Look out below.
That seems to be the prevailing opinion on Wall Street right now, as the major averages experienced a freefall -- the likes of which we haven't seen in quite some time.
The Dow Jones shed more than 1,000 points last week, capped by a painful 666-point slide on Friday. After a brief respite over the weekend, the selling intensified on Monday.
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When all was said and done, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,175.21 points, settling at 24,345.75, among the worst one-day point declines on record. Fortunately, on a percentage basis, the 4.6% pullback isn't historically severe. Still, from the peak on January 26, the Dow has now retreated 1,450 points, or 5.4%.
Some would argue that such a pullback is long overdue. It has been more than two years since the last major market correction of 10% or more. I think the odds are good that we'll see this unusually long streak broken in the near future.
But the general consensus is that investors are reacting to the potential impact of interest rate hikes. Nine-in-ten economists are anticipating a rate hike in March, and subtle language in the Fed's last policy statement indicates that we could be facing three more hikes after that by the end of the year.
Ironically, it was good news out of Main Street (expanding payrolls and the strongest wage growth since 2009) that bolstered the argument for higher rates and spooked investors. Predictably, bond yields have spiked to the highest levels in four years.
The good news is that following the powerful advance in January (the S&P rose nearly 6%) we've only given back a few weeks' worth of gains. But as the saying goes, selling begets selling.
For the time being, my plan is to hunker down. With that in mind, I may look to lock in profits on several of my holdings in High-Yield Investing within the next week.
But in the end, this selloff will prove to be an ally -- offering up juicy discounts on many of the candidates on my watch list. It's often during times like these that the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater, offering opportunistic investors the chance to lock in higher yields for the long haul.
All told, this could be the best chance to buy into a rock-solid, double-digit yield in recent memory. Buying at a cheaper price boosts your yield on cost, the current yield adjusted for your original purchase price. For example, a $10 stock yielding 5% can give you healthy income. But it's more impressive when you bought that stock at $5, giving you a yield on cost of 10%.
This is how we've been able to secure yields like 11.2%, 12.8%, and even 20.3% on some of the market's most reliable dividend payers.
To get my analysis of which stocks to buy and which to skip in this churning market, I invite you to join me at High-Yield Investing by clicking here.