Payout Funds May Fail to Deliver Real Income

Pay attention to a few key factors that underscore the stability of a payout fund's distributions.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Kiplinger's Retirement Report. To subscribe, click here.

Mutual funds offering attractive periodic payouts seem hard to resist in this period of paltry interest rates. But income-oriented investors considering such funds need to take a close look under the hood to determine if that reliable income engine is about to run out of gas.

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Eleanor Laise
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Laise covers retirement issues ranging from income investing and pension plans to long-term care and estate planning. She joined Kiplinger in 2011 from the Wall Street Journal, where as a staff reporter she covered mutual funds, retirement plans and other personal finance topics. Laise was previously a senior writer at SmartMoney magazine. She started her journalism career at Bloomberg Personal Finance magazine and holds a BA in English from Columbia University.