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tom-hutchinson

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
The Fed’s rate hikes are pressuring many stocks, but the higher rates are bullish for this regional bank ETF.
2022 has been a lost year for the broad markets but safe dividend stocks are still trading at healthy values while offering high dividends.

The recent market rally has leveled off and is wavering. The next few days may determine whether the market rally continues, or the indexes retreat once again.

The latest upturn has been stoked by optimism over retreating inflation and a softer, gentler Fed. The Central Bank is widely expected to raise the Fed Funds rate at a slower 0.50% pace, versus the last four hikes of 0.75%, at the December meeting in two weeks. But Chairman Powell is giving a speech today. Any indication of a higher-than-expected hike will undo the major reason for the recent rally.
Will high inflation persist? Or will the Fed tip us into recession trying to curtail it? Either way, buy these two safe dividend stocks.
I’m an optimist. That quality has served investors well for decades. There are many stocks at cheap prices that will likely be a lot higher in a year or two as a new bull market will emerge. But I don’t believe that the market is on its way to the Promise Land just yet.
The recent rally has lifted call premiums to the highest levels in many months as more investors are willing to bet on higher prices going forward. But unless this current rally leads us to the next bull market, it’s probably nearly over. It’s a great time to lock in a high income while premiums are fat, and stocks may be close to a near-term high.

The current market is creating a golden opportunity to get a high income in an otherwise crummy market. Let’s grab it. In this issue, I highlight two call-writing opportunities in stocks that have rallied strongly since being added to the portfolio. While I like the prospects of these stocks over the next year, it’s time to err on the side of income.
What a difference a few weeks can make. The S&P 500 has moved up 15% from the low of October. Have we turned the corner on this bear market?

The main catalyst is a slower-than-expected inflation report. While still unacceptably high, inflation showed real signs of slowing in October. That means the Fed could be done hiking rates sooner. The chief cause of this bear market, rising inflation and a hawkish Fed, show signs of abatement.
With a potential recession ahead, now’s the time to start looking for the best recession stocks to add ballast to your portfolio.
The Fed has raised the Fed Funds rate six times this year to combat inflation and the last four times at a 0.75% clip. The current 4% rate is the highest in well over a decade. But inflation hasn’t budged even after the rate hikes, a shrinking GDP, and a bear market.

At the November meeting, the Fed Chairmen stated that the previous 4.5% to 5.0% Fed Funds goal no longer applies. It will have to go higher. The U.S. economy is resilient, but it will eventually give way to the forces aligned against it. It is almost certain that there will be a recession in 2023.

Meanwhile, for the first time since forever, you can get investment-grade, fixed-rate investments that pay 5% or even 6%, for now. But recessions put downward pressure on longer interest rates as loan demand dries up.

In this issue, I highlight a rare opportunity to lock in a high fixed rate while it lasts and add balance and diversification to the portfolio. Let’s not miss it.
It’s all about the Fed right now. The recent rally in stocks may continue or abruptly end based on what the Central Bankers say today.

Today is the Fed’s November meeting where the way-late-to-the-party inflation tamers are widely expected to raise the Fed Funds rate another 0.75% for the fourth time this year. That’s baked into the cake. The main event today will be what the Chairman says about the future course of rate hikes.
The market has been a lot better over the past week. The reason is earnings.


So far, earnings have been better than expected this quarter, although it’s still early. The hope is that a soft landing is still possible, at least as far as corporate profits are concerned. The early better-than-feared results are prompting hope that corporate profits can weather this recession with less damage than has already been priced into stocks.
The market has likely not bottomed yet. The current rally will unlikely be sufficient to drive us out of this bear market ahead of continued high inflation and likely recession in the months ahead.

However, while the market indexes may have further downside, one area of the market may well have already bottomed, namely interest rate-sensitive stocks.

Previously buoyant defensive stocks got clobbered as interest rates spiked to the highest levels in 15 years. But the evidence is overwhelming that the economy is likely headed toward recession in the months ahead. Recessions put downward pressure on interest rates. As the economy worsens and inflation declines, rates are likely to move lower, negating most of the damage done to conservative dividend payers.

There are powerful reasons to believe that interest rate-sensitive stocks may have already bottomed. In this issue, I highlight one of the very best utilities on the market. It’s near the 52-week low after an overdone selloff and should be highly resilient in a recession.
The brief earnings rally is already petering as positive surprises from some high-profile companies are being offset by others. The hope of a corporate earnings soft landing is getting some cold water thrown on it.

Better-than-expected big bank earnings along with other earnings beats from notable companies like Netflix (NFLX), United Airlines Holdings (UAL) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are being smothered by overall results. So far, overall results are below average for the quarter.
Things haven’t been pretty in this market, to say the least. The summer rally topped in the middle of August, and it’s been downhill ever since. In September, the selloff became more inclusive and took just about everything down, including previously buoyant defensive stocks.
The main catalyst for the selling was the August inflation numbers that came out in September. Core inflation was far worse than expected, at a time when investors were hopeful that inflation had already peaked and there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. The market, which doesn’t take disappointment well, has since priced away most of that hope.

