Motley Fool

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 13:59

History shows that dividends have been an important part of total returns for investors in the long run. In fact, various studies have shown that it is the reinvestment of dividends which can deliver the majority of total returns over a sustained period. As such, many investors choose to prioritise dividends when making their investment decisions.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 12:36

While 2017 proved to be a solid year for Royal Dutch Shell's (LSE:RDSB) share price, I stick by my long-term cautious take on the business.

Thanks to a resurgent oil price, the FTSE 100 business saw its market value swell 6.4% last year. But investor appetite has soured since the end of January as the same old fears about serious crude oversupply have pushed Brent prices back below the $70 per barrel marker.

And this seen Shell give back all of last year's gains.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 12:00

Even after this past month's wild market gyrations, many stocks still look pricey in relation to their earnings and dividends. But in an expensive market like this, you can still find attractively valued dividend stocks if you know where to look.

With this in mind, today I'm going to take a look at two FTSE 250 stocks which seem to offer both enticing valuations and dividend appeal.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 11:36

Full-year financials from Shire (LSE:SHP) were not enough to inject a much-needed dose of jet fuel into the company's share price this week.

The FTSE 100 pharmaceuticals play has shed a third of its market value during the past 12 months and more recently, Shire's stock hit the skids in January after it was forced to downscale its medium-term revenues targets.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 11:10

After a 28% fall in its share price over the past 12 months, shares in Imperial Brands (LSE:IMB) offer dividend investors an attractive yield of 6.5%. The tobacco giant is also attractively valued at present levels, with a price-to-earnings ratio of just 9.9.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 10:30

The AIM market isn't the obvious place to look for a low-risk pharmaceuticals stock, but Alliance Pharma (LSE:APH) is an exception to the rule. Its market capitalisation at a share price of 67p is over £300m and I see it as a very attractive business to invest in.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 10:00

Want a relatively fuss-free way of dramatically increasing your wealth with minimal effort? No problem. In contrast to what some in the financial world will tell you, making money from investing can be devilishly simple. You can even earn while you sleep.

Get efficient

The first step isn't exactly revelatory.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 09:30

Saving for retirement can seem like a daunting process, which is why so many of us put it off until the very last minute, and some don't do it at all. 

Last year it was reported that around one in seven retirees was quitting the workforce with no workplace or personal retirement pot making them entirely reliant on the state handout. Currently around £8,500 per annum, the total value of the state pension is well below the average wage and around half of the £15,000 that surveys have suggested is the minimum level of income required to be comfortable in retirement. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 09:00

In January I was firmly convinced that the FTSE 100 was on a bargain valuation at over 7,700 points, and I reckoned it still looked cheap compared to the world's other top markets. And its average dividend yield was higher than it had been for years.

The UK's top index has performed strongly over the past couple of years, with 2016 and 2017 having brought in total returns (including dividends) of 19% and 12% respectively. But that came after two years of losses, and we were looking at average returns over the four years of a little over 5% per year. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 08:30

Last week, I made a change to my self-invested personal pension (SIPP), selling out of Neil Woodford's Equity Income fund. Here's a look at why I sold, and what I did with the proceeds.

Poor performance

I bought Woodford's flagship fund for my pension back in September 2014, not long after it launched. For a while, I was very happy with the performance of the fund. For example, in 2015, the portfolio returned 16.2%. This was comfortably in excess of the FTSE All-Share index's return of just 1%

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 08:00

With the FTSE 100 having fallen from its January highs in recent weeks, now is a great time to be a dividend investor. That's because when share prices fall, dividend yields rise. And right now, there are many stocks in the index with eye-catching yields. Let's take a closer look at some of the yields on offer.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 15:45

FTSE 100 stalwart Imperial Brands (LSE:IMB) was the largest holding in fund manager Neil Woodford's Equity Income Fund at the end of 2017.

But this defensive stock's 28% decline over the last 12 months will have dented the value of many dividend portfolios.

Imperial shares now trade on a forecast P/E ratio of 10, with a prospective yield of 7.1%. If this payout is sustainable -- as my fellow Fool Rupert Hargreaves believes -- then this stock could be too cheap to ignore.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:45

Online fashion retailer (LSE:BOO) has been something of a falling star over the past five months with the shares sliding more than 30% between September and the beginning of February. But to put that fall in perspective, investors enjoyed a meteoric rise of more than 900% between the early part of 2015 and last November, driven by punchy earnings growth figures and a valuation re-rating.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 14:10

For years, Carillion was paying out handsome dividend yields and looked like a solid cash cow. But irresponsibly handing out so much cash while building up massive debt can be a killer, as we have now seen.

There's been a knock-on effect across the outsourcing and construction business, and some have feared for the future of Balfour Beatty (LSE:BBY) after a few years of losses. But profit returned in 2016, and EPS is expected to have more than doubled for the year ended December 2017 -- results are due 14 March.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 13:20

With the FTSE 100 having fallen heavily in recent weeks, buying shares may not seem to be a sound move. After all, there is a good chance of further volatility, and it would not be surprising for the index to fall further as investors price in heightened inflation expectations.

However, for long-term investors such periods of time can present buying opportunities. The track record of the stock market shows that there has been a recovery from all corrections and crashes. While this can take time, buying during an uncertain period can increase potential returns.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 12:50

One of the risks of investing in growth stocks is that you'll end up with money tied up in companies that never quite live up to their potential.

Today I'm looking at two stocks whose performances have sometimes been disappointing but show promise. Should you buy, hold or sell?

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 12:15

It's been a difficult three months for investors in Saga (LSE:SAGA). The over-50s products and services specialist has seen its share price decline by around 36% during the period, with a disappointing financial performance the reason.

However looking ahead, the company appears to have turnaround potential. Certainly, it could take time for it to deliver improved share price performance. But it could be worth buying alongside another stock which also appears to offer growth at a reasonable price.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 11:30

Finding shares with bright, long-term futures can be tough. After all, it's difficult to accurately predict which sectors and industries will offer strong growth in future years. However, by focusing on a company's track record of growth and its strategy, it may be possible to unearth stocks that have a good chance of posting high returns for many years.

With that in mind, here are two companies which could be worth buying today, providing high returns in the coming years.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 10:30

Shares in Segro (LSE:SGRO) have jumped 5.73% this morning on publication of a positive set of results for the year to 31 December. This completes a strong run for the FTSE 100 group, a real estate investment trust (REIT) specialising in logistics properties such as warehouses and distribution centres across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. Its share price is up 20% in the last 12 months. Over five years, it is up 130%.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 10:00

Lloyds (LSE:LLOY) has impressed the market over the past few years as the bank's earnings have recovered, its capital cushion has improved significantly, and it has resumed dividend payouts to investors. 

For 2017, City analysts are expecting Lloyds to distribute a total of 4.1p per share to investors, giving a healthy dividend yield of 6.1% at the time of writing. This healthy distribution follows a payout of 2.25p in 2015 and 2.55p in 2016 as well as two special dividends paid during this time.