Europeans have it better, and so can you. They work fewer hours, take longer vacations, and are paid more.
Wait a minute… Europeans don’t earn more than Americans do.
True. They don’t earn higher wages. But I’m talking dividends.
European companies are among the most generous dividend payers on the planet. The payout ratio for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index has averaged 83% since 2010. US large-caps returned just 50% of earnings as dividends over the same period.
This shareholder-friendly culture translates to high yields. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index currently yields 3.28%. The S&P 500 pays just 2.36%.
One percentage point doesn’t sound like much, but in today’s environment, it’s everything.
Government bonds pay next to nothing these days. Some even charge investors. You can thank easy-money policies for that.
Of course, the Fed ended QE in October and could lift rates as soon as June. We aren’t holding our breaths for that. Nonetheless, cheap credit in America is drying up. That’s bad news for US dividend payers.
However, there is hope for income investors…
The Fed is the lone holdout among central banks. Every other major central bank is loosening policy. The Bank of Japan is still printing trillions of yen each month. Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China is lowering rates and reserve requirements to avoid a hard landing.
However, the hunt for yield is most intense in Europe.
The European Central Bank (ECB) started QE in March, yet over half of European government bonds already offer negative yields.
European dividend stocks have never looked better.
In February, The Casey Report recommended WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity ETF (HEDJ). This fund holds some of Europe’s best dividend-paying companies and yields twice as much as the S&P 500.
HEDJ doesn’t own ordinary high yielders—it holds companies positioned to boost dividends.
HEDJ’s payout ratio is 40% below the average European large-cap. The fund also owns the biggest beneficiaries of a weaker euro: exporters.
Unfortunately, investing abroad comes with catch: the strong dollar.
Returns in foreign stocks are eaten away when weaker currencies are converted to dollars. That’s a big problem. The USD has gained on almost every other currency. The euro has tanked.
HEDJ has a solution. The fund hedges currency risk. This allows investors to ride Europe’s QE-induced rally without the strong dollar getting in the way.
HEDJ has returned 7% in three short months. But the best is yet to come. European QE just got underway. The market’s appetite for yield isn’t going anywhere.
You can learn more about HEDJ in The Casey Report.
You’ll also find a second international income opportunity. We just recommended it this month. I wish I could tell you more. But we can’t give them all away. That would be unfair to our loyal subscribers.
I will say one thing, though: it’s yielding a whopping 5.5%. Click here to take The Casey Report for a risk-free spin today.