We’d all like to just be able to buy a stock, hold it forever, and have all our problems go away. I’d like that too. In fact, that’s my goal with my Dividend Hunter service. There, I look for high-yield investments that can generate income for years, preferably forever.
Unfortunately, the markets and the economy are always changing, and “forever” sometimes ends up being shorter than expected for what started out as an outstanding stock.
When I started Dividend Hunter more than eight years ago, I worried that people would get bored, that a high-yield portfolio of stocks would be just a set of stocks to buy and hold forever, without any change.
I was very wrong. Markets change, the economy changes, companies change, and these factors can turn a great investment into one you should sell.
What doesn’t change is the ability to get large amounts of income from high-yield dividend stocks…
Here’s an example: EPR Properties (EPR) was a “buy and hold forever stock”… until it wasn’t. I added EPR to the Dividend Hunter in October 2014. This REIT was a dividend machine. It paid monthly dividends that grew by 6% to 7% every year and continued to yield around 7% at the same time. The management team was excellent; this looked like a dividend growth stock I could own and recommend for decades.
EPR Properties owns experiential-focused properties such as movie theaters, ski resorts, eat and play destinations (such as TopGolf), and fitness facilities. When the pandemic hit, EPR’s tenant companies suddenly stopped earning revenues and could not make their lease payments. Two months after increasing the dividend in March 2020, EPR suspended common share dividend payments. I had to tell my Dividend Hunter subscribers to sell.
An unexpected event—in this case, an economic shutdown due to the pandemic—turned one of the best income stocks into one I could no longer recommend. The good news is that EPR survived and restarted dividend payments in July 2021, and at that time, I was able to put the stock back on my recommendations list.
To my surprise, over the years of running the Dividend Hunter service, I have found that about 25% of the portfolio turns over each year. There are many reasons a stock gets dropped. Companies get bought out. Sometimes I find a better fit compared to one that I have been recommending. Sometimes business for a company goes bad.
I launched Dividend Hunter in June 2014 and the number of stocks in the portfolio got up to around 20 in a few months. From those early recommendations, three stocks remain in the portfolio. I do think of these as buy-and-hold-forever investments. I just don’t know when “forever” will get here and change the investment potential for any of them.
My point is that any income-focused investment portfolio needs to be managed. We live in a world of rapid change, and if you want to invest for a tremendous high-yield income, you need to keep an eye on your investments. (Or subscribe to the Dividend Hunter and let me do what I do full time.)