Diary of a Dividend Diva: Out of the Doldrums

 | Apr 19, 2013 | 11:15 AM EDT
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Last week, I said that April -- and every first month of the quarter -- is the "dividend doldrums," since companies will report this month, then declare dividends, which start flowing in force in the second month of the quarter. Hitting your income target in this first month is always a challenge. 

As we move into the final week of the month, I put in a few trades to move the income ball down the field. Great dividends can be scarce, but you can find them here and there. The table below outlines all the reasonably attractive dividends coming before month-end. This is it, folks. If you don't play a few of these, you are dead in the water until early May.

I highlighted the names I bought yesterday to round out the month. I am a fan of the Canadian banks (Royal Bank of Canada (RY) and Bank of Montreal (BMO))), and I play them every quarter. I trust Canada's financial system far more than the U.S. one -- Canada completely avoided the housing bust, and it has a "hard" currency and an economy backed by resources. Do beware that those dividends will be clipped by around 15% for U.S. investors because of tax withholding on the dividend income.

Kinder Morgan (KMI) is always great; note that I play the general partner, which is a normal corporation, and not the limited partner, which has a great yield but will saddle you with a K-1 and other tax accounting challenges.

Procter & Gamble (PG) is a quarterly favorite, and right now consumer staples are in favor as a defensive sector, so the stock should hold up ex-dividend. The semiconductors are lousy right now after the Intel (INTC) call, so I am moving into Texas Instruments (TXN) cautiously, taking a smaller than usual position. The Publix (PUSH) dividend looks lush, but if you buy that stock, use limit orders, because it is very illiquid.

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