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Retirement Soon? Let Us Help

Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

ETF investing, CEFs, Dividend Investing, Portfolio Strategy

Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2014

CEF/ETF Income Laboratory is a premium newsletter on Seeking Alpha that is focused on researching profitable income and arbitrage ideas with closed-end funds (CEFs) and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). We manage model safe and reliable 8%-yielding fund portfolios that have beaten the market in order to make income investing easy for you. Check us out to see why one subscriber calls us a "one-stop shop for CEF research.”

Click here to learn more about how we can help your income investing!

The CEF/ETF Income Laboratory is a top-ranked newsletter service that boasts a community of over 1000 serious income investors dedicated to sharing the best CEF and ETF ideas and strategies.

Our team includes:

1) Stanford Chemist: I am a scientific researcher by training who has taken up a passionate interest in investing. I provide fresh, agenda-free insight and analysis that you won't find on Wall Street! My ultimate goal is to provide analysis, research and evidence-based ways of generating profitable investing outcomes with CEFs and ETFs. My guiding philosophy is to help teach members not "what to think", but "how to think".

2) Nick Ackerman: Nick is a former Financial Advisor and has previously qualified for holding Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. These licenses also specifically qualified him for the role of Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), i.e., he was registered as a fiduciary and could manage assets for a fee and give advice. Since then he has continued with his passion for investing through writing for Seeking Alpha, providing his knowledge, opinions, and insights of the investing world. His specific focus is on closed-end funds as an attractive way to achieve income as well as general financial planning strategies towards achieving one’s long term financial goals.

3) Juan de la Hoz: Juan has previously worked as a fixed income trader, financial analyst, operations analyst, and economics professor in Canada and Colombia. He has hands-on experience analyzing, trading, and negotiating fixed-income securities, including bonds, money markets, and interbank trade financing, across markets and currencies. He is the "ETF Expert" of the CEF/ETF Income Laboratory, and enjoys researching strategies for income investors to increase their returns while lowering risk.

4) Dividend Seeker: Dividend Seeker began investing, as well as his career in Financial Services, in 2008, at the height of the market crash. This experience gave him a lot of perspective in a short period of time, and has helped shape his investment strategy today. He follows the markets passionately, investing mostly in sector ETFs, fixed-income CEFs, gold, and municipal bonds. He has worked in the Insurance industry in Funds Management, helping to direct conservative investments for claims reserves. After a few years, he moved in to the Banking industry, where he worked as a junior equity and currency analyst. Most recently, he took on an Audit role, supervising BSA/AML Compliance teams for one of the largest banks in the world. He has both a Bachelors and MBA in Finance. He is the "Macro Expert" of the CEF/ETF Income Laboratory.

Our membership is exceptionally popular because we help you:

  • (1) Identify the most profitable CEF and ETF opportunities.
  • (2) Earn a ~8% dividend yield together with capital appreciation.
  • (3) Avoid the overpriced funds that can sink your portfolio.

The great news is that we’re currently offering a limited-time-only free trial so there's no better time to try us out! Start generating safe and reliable 8% yields from our portfolios today!

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At some point in life, an investor will want to go into retirement. Unless you are lucky enough to receive a large inheritance or receive a financial windfall, then it is very likely you've saved your whole life. Perhaps it was into something like a 401k for most individuals. A 401k is a perfect vehicle for continually setting money aside for when retirement comes. With this, an individual is using a dollar-cost average method. A preferred method to take advantage of peaks and valleys of the market over your life.

Fitting CEFs and ETFs In A Retirement Portfolio

This is one of the greatest things; both ETFs and CEFs can fit in any income investor's retirement portfolio. This is due to their diversified nature, which is able to provide exposure to any asset class or sector you can think of. They are also an excellent fit for being able to meet that income objective that investors have when they are looking for paycheck replacement.

Due to funds' diversified nature and focus on paying out distributions and dividends; they make a perfect fit for income-focused investors. Those would typically include the retired folks that we have been discussing today - although not always!

Another added benefit of their diversified nature is that it really does make them an easy fit in an already diversified portfolio. If one is a dividend growth investor and already holds several individual stocks, adding a broad-based fund should not throw this balance off. I would even say, in my opinion, that an investor can have a portfolio of only CEFs or only ETFs - or both investment options combined.

If you are holding a basket of growth-focused mutual funds or ETFs from a 401k - then the transition to income-focused funds can be easy as well. If in a tax-advantaged account (such as a 401k or IRA) then no tax obligations will hit you with simply selling one and buying into another group.

Heading into retirement, one would be more focused on income. Though we've recently covered why CEFs can be utilized as a way to grow your portfolio as well - and truly can fit any style of investor.

