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Yields Up To 9.9% That Rich Guys Don’t Want You To Know About

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Not yet as rich as you always wanted to be? Don’t worry, because today we’re going to dial you in for some “rich guy” dividend favorites that’ll pay you up to 9.9% every year.

Private equity is a lucrative and secretive world. It’s often limited to accredited investors, which means these funds require you to have $200,000 or more in annual income to qualify.

If you’re living on dividends alone, this might be challenging. Fortunately, there are some private equity plays that you can buy just like individual stocks. They trade for as cheap as $12 per share and they’ll pay you dividends from 8.8% to 9.9% along the way:

Contrarian Outlook

Contrarian Outlook

Private equity (PE)—funds that can invest in the equity and debt of privately held companies, which we typically can’t get our hands on—is generally touted as outperforming the stock market.

The American Investment Council, which advocates for private investment, points out that research from the 1990s and early 2000s showed that “private equity outperformed public markets by 3 to 4 percent each year,” and a 2019 paper investigating more recent “vintage years” finds that “that private equity continues to generate returns that are 2 to 3 percent above the returns of public markets.”

The downside? Privately held private equity firms aren’t exactly easy to tap, and you typically need to have seven digits to get in.

But here’s a back door that you and I can access. We can buy PE-esque investments just like regular stocks with a single-click! The trick is handful of little-known publicly traded companies called business development companies (BDCs).

Congress created BDCs in the 1980s to spur investment in America’s small and midsize businesses, the same way they created REITs in the ‘60s to help mom ‘n’ pop investors tap the real estate markets. And like REITs, BDCs get a generous tax break—if they dole out 90% or more of their profits as dividends to you and me.

Thus, business development companies not only let us access a big pool of investments you and I otherwise couldn’t otherwise dream of accessing, but also deliver sky-high yields that are among the highest you can find in the stock market. The caveat, of course, is that they do come with heightened risk, and not all BDCs are gems.

Today, I’ll show you three notable BDCs—yielding between 8.8% and 9.9%—that should be on your radar screen.

PennantPark Floating Rate Capital (PFLT)

Dividend Yield: 9.7%

Let’s start out with a yield juggernaut: PennantPark Floating Rate Capital (PFLT), which will get investors awfully close to a double-digit yield at current prices.

PennantPark provides access to middle market direct lending with, as the name implies, a heavy focus on floating-rate loans, though it’ll invest anywhere across the capital structure (senior secured debt, subordinated debt and others).

Its primary target is private equity sponsor-backed companies with $10 million to $50 million in EBITDA. It avoids capex-heavy businesses, as well as fickle industries such as fashion and restaurants, but it still has plenty of sectors to play with. Portfolio companies include the like of primary-clinic operator Cano Health, marketing services provider InfoGroup, and WalkerEdison, whose furniture can be found online via companies such as Amazon.com (AMZN), Target (TGT) and Home Depot (HD).

PennantPark typically leans toward the low-risk but low-reward end of the BDC spectrum, which historically has served it just fine. However, the BDC’s last earnings report raised some credit-quality concerns. The company reported that four of its portfolio companies were on “non-accrual,” which essentially happens when a payment is more than a month overdue, or there’s some other concern about a company’s ability to make a payment.

The BDC was subsequently nailed in May on the news. That has me wary. And the floating-rate nature of its loans, while attractive during periods of rising rates, isn’t a significant advantage right now.

New Mountain Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.9%

New Mountain Finance (NMFC) targets companies middle-market companies, too, investing between $10 million to $50 million across the debt spectrum in businesses that generate annual EBITDA between $10 million and $200 million.

NMFC likes to say that it invests in “defensive growth” industries. It’s a silly, contradictory term, sure. But the qualities it covets in its portfolio companies are, in fact, pretty attractive: high barriers to competitive entry, recurring revenue, strong free cash flow and niche market dominance.

