What to make of the situation in Eastern Europe? Russia has massed forces on the Ukrainian border, and recognized two adjacent Ukrainian provinces – both with ethnic Russian population majorities – as independent. The US has matched this bellicosity with saber rattling of its own, although the Biden Administration has made it clear that it will oppose Russian moves with economic sanctions rather than force. The result: a geopolitical mess that is threatening stability from Moscow to Washington and all points in between.
Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs has added some fuel to investor concerns, making public its stance on market fortunes should an open conflict – or harsh sanctions against Russia – take effect. In either of those cases, the firm sees the S&P 500 index losing another 6% in the immediate aftermath. Such a loss would come on top of the ~10% drop the index has already seen this year.
When markets and futures are uncertain, and volatility is high, the logical portfolio move is into high-yield dividend payers. These are the classic defensive plays, giving investors a dual path toward returns, from both the share appreciation and the dividend payments.
Bearing this in mind, we used the TipRanks’ database to zero-in on two stocks that are showing high dividend yields – on the order of 8% or more. Each stock also holds a Strong Buy consensus rating; let’s see what makes them so attractive to Wall Street’s analysts.
KKR Real Estate Finance Trust (KREF)
It’s no surprise to find a REIT on a list of dividend champs – these companies, which buy, own, lease, and manage a variety of real properties, have long been known for their high-yield dividends. KKR, which operates primarily in 9 states (New York, California, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, and Florida) has a real estate portfolio composed mostly (over 98%) of senior loans. The company’s property investments are mainly in multifamily dwellings and commercial office space, although there are also significant investments in life sciences properties and the…