By Chris Kidd, Senior Option Strategist at Wall St. Renegade
As a professional investor and an options trader, I keep a close eye on the markets, look for patterns, and always look for what’s coming next. While it is impossible to be right all the time, it is very possible to see indicators that can give you an idea of what should happen. We are at all-time highs in the stock market, but I believe the waters are about to get rough. That does not mean I think we are going into a bear market necessarily, but I expect volatility to pick up.
The CBOE (Chicago Board of Options Exchange) Volatility Index ($VIX) just hit a 52 week low (11.68), and is not far off its 5 year low (11.05). You have to go back to January 2007 to find the last time the VIX was under 11. This volatility index is sometimes know as a fear indicator. The more fear that comes into the market, the higher the VIX goes. On the reverse side, the more complacency that is in the market, the lower it VIX goes. Investors have now become very complacent (which is a setup for a selloff).
This is why I am buying VIX call options, betting on a jump in volatility. I believe we are in danger of an ugly selloff in the stock market. Whether things get ugly, or we just get a little correction, I expect things to get more volatile. I have a position in SDS, which is a double short ETF against the S&P 500, as a way to hedge my portfolio and make a smooth transition if we get a violent correction or even a bear market. The VIX can be a hedge as well, but in this case I am buying VIX call options in an attempt to profit from a spike in volatility that I believe is coming very soon.
Over the past three years, the VIX has dropped below 12 seven times, and all of those cases were in the last 16 months. Each time the VIX spiked over 16 within about a month’s time, the longest wait being 35 days. Ten days ago the VIX dipped below 12, then again today, so we are ten days into this cycle without a spike yet. Based on the recent patterns I would assume we will see a spike above 16 within the next 20 days. There’s a saying in the market: “The trend is your friend.” Until this trend changes I intend to buy volatility anytime the VIX drops below 12.
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This Defensive Food Stock Offers a 4% Dividend and Strong Growth Potential
What if you could get 4.2% in dividends year after year with a lower risk investment? This diversified food company has many leading brands and the ability to survive the ups and downs of the market.
Over the past two months, investor preferences have quickly shifted from high-flying momentum growth stocks to more defensive companies with stable revenues that have strong cash flow and pay dividends. As this trend continues investors are looking for more places to get attractive returns with lower risk.
One recession proof company is currently paying a 4.2% dividend. It is in a category where people spend money in good times and bad. Food is something we all need to live. We won’t stop buying food. We will still head to the supermarket each and every week no matter how hard times get. We will go there when times are good as well.
Now when you go to the supermarket, do you and your family see and buy any of these brands:
- Baker’s Joy baking spray
- B&M Baked Beans
- Cream of Wheat
- Emeril’s sauces, soups, or seasonings – Bam!
- Maple Grove’s Farm of Vermont salad dressings, pancakes, and syrups
- Mrs. Dash salt free seasonings
- Ortega Mexican Meals, sauces, and salsas.
If so, you are already familiar with B&G Foods (NYSE: BGS). These are just a few of their brand lines. B&G Foods specializes in manufacturing, selling and distributing diverse range of food products, including cereals, canned meats, spices, seasonings, salad dressings and other specialty food products. The Company distributes these products through a network of independent brokers to supermarket chains, warehouse clubs and mass merchants in United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Check out the chart over the past 12 months:
The company’s share price was stuck in neutral for a while and it’s finally starting to break out again. They currently pay a $0.34 per share quarterly dividend, which increased 25.9% last year. The current yield is 4.2%. This is much better than you can get in a money market and you have the ability to see an increasing dividend as profits rise. It is a smaller lesser-known company giving it appeal as an “off the beaten path” investment idea with great potential. Unlike a bond that pays a fixed payment for the duration of time you own the bond, a company can increase its dividend year after year, providing some inflation protection.
Looking at the five point stock inspection, B&G Foods is a good value and strong fundamentals:
5-Point Stock Inspection on BGS:
Financial Strength: Positive
Valuation: Positive – Buy up to $34
Risk: Positive – Low Risk Beta (0.7)
Earnings Trend: Positive
12-month price target: $40
Bottom Line: B&G Foods (NYSE: BGS) is a good buy up to $34 per share and offers an attractive 4.2% dividend. Our 12-month price target is $40 per share. This would provide a 25% gain if you bought at today’s price and it hits our target. People will continue buying food and companies like B&G Foods should continue to see strong demand even in the toughest of times.
Today, many investors just like you are searching for a place to find stocks that can turn their nest egg into a HUGE fortune.
Since 2009, the Tomorrow’s Treasures Portfolio (TTP) has produced annualized gains of 28.25%, turning a $10,000 portfolio into $21,300!
Small cap stocks ($250 million to $3 billion) have had an impressive run over the past 87 years. In fact, small cap stocks have produced 12.1% annualized returns compared to 9.9% annually for large-cap stocks (over $10 billion), according to research from Ibbotson Associates.
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