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Tom Hutchinson

Chief Analyst, Cabot Dividend Investor, Cabot Income Advisor and Cabot Retirement Club

Tom Hutchinson is the Chief Analyst of Cabot Dividend Investor, Cabot Income Advisor and Cabot Retirement Club. He is a Wall Street veteran with extensive experience in multiple areas of investing and finance.

His range of experience includes specialized work in mortgage banking, commodity trading and in a financial advisory capacity for several of the nation’s largest investment banks.

For more than a decade Tom created and actively managed investment portfolios for private investors, corporate clients, pension plans and 401(K)s. He has a long track record of successfully building wealth and providing a high income while maintaining and growing principal.

As a financial writer, Tom’s byline has appeared in the Motley Fool, StreetAuthority, NewsMax, and more. He has written newsletters and articles for several of the nation’s largest online publications, conducted seminars and appeared on several national financial TV programs.

For the past seven years, Tom has authored a highly successful dividend and income portfolio with a stellar track record of success. At Cabot, Tom provides monthly Cabot Dividend Investor issues, regular weekly updates on every portfolio position and a weekly podcast discussing goings-on in the market.

From this author
Despite a broadly solid market, dividend payers lagged in 2021, but things are looking up. Here are 4 conservative dividend stocks for 2022.
There’s a new worry in the market – recession. Just when the Fed is finally chilling out, investors are moving on to the next bummer. The market still stinks, just for different reasons.

Until a couple of weeks ago the main concern was a more hawkish Fed. But the banking situation has mellowed the Fed, and the Central Bank just indicated it is nearly done hiking rates. It’s a relief on the Fed front but the economy could be a problem now.
The banking situation has changed the Fed. The damage done by previous rate hikes is making the Central Bank far less hawkish. The risk is shifting from the Inflation/Fed cycle to recession. The end of this cycle may have been expedited. And stocks could rally out of this bear market sooner than thought.

Of course, the banking issues might not be over yet. And the timing and severity of a possible recession is still unknown. Things may get worse in the market before they get better. For now, defensive stocks that can maintain earnings growth in a worsening economy or recession are better places to be.
Fallout from the bank failures and the Fed meeting tomorrow make this a big week in the market.

Let’s deal with the banks first. After the two bank failures this week and the buyout of ailing Credit Suisse (CS) over the weekend, the spotlight is on potentially vulnerable small regional banks. Although Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse are very different banks with different problems, the common denominator is the markets, particularly the bond market.
Want to invest like the rich without shelling out much cash? Try business development companies. And start with these five high-yield BDCs.
Inflation has proven tough to get rid of any time we’ve seen levels like this before. These 2 stocks should perform even under lasting inflation.
People will always need electricity, gas and water. And that’s what makes utility stocks so reliable. Here are three that I like right now.
After moving higher in January, stocks fell back again in February. After falling last week, stocks are sharply higher this week. Why can’t the market seem to make up its mind?

The main catalyst for the market so far this year is the perception of the inflation/Fed situation. When investors sense inflation falling and the Fed is almost done hiking rates, stocks rally. When they believe inflation is remaining sticky and the Fed will have to remain aggressive for a lot longer, stocks fall. This dynamic has been on full display in the last few trading days.
AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are perhaps the two most widely recognized telecom stocks. But which is the better stock today?
Inflation has come down. But in the past, when inflation stayed this high for this long, it took about a decade to get rid of it. That’s why the inflation rate averaged 7.25% in the decade of the 1970s and 5.82% in the 1980s.

Once that inflation genie gets out of the bottle, it has historically been a long ordeal to get it back in. Higher inflation and interest rates may persist for several years to come. That’s a different economic situation than we have faced in a long time. And it is changing the investment landscape.

As investors, we need to invest in a way that not only keeps pace with inflation but exceeds the rate of inflation in order to actually grow a nest egg in real terms. In this issue, I highlight two portfolio dividend stocks that have a unique ability to thrive during inflation beyond most dividend stocks.
January was up. February was down. What’s next?

The S&P 500 rallied 6.2% in the first month of the year but pulled back 2.3% in February (as of Monday’s close). The market is still in positive territory YTD. But that could change.
Stocks that pay a high dividend are likely to outperform in the “new normal” of higher interest rates, and these are two of my favorites.
A continuing rally to start 2023 is largely dependent on the Fed successfully engineering a “soft landing.” Here are two dividend stocks we like in case they don’t.
The impressive early year rally has ended. The S&P ended its third straight down week on Friday and is sharply lower to start this week.

The “soft landing” optimism of January has given way to concern about a hawkish Fed and rising long-term rates. Inflation had been coming down, and the Fed appeared to be chilling out while the economy remained on solid footing. But a continued strong economy, a rise in January inflation, and a more belligerent Fed are spoiling the party.
Stocks have rallied so far this year on optimism that we can get through this inflation and Fed rate hiking cycle without much economic pain. That’s what seems to be happening so far. But this latest “soft landing” rally is facing a formidable foe – history.

