Earn More Dividends

For Mary, Andy and everyone else starved for income, we serve up a full plate this month.

Whenever our staff struggles to come up with a clever title for one of our stories, some wag invariably pipes up, “Just use the word dividends, and people will read it.”

We’re only half joking. Dividends is a magic word in a zero-rate world. We get a steady stream of questions from readers such as Mary Niedermeier, who asks, “What are the best ways to invest in the lowest-risk/highest-yield dividend-earning investments? What about utilities?” Andy Levy laments, “It almost doesn’t matter which bond or bond fund we buy—it will be either a low-yield opportunity or a loss in price if interest rates rise. Why add bonds just for the sake of making your asset-allocation pie chart look pretty?”

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Janet Bodnar

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.