Fixed income investing has fallen out of favor with the recent performance of bonds, but now’s the time to reconsider how to create income.
In an otherwise miserable year of nonstop inflation, recession, the Fed, and a bear market, an opportunity is emerging for opportunistic investors. Attractive rates on conservative fixed-rate investments have reemerged. There is a chance to lock in rates not seen since the decade before last.

In this issue, I highlight an investment grade rated fixed income security that currently yields nearly 6%, and the income offers tax advantages to boot.
Oil prices have rebounded, but cheap energy stocks are still out there. Here are three that have performed particularly well.
Cash can protect you in the bear market but inflation will drag down its value. These dividend stocks are a more attractive alternative.
After an awful September and third quarter, the market roared back earlier this week on bad economic news.

A bad manufacturing and employment report indicative of a declining economy sent Treasury yields lower and stocks higher. The reason is that the sooner the economy rolls over the sooner the Fed will be done hiking and the sooner the market will recover. If we can just get on with a recession, this high inflation and aggressive Fed misery will end, and a new bull market can begin.
It’s been a furious rally so far this week. It’s only lunchtime on Tuesday. But I’ll take it.
September was an abysmal month, in a rotten third quarter, in an awful 2022. Investors can’t contend with persistent high inflation, a hawkish Fed, and a recession. The most recent selloff took just about every stock down with it.
The market hit a new bear market low. That means that the summer rally was indeed just a bear market rally. And stocks may go lower.

Two things spooked investors, persistent inflation and a consequentially persistent Fed. After four Fed rate hikes, a bear market, and two straight quarters of negative GDP growth, inflation remains sky high and barely budging. The Fed will have to remain hawkish for longer.

The Fed insinuated that it is willing to drive the economy into recession, or deeper recession, to tame inflation. That makes it increasingly likely that only a hard landing can bring prices down. The economy is likely to weaken in the months ahead, dragging corporate earnings down with it.
Growth has dominated value for years on Wall Street. But the tide appears to be turning, and INTC might be the best value stock out there.
Markets go up and down. Economies boom and bust. Investors get scared and they get greedy. But one of the few constants in an ever-changing investment landscape is the need for income. And investor demand for income is growing as the fastest growing segment of the population is 65 and older and retired.

The demand for the very best income stocks should remain strong. Also, during sideways and down markets, dividends account for most of the total market return. In problematic decades, dividends have almost completely offset market price declines.

It’s true that dividend stocks can still fall in a down market. But the long-term trend for the market is higher. History clearly shows that bear markets are the best time to get in cheap ahead of the next bull market. Meanwhile, dividends provide an income and less volatility while you wait.
Growth is difficult to come by in this market. Growth and income are even harder. The three best income stocks combine both elements.
It’s all about the Fed today. The woefully behind-the-curve Central Bank will announce another Fed Funds rate hike today. The increase is widely expected to be another 0.75%. But some worry it could be 1.00%.

The market’s hopes were dashed when August inflation was worse than expected. That means the Fed will have to continue to be hawkish and for a while longer. Plus, after four rate hikes so far, two straight quarters of GDP contraction, and a bear market; inflation isn’t budging yet.
The market has turned decidedly negative after last week’s worse-than-expected inflation report. This week, all eyes are on the Fed.

The Fed is widely expected to raise the benchmark Fed Funds by 0.75% for the third straight time. But some Wall Street types are worried that it could be a 1.00% hike. In the grand scheme of things that’s not a big difference. But Wall Street suffers from short-sightedness. And not the kind that can be corrected with glasses.

It’s been a rough year for stocks. And things may get worse before they get better. Meanwhile, money markets pay barely anything, and you never know when the market will turn.
Dividends are a great answer for a market like this.


They provide an income and lower volatility in turbulent markets and make it easier to stay invested ahead of the next bull market. Dividends account for most of the market returns during flat and down markets and excel during times of inflation.


In this issue, I highlight a company in one of the most defensive and recession-resistant industries on the market that currently pays a massive 8% yield. The stock is already cheap and likely near the trough of its own bear market with far more upside than downside over time to complement the high dividend.


The market has closed lower for three straight weeks and declined about 9% from the August high as we head into September. Where do we go from here?

The market is having trouble deciding. It’s still unclear what the primary threat or driver will be. Is the main problem inflation or recession? It remains to be seen if inflation has indeed peaked and if it’s headed lower. The state of the economy is also unclear. Is this a recession after two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction? It is also an open question if the economy remains buoyant or is declining from here.
Inflation and recession fears make finding an income stock a challenge, but this infrastructure stock thrives in any environment.
Although uncertainty in the market is growing, there are still strong income stocks out there. But we must be careful to find the right ones. A good stock needs to be resilient in a continuing recession, yet able to thrive amidst high inflation, or both, or neither. In this issue, I highlight such a rare bird.


The portfolio is also eliminating a cyclical position and adding a more defensive one. At the same time, we are seizing upon recent strong performance in another stock and selling a call to lock in a high income in this uncertain market.