To be fair, New Mountain, like PennantPark, is heavily weighted toward floating-rate loans, which make up 93% of the portfolio. But NMFC is a few steps in the right direction. Its credit quality is stellar – only eight portfolio companies have gone on non-accrual since inception in 2008, and there were no new non-accruals over this past quarter. Better still, the company is a bastion of consistency when it comes to covering its healthy dividend with net interest income (a core measure of profitability for BDCs).

New Mountain, which trades at only a sliver of a premium to its net asset value right now, still should be fine in the current environment. Keep this BDC in mind should the Fed’s hawks ever take over again.

Ares Capital (ARCC)

Dividend Yield: 8.8%

Ares Capital (ARCC) is a slightly more modest yielder compared to the previous two picks, and you likely won’t snag it for a significant discount. But that’s OK—ARCC is worth a small premium.

I’ve beat the drum on ARCC a few times, including in February 2019, but also going back more than two years, in January 2017. I said at the time that the company’s investment spread, as well as a $3.4 billion merger with American Capital, “should benefit ARCC in just about any market environment,” and that “in short, ARCC is going places.”

Ares Capital, Wall Street’s largest BDC, invests primarily in first and second lien loans and mezzanine debt of middle-market companies. A high priority is placed on “market-leading companies with identifiable growth prospects that can generate significant cash flow.” Its portfolio of roughly 345 companies touches numerous sectors, including business services, food and beverage, healthcare, IT and light manufacturing.

Ares’ core earnings and net realized gains have exceeded dividends every year since 2011, by increasingly wide margins. In fact, the company’s operational performance has been so robust that it has hiked its payout twice since this time last year.

Bottom line: ARCC is a standout in what typically is a difficult industry to invest in.

However, I’m not sure I’d commit capital to this stock right now. Given its recent run up, I’d like to see a pullback for a lower risk entry point.

Brett Owens is chief investment strategist for Contrarian Outlook. For more great income ideas, click here for his latest report How To Live Off $500,000 Forever: 9 Diversified Plays For 7%+ Income.

Disclosure: none

I graduated from Cornell University and soon thereafter left Corporate America permanently at age 26 to co-found two successful SaaS (Software as a Service) companies.

Source: Yields Up To 9.9% That Rich Guys Don’t Want You To Know About

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Investors Join Sinclair’s Big Bet On Sports And Sports Gambling

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. headquarters in Cockeysville, Maryland. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. headquarters in Cockeysville, Maryland. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

© 2018 BLOOMBERG FINANCE LP

Investors were loving Sinclair Broadcast Group’s big bet on the future of sports, and sports gambling, sending the company’s stock up 30% in early trading on Monday.

The deal, announced Friday afternoon, would see Sinclair and partner Byron Allen of Entertainment Studios pay Disney $10.6 billion for 21 regional sports networks around the country. Shares shot up in early trading by more than $13 a share, to as much as $58.84.

Federal regulators forced Disney to divest the sports networks as part of completing its $71.6 billion acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox.

Previously, Sinclair joined with the New York Yankees and Amazon in the $3.5 billion acquisition of a 22nd RSN, the YES Network in New York. Sinclair also partnered with the Cubs baseball team to launch Marquee Sports Network in Chicago. That channel will launch in 2020.

It’s a big bet, part of a big transformation for Sinclair, which last summer was stunned when regulators blocked its $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. Sinclair, with about 200 stations under its control, would have had too large a share of the broadcast sector, regulators ruled.

At year’s end, rival station group Nexstar offered more than $6 billion for Tribune in a deal that looks likely to gain approval.

But the sports deals mark a major new direction for Sinclair. It marks a major bet on the likelihood that sports gambling soon will be widely legal across the United States, and hugely lucrative for those outlets that possess access to game and game information, as well as technology for easily betting on those games.

“This acquisition is an extraordinary opportunity to diversify Sinclair’s content sources and revenue streams with high-quality assets that are driving live viewing,” Ripley said in announcing the deal. “We also see this as an opportunity to realize cross-promotional collaboration, and synergistic benefits related to programming and production.”

A U.S. Supreme Court decision has cleared the way for state-by-state legalization of gambling in the United States. New Jersey and a handful of other states already have jumped in, reaping big paydays so far.

The main holdup for further gambling expansion likely will be efforts by the major sports leagues, led by the NBA, to get a cut of the take. They’re pushing provisions in legalization bills for so-called “integrity fees.”

Those issues will almost certainly get worked out, given projections that legalized gambling across most of the U.S. could generate tens of billions of dollars.

And that’s what Sinclair is betting on with the RSN acquisitions. Ripley told Reuters on Sunday that his company would be open to licensing some of the sports content it acquired in the deal to outlets such as Amazon, Disney and AT&T as those companies jostle for position in the increasingly competitive online-streaming space.

“There is only going to be more competition and more interest for key assets like this in the future,” Ripley said. “We have an interest in as broad a distribution as possible.”

Ripley called the RSN deal a bargain. The price is certainly far below the estimates of $15 billion to $20 billion that most analysts had predicted for the portfolio. But the networks could be valuable for multiple reasons.

For instance, the company expects to profit from advertising about gambling, Ripley said.

He estimated industrywide, some $1.5 billion to $2 billion in new revenue would come in from sports book operators and other companies in the space.

Given broadcast advertising’s cyclical nature – it yo-yos up and down on election-year and Olympics/World Cup spending – that could be a big deal, especially because other ad revenues have been flat or slightly down in recent years.

Sinclair already owns The Tennis Channel, which holds rights to many of the major tennis tournaments held around the world.

And sports of all kinds – already a sticky, lucrative programming option given the willingness of fans to pay for access – is about to become even more lucrative with the increasing legalization of gambling.

As Sinclair CEO Christopher Ripley told me a few months ago, tennis is already the second-most wagered-upon sport in Europe, where gambling is widely legal. Soccer, of course, is No. 1.

Most of the tennis gambling “handle,” or amounts wagered, comes from in-game “prop” bets (who will win the next game or set, or how many aces will a player serve) rather than overall match outcomes, Ripley said.

The company already is working on technology that could be used to power in-game betting on its broadcasts, Ripley said.

Tennis, with its numerous breaks and game-match-set structure, is ideal for lots of prop bets. But many popular American sports, most notably football and baseball, but even more fluid and fast-paced sports such as basketball, can also become a lucrative source of legal betting.

The company also owns other sports properties, including online service Stadium, Ring of Honor Wrestling and high school sports programming on its local stations.

The deal also could boost Sinclair’s recently launched STIRR online service, which features local news and sports content from its broadcast stations that cover about 40 percent of the country. That Sinclair-owned content is woven in with entertainment and news content from about 30 partners in an ad-supported service. Initial viewership results for STIRR have reportedly been well above internal projections, but the company has not released any details.

Adding the RSN content to STIRR’s offerings, either directly as Viacom is doing on new acquisition Pluto.TV with limited versions of its cable properties, or as a premium upsell, could further boost STIRR.

Sinclair also has been a big proponent of ATSC 3.0, the new broadcast technology now being rolled out around the country. Among other capabilities, ATSC 3.0 will allow broadcast groups to provide addressable, targeted advertising to viewers, and to offer new channels and data services within the same bandwidth they’re now using to broadcast their main signal.

It’s easy to imagine those potential data services including sports-related information tied to the RSN networks’ teams, as well as gambling information.

STIRR’s focus on local news and sports represents a half-step toward an ATSC 3.0 future, but relies on widely available Internet-based technology.

ATSC 3.0 itself is not expected to have a substantial impact until at least 2021 because of the challenges of both broadcaster rollout and consumer adoption of newly capable TVs, external streaming boxes and even mobile devices.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Forbes and the socials, and subscribe to my Bloom in Tech podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Anchor.fm, SoundCloud and more. 

I’m a Los Angeles-based columnist, consultant, speaker, podcaster and consultant focused on the collision of tech, media and entertainment.

