In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Finding Safe Dividend Stocks

By Tom Petruno

JewishWorldReview.com | Hunting for yield but fearful of getting burned? Here are four key questions that will help you "stress-test" a prospective dividend payer.

1) What is the stock's current yield? To get that figure, divide the current annualized dividend by the stock price. Typically, the higher the yield, the greater the likelihood that a company won't raise its dividend much or, worse, could cut or eliminate it. You can compare a stock's yield with that of the overall market; the average yield of the companies in Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is 2%. But a better approach is to compare it with yields of other stocks in the same industry or sector.

When should you worry that the current yield is signaling high risk of a dividend cut? "If a stock's yield is three percentage points or more above its peer group, that's a warning sign," said Charles Carlson, editor of the DRIP Investor, a newsletter geared toward dividend investors. "It's the old rule: 'If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,' " he says. So be wary of chasing the highest yields.

2) What is the stock's dividend payout ratio? This ratio is calculated by dividing the annualized dividend rate by a company's annual earnings per share. In general, the lower the payout ratio, the more room a company has to raise its dividend.

What's a normal payout ratio? That depends on the industry. Slow-growing electric utilities, for example, typically pay out the majority of earnings as dividends. Companies in fast-growing industries have lower payout ratios -- say, 25% -- because they are reinvesting heavily in the business. You can easily see a stock's payout ratio and its history on the free portion of Morningstar's Web site. Punch in the stock's symbol, then click on "key ratios."

Also look at "free cash flow" per share. Free cash flow measures the cash a company generates beyond what it needs to maintain its basic business. So declining or stagnant free cash flow may limit a company's ability to boost dividends.

3) What is the recent history of dividend changes? Plenty of companies pay lip service to being generous with dividends. But actions speak louder than words. Look at the past few years of a company's dividend payments (most firms list this on their investor-relations Web page). Has the pace of increase been rising or slowing?

Carlson advises long-term investors to choose accelerating growth over high current yield, for the inflation protection a rising dividend provides. "I'd take the 2% yielder versus the 3% yielder if you're going to get more growth in the dividend with the 2% yielder," he says.


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4) Are new threats emerging that could dim a company's profit and dividend growth? The 2008 financial crash was a "black swan" - a development that few people foresaw. But many threats to companies' fortunes develop more gradually.

A major debate today is over the minimum wage and whether it should be raised significantly. That could help narrow the income-inequality gap in America -- but it also could slam companies such as Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), McDonald's (MCD) and other dividend-stock favorites. As a result, profits at many consumer-oriented companies could come under pressure, says Kelley Wright, managing editor of the newsletter Investment Quality Trends, which evaluates dividend stocks, and that could force them to slow the pace of dividend increases and perhaps even cut their payouts down the road.

With any stock, Wright says, watch for three warning signs of dividend trouble: marked deceleration in a company's dividend increases; a rise in the payout ratio because the dividend keeps rising while earnings are slowing or falling; or, simply, a stagnating stock price.

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Tom Petruno is a Contributing Writer for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.

All contents copyright 2013 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC