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services.
It belongs to a top-ranked Zacks Industry (top 24%) and has a VGM Score of B. Its five-year historical dividend growth rate is 51.3%.
Safe Dividend Growth ETFs & Stocks for a Faltering Market: ArcBest Corp (ARCB)
ArcBest Corp (NASDAQ:ARCB), provider of freight transportation services and solutions, comes from a top-ranked Zacks Industry (top 2%) and has a VGM Score of A. Its five-year historical dividend growth rate is 31.7%.
Safe Dividend Growth ETFs & Stocks for a Faltering Market: Air Lease Corp (AL)
Aircraft leasing company Air Lease Corp (NYSE:AL) belongs to a top-ranked Zacks Industry (top 37%) and has a VGM Score of B. Its five-year historical dividend growth rate is 32.45%.
Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?
Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>