Why Aren’t All Income Investors Doing This?

If you follow the popular investing media, then you’ve likely heard a lot about the benefits of diversification in a stock portfolio.

One or two losers in a basket of stocks won’t significantly drag down the overall performance; you’ll sleep better at night knowing your portfolio won’t need to be watched around the clock, and the overall returns will likely keep pace with — or beat — the overall market.

But if you’re an income investor, then maybe you think the advantages that diversification can offer somehow don’t apply. After all, most investment advisors lump all income assets into the same class.

However, you can have a more diversified income portfolio while reaping all those same benefits.

First, consider the choices. Income equities fall into three broad categories:

  •  Dividend payers that grow their payouts at a fast clip.
  •  Dividend payers that offer higher yields (but may be riskier).
  •  Dividend payers that deliver a dependable, yet smaller, income stream.

Then, consider the mix.#-ad_banner-#

You wouldn’t put your entire nest egg into only those equities that offer the highest payouts. After all, it’s these riskier assets usually fall the hardest at the first sign of trouble.

At the same time, you also wouldn’t maximize your income portfolio’s potential by holding only more established, but lower-yielding dividend payers — especially at a time when the average yield in the S&P 500 is a miserly 2%.

The solution? A blend of all of the above.

Equities with a solid history of growing their dividends will temper the risks of the high yielders. Meanwhile, a selection of stable payers will provide a solid performance in virtually any investment climate.

The question then, really, is which income investments to pick for each of these categories. And that’s where Amy Calistri can help.

Amy refers to it as her “Daily Paycheck” strategy.

At the core of Amy’s strategy is diversity — the blending of a bevy of dividend-paying stocks into three distinct portfolios that work together to minimize risk and maximize income.

The Daily Paycheck’s “Fast Dividend Growers” portfolio, for instance, contains holdings suited for a longer time horizon. These equities tend to offer the lowest yields of the three portfolios, but what they lack in income, they typically make up for in appreciation… and dividend growth.

Case in point: Magellan Midstream Partners (NYSE: MMP), a master limited partnership (MLP) that has raised its dividend a whopping 584% since 2001 — and 40% since January 2010 alone.

The Tulsa-based oil distributor’s yield is low by Daily Paycheck standards — 3.9%, compared with an overall average yield of 6.7% across all of Amy’s holdings. However, Magellan’s price has appreciated 180% since Amy first purchased the MLP in February 2010. Overall, the average capital appreciation in the “Fast Dividend Growers” portfolio is 55%.

Meanwhile, Amy’s “High-Yield Opportunities” portfolio is geared toward dividend payers that offer higher yields, but may be more volatile. Among the holdings in this portfolio: Gabelli Global Multimedia Trust (NYSE: GGT), with a current yield of 9%.

And for dividend payers that deliver a dependable income stream, The Daily Paycheck offers a “Steady Income Generators” portfolio. A prime example: AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund (NYSE: AWF).

AWF is a closed-end fund yielding 7.1% whose portfolio holdings include sovereign debt, along with corporate debt and asset-backed securities. Most importantly, the fund has paid regular monthly dividends going all the way back to 1995… and didn’t cut payments during the recession.

But, to be sure, The Daily Paycheck is more than just three portfolios for people to pick from. It’s a strategy. And a winning one, at that.

The built-in diversity from the three distinct portfolios has the added advantage of keeping volatility to a minimum. In fact, the Daily Paycheck portfolio has proven to be 40% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Then there’s the income.

From the launch in December 2009 through last week, The Daily Paycheck’s real-money portfolios have grown in value from $200,000 to $283,164, slightly outpacing the overall market.

But more than half of the portfolios’ gains — $44,110.15, to be precise — have come in the form of dividends, or “paychecks.”

The good news is that you don’t have to have $200,000 or track the market as closely as Amy does to put the same sort of principles to work in your own portfolio.

Below, Amy details exactly how she does it, and how you can follow along.

Here’s more from Amy:

“I always tell subscribers to start slowly. Whether you have an investable bankroll that rivals Warren Buffett‘s or have scraped together just a small fraction of that — start slowly.

“It took me many months to create my Daily Paycheck portfolios. Make sure you reduce your market risk by putting your money to work over time. This market can swing up and down, and you probably don’t want to buy all your initial investments on the same day, the same week, or even the same month. Trust me, the market will still be there tomorrow.

“I strongly recommend only adding a few new securities in any given month. I provide a ‘Buy First’ list in every issue of my advisory. I pick one security from each of my individual portfolios that I believe is the best buy at the time.

“Sometimes I chose a security that is about to make a sizable dividend payment. But in general, they are securities that I feel are timely. This is a good place to start your research.

“And because I own and track the securities I recommend in my real-money portfolios, my readers have the opportunity to watch how they perform before they put their own money on the line.”

Action to Take –> There’s a lot more to share about the Daily Paycheck strategy. Amy has put together a special presentation that outlines her three-step process for finding stocks. To read this free presentation — including a few high-yield picks to start your own Daily Paycheck portfolio — you can visit this link.