Source: Investors Join Sinclair’s Big Bet On Sports And Sports Gambling

How To Calculate Your College Education Return On Investment

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With all the talk about changes to student loan repayment plans, popular student loan forgiveness programs potentially ending, and now limits on student loan borrowing, it’s essential that you fully understand what your college return on investment (ROI) is.

Going to college is an investment – just like buying stocks or investing in real estate. You are spending money (tuition, room, board, and more) with the goal of earning more money in the future – due to better paying jobs and opportunities.

And this has shown to be true for the last several decades according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Adults who complete a bachelors degree, on average, earn 57% more than those who are high school graduates. That’s a significant boost in earnings. But, if you spend too much to achieve it, it might not be worth it.

The Basic Math Of College Return On Investment

When you’re 17 or 18 years old, thinking about your lifetime return on investment of your college expenses is challenging. When you’re that age, it’s hard to even plan what classes to take, let alone your college major, future career, the implications of borrowing money to pay for school.

Luckily, we live in an era where there is more data than ever to help us make decisions.

To think about your return on investment, you want to look at what you spend – the cost of tuition, room, board, and more, and then compare it to what you have the potential to earn.

The Social Security Administration has some aggregate data on earnings that’s useful here. Controlling for various socio-demographic variables, men with bachelor’s degrees would earn $655,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates and women with a bachelor’s degrees would earn $450,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates.

Here’s the more interesting part – let’s take that lifetime earnings potential and discount it for the present day value. Applying a 4 percent annual real discount rate, the net present lifetime value at age 20 of a bachelor’s degree relative to a high school diploma is $260,000 for men and $180,000 for women. For those with a graduate degree, it is $400,000 for men and $310,000 for women.

So, adjusting for nothing else (such as career choice), men should never spend more than $260,000 for a bachelors degree, and women should never spend more than $180,000 for a bachelors degree.

The Advanced Math Of College ROI

Now that we have the basics, you can take some of that same math and apply it to your situation and see if you’re getting a potentially positive ROI or a negative ROI on your education costs.

You can look at your school’s cost of attendance (COA), which can typically be found on their financial aid webpage. Using that data, you can see the cost to attend four or five years.

Then, look at what you’d expect to earn over your lifetime. This can be a challenge, but tools like Glassdoor (which show salaries in various industries and jobs) or even government websites like Transparent California, where you can view ever Californian Public Worker’s salary. Using that data, you can see what you’d expect to make throughout your career, and add up your earning potential.

Once you do the math, you can see how the cost of your education stacks up for ROI.

Easy Rules Of Thumb To Remember

Doing the math can be challenging, but there are also some simple rules to remember when calculating your ROI.

First, while it may not seem like it, you can adjust your variables. You can attend a less expensive college (or do a path like community college first, then a state school). You can also earn more after graduation. Look at not just a career but adding in a side hustle as well. Maybe you are really passionate about a certain career, even though it doesn’t pay very well. You can still have a positive ROI, but you’ll earn that ROI with other jobs.

Second, borrowing to pay for school is expensive. It is a drag on your ROI due to the interest that will be accruing on your loans. And easy way to keep your ROI in balance with student loans is to never borrow more than you expect to earn in your first year after graduation. This is very career dependent, but it highlights how you can borrow more if you plan on going into a higher paying industry.

Finally, this math only includes high school versus bachelor degree. However, the same logic can apply to trade school or graduate school. You just need to get data around what you expect to make after graduation versus the cost of your education program.

There’s More Than Money When Going To College

Some will argue that there is more than a money ROI when it comes to higher education. And I’d be remiss to ignore that because it’s true. There is more to higher education than dollars in, dollars out.

Going to college has a variety of secondary benefits, such as a student moving out from home and learning how to handle communication, problem solving, and more. These real world skills are tough to put a monetary value on.

But, on the flip side, college is an expensive way to find yourself. While moving out of the house and having new experiences can be a very positive thing, it can easily become a future regret if the burden of student loans and poor financial choices weighs on you for a large portion of your life.