Rate hikes almost always slow the economy. But there is typically a long lag time. Since 1961, the Fed has embarked on nine inflation-busting, rate-hiking cycles. Eight of those cycles have led to recession. The yield curve has inverted, a phenomenon that has almost always preceded a recession.
January inflation came out. It wasn’t good. Is this rally doomed?

It has been a good year so far in the market. The S&P 500 is up about 8% and the Nasdaq has rallied more than 13% in just the first six weeks of this year. Stocks have been lifted by optimism of a soft landing.
The market is at a crossroad.

It is possible that we could get through this cycle soon and without a recession. The market could rally to new highs without much more trouble. On the other hand, a more hawkish Fed or deeper economic downturn than currently anticipated could cause another market plunge.

You could just bet on one scenario and hope for the best. But there might be a better way to navigate these waters. Instead of gambling on a certain outcome, we can buy stocks that should thrive in both bull and bear markets.

In this month’s issue, I highlight four current portfolio positions that are “all-weather” stocks. These stocks should do just fine if the market takes off and doesn’t look back in a soft landing. But they should also perform relatively well in case a more ugly scenario unfolds. They should be solid in almost any kind of market environment and pay you a great income in the meantime.
The market is doing everything it can so far this year to be unlike 2022. It’s up. And the best performing sectors are cyclical.

So far this year, the S&P 500 is up about 5% and the technology stock-heavy Nasdaq is up almost 10% in just a month. Not only are the indexes higher but they are being driven by last year’s worst performing sectors, technology and consumer discretionary.
The bullish start to 2023 has many investors optimistic that we’ve avoided the Fed’s “hard landing” scenario. Here are two stocks that can do well in either case.
We are just weeks into a year that has so far been better and different than last year.

The S&P 500 is up 4.7% in January after falling 19.4% in 2022. The winners and losers are also different. The best performing sectors are last year’s worst performing, technology and consumer staples. The worst performing sectors are last year’s best performers (with the exception of energy): healthcare, utilities and consumer staples.

Is this a portent of things to come or just a temporary reallocation?
This year was always going to be better than last year. And it’s off to a great start. But it is unlikely that stocks muster a sustained rally out of this bear market until there is more clarity on the extent and timing of an economic bottom.

That said, the current market still offers opportunities. Cyclical stocks have rallied and, for the first time in a long time, there is an opportunity to sell a covered call on one of the portfolio’s cyclical stocks. In this issue, I highlight a covered call opportunity in Visa (V) after the stock has rallied.

I also highlight a fantastic income stock that has likely already made its own low even if the market turns south again. It sells at a dirt-cheap valuation with a high and safe dividend and has recently added momentum to the mix.
Earnings season is here again. It’s that time of the quarter that has so often buoyed and reinvigorated the market. But this one is unusual because average earnings are expected to shrink.

Earnings boomed after the pandemic. But now there are much tougher year-over-year comparisons and a slowing economy. The average earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to decline 3.9% from last year’s fourth quarter.
Any income investor should know how to reinvest dividends. Whether you should depends on what you’re looking for as an income investor.
Sure, it was a tough year for stocks. But 2022 was the worst year ever recorded for bonds.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury lost more than 15% in 2022, the worst calendar year performance ever recorded since it started being tracked in the 1920s. The 10-year + Treasury Bond Index lost 29.45% for the year, also the worst performance on record.

But the disastrous year creates an opportunity. Last year seems to have squeezed many years of poor performance into one. Now bonds actually pay decent interest again. And every negative year for bonds ever recorded has been followed by a year of positive returns.

In this issue, I highlight a long-term corporate bond fund. It allows access to some of the highest yielding investment grade bonds in the last 15 years while also providing a monthly income. The fund is very likely to have a positive total return for the year, and perhaps very positive, at a time when the stock market is highly uncertain.
In an increasingly volatile marketplace, safety has become a must for any portfolio. With that in mind, here are the best safe investments.
A terrible year in the market just ended and it is highly likely that this year will be much better. That’s good news. The bad news is that the first part of 2023 may be just like 2022.

The results are in. The indexes returned the following for 2022; S&P 500 (-19.4%), Dow Jones (-9%), and the Nasdaq (-33%). It was the worst year for stocks since the financial crisis year of 2008. Plus, many individual stocks were down far more than the indexes.
Most of Wall Street is expecting a recession in 2023, but this stock is an ideal pick for times like these. Plus, it’s still cheap.
Buying this Dividend Aristocrats ETF is a way to own the 65 best dividend growth stocks on the market. But there are other alternatives too.
Another year is coming to an end. It was a crummy year for the market. The current roughly -20% YTD return for the S&P 500 with two days left marks the worst yearly performance for the market since 2008.

Although it’s been a tough year for stocks, history strongly suggests that 2023 should be a lot better. In the last 42 years, there have only been 7 calendar years of negative market returns and 35 years of positive returns. Of those 7 negative years, 5 were followed by years when the market rebounded at least 20%.
Stocks trend higher over time. And history clearly illustrates that bear markets are ideal times to invest ahead of the next bull market. The average bear market is about 15 months long. And this one is already almost a year old. There is a high-percentage chance that a rally ignites in 2023 that will lead us out of this bear market and into the next bull market.