Back to the income focus for this piece though. Our portfolios are delivering on this front. In a big way, with high yields. They also have been experiencing income growth for shareholders as well! So the market can be as volatile as it wants - our portfolios still grew income through 2020, without committing new capital to the portfolios or stretching for yield.


Income Generator portfolio

Despite the lack of specials this year, we still grew our income in our portfolio by +11.0% this year (from $11603 to $12882). This highlights the power of "double compounding" from distribution reinvestment as well as our CEF rotation strategy, in allowing minor distribution cuts to be overcome, as well as not stretching for yield. Remember, no new capital was committed to the portfolios at any time.

Performance for 2020 was +9.71%, beating the YYY (-1.20%) fund-of-CEFs benchmark.


Tactical Income portfolio

Overall, we've grown our income in our Tactical Income portfolio by about +2% this year ($10117 to $10324). This highlights the power of "double compounding" from distribution reinvestment as well as our CEF rotation strategy, in allowing minor distribution cuts to be overcome. Remember, no new capital was committed to the portfolios at any time.

The income growth here was a bit more tempered because the portfolio added more growth. Primarily, the addition of BlackRock Science and Technology Trust II (BSTZ) and BlackRock Health Sciences Trust II (BMEZ). These lower yielders are balanced more by the opportunity for greater appreciation - which could translate into distribution growth going forward.

Performance for the Tactical Income portfolio came in at +3.15% for 2020, still beating the YYY (-1.20%) fund-of-CEFs benchmark. As a more aggressive portfolio, it takes sector bets and had greater exposure to energy than our Income Generator portfolio heading into 2020.


Taxable Income portfolio

The Taxable Income portfolio received $1650 in distributions in 2020 Q4. This is +5.22% higher than the comparable distributions received during 2019 Q4, which totaled $1568.

Over the last 12 months, we've only had one net distribution cut in the Taxable Income portfolio (PMX which cut by -9.3% in January 2020). In contrast, we've had 5 boosts over the last year:

  • MAV which increased by +13.3% in May 2020,+5.9% in August 2020, and another +16.7% in November 2020.
  • FLC which increased by +5.2% in May 2020 and another +9.1% in August 2020.
  • NMZ which increased by +4.2% in June 2020.

We also had two funds (EIM and EVN) which temporarily lowered their distribution in 2020, then brought them back up to levels that are highest in the past 12 months.

Significantly, the monthly distribution of $552 we've received in December 2020 is the highest since inception of the portfolio. We can see that the income stream of this portfolio has been remarkably resilient during this bear market. Remember, we have not added any new capital to the portfolios either!

Including dividends, the Taxable Income portfolio was up +14.15% in 2020 Q4. For 2020, the portfolio returned +5.41%.


Take advantage of our annual membership and free trial

Take us for a free trial! That allows you to test out our service on a no-risk, commitment-free basis. You'll also get to experience our vibrant community of over one thousand income-orientated CEF and ETF investors, counting numerous full-time and professional traders and investors amongst our ranks.

If you're not satisfied, simply cancel before your 2-week period is over and you won't be charged a single penny.

With an annual membership, you save 25% versus the monthly membership. There's no better time to try us out!

The CEF/ETF Income Laboratory membership normally costs $588 per year (on a monthly plan). That gets you 1000's of research hours conducted on your behalf each year by our team of experts which we share with our members at only a fraction of the cost. Today, you have the opportunity to access a discounted price of $439/year (25% off) by joining us on an annual plan.

All members are grandfathered for life at the membership rate that they signed up at (note: excludes any introductory discounts). So I highly suggest that you lock in the current rate while you still can.

Remember, "time = money", so being able to save hundreds of hours of time of CEF and ETF research each month with what amounts to the price of a cup of coffee every few days is truly an incredible bargain. And our members agree!


"Don't head into retirement without Income Laboratory!"

Consider reading some of the reviews that members of the community have left us!


CEF/ETF Income Laboratory: Profitable CEF and ETF Income and Arbitrage Ideas

Whether you're a novice or experienced closed-end fund ("CEF") and exchange-traded fund ("ETF") investor, the "Income Lab" is the right place for you. Our goal is to help you benefit from income and arbitrage strategies in CEFs and ETFs, all without having to be an expert, because we do the heavy lifting for you. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, we hope you'll consider joining us here at CEF/ETF Income Laboratory.

We would love for you to join us. We are sure that you will enjoy our service and benefit from what we have to offer!


Stanford Chemist, Nick Ackerman, Juan de la Hoz and Dividend Seeker

Analyst's Disclosure: I am/we are long BMEZ, BSTZ.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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