And my challenge would be, are there other ways to get these experiences while trying to build a positive ROI on education spending? My answer is yes.

Final Thoughts

Thinking about the ROI of your education spending can be a challenge. But it’s a must for every high schooler and parent.

Robert Farrington founded The College Investor, a personal finance website dedicated to helping people get out of student loan debt and start investing as early as possible.

I’m a personal finance expert that focuses on helping millennials get out of student loan debt and start investing for their future. I also help parents make smart choi…

Source: How To Calculate Your College Education Return On Investment

5 Ways to Stop Wasting Valuable Time – Sheri Coburn

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If I had a penny for every time I have heard “I don’t have time”, “If only I had the time” or “I’ll have time when I’m dead,” I would be rich. This seeming lack of time has become the new politics: we are invested in complaining about it, yet feel powerless to change it. Our culture of martyrdom, perfectionism, helicopter parenting and over-scheduling has stolen from us the one thing we can’t get back.

Time.

And not just any time – our most valuable time. Because as we all know, “Time stands still”, “Time drags on” and “Can’t go by fast enough” the entire weekend our in-laws are in town for a visit.

The reality is that we have plenty of time for plenty of things. But in order to tap into this promised land of abundance, we must first be aware, and then be willing to stop or at least spend a lot less time doing the unnecessary and the unfulfilling.

Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say No

Do an honest assessment of how much time you spend doing things you don’t want to do. Are you motivated by guilt, a misplaced sense of obligation, or fear of judgement? If yes, your time would be better spent learning to set boundaries, determining who (if anyone) you really “owe time” to, and partaking in some self reflection. Doing these things will actually save you time in the long run and free up time immediately to do the things you want with the people you enjoy.

Stop Being Resentful

When you have to say yes, own your yes. You own your time, and only you can decide when to give it away and for what price. So stop spending time being angry and resentful at the people and things that you allow to steal time from you. This includes being mad at the friend, family member or boss who “has no respect for your time.”

Time is not taken; it is given. We all have to do things sometimes that we don’t want to do. But don’t waste time on anger. You said yes: do it and move on.

Stop Trying to Prove Your Value

Know the difference between what you “want” to do and what you “need” to do to feel valuable. The things we “want” to do, we choose to make us feel good, productive, honest and responsible. The things we “need” to do, we do in hopes other people will think we are good, productive, honest and responsible. “Want” is about us taking opportunities to feed our already existing sense of value. “Need” is about seeking the approval of others to feel valued.

A tremendous loss of time happens when we don’t know our own value. Instead we rely on an endless search for the right validation from the right people, a time-sucking search that will never end if our only sense of value comes from external factors.

Stop Depriving Yourself

Live life under a new rule: short term gain, long term gain. No, I don’t mean short term pain for long term gain, unless of course you find the idea of taking care of yourself painful.

In a culture of perfectionism, people have bought the idea that taking a rest, going for a massage, packing a picnic lunch, walking the dog, practicing meditation or taking a 20 minute shower is solely for the self indulgent; that somehow running a full marathon is the only version of “self care.” I am not dissing long distance running, I am just suggesting that not everything we do has to be hard, challenge us or be about reaching our “personal best”.

Make daily brief “indulgence-driven” investments in yourself. This kind of investment takes ownership of our relationship with time and divorces us from the idea that our relationship with time must be conflictual and punishing. Learning to relax and see time as a gift, and not something that always needs to be managed and goal-driven, means that we will not always be fighting against time or looking to buy more of it.

Stop Waiting for Time

Not only does time not wait for anyone, it also doesn’t coming looking for us.

Take a look at steps 1 through 4. Where are you giving away your precious time?

  1. Do you say yes, when you really want to say no?
  2. Do you harbour resentments that take up space in your brain and time in your life?
  3. Do you spend time on exhausting efforts to solicit the validation and approval of others?
  4. Do you fail to engage in activities that remind you time is a gift not a punishment?

Make some small changes.Remember, time is of the essence.

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