Reviews Infinite Market, Another Risky Investment

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Infinite Banking And How it Works as an Alternative Investment Option

Infinite Banking is a unique concept that was developed by Nelson Nash. Infinite Banking lets you be your own banker and offers much more when it comes to safety and control than most other financial or investment option that are out there today. It may sound strange to some, but Infinite Banking relies on utilizing high cash value life insurance to create your own personal banking system.

About 30% of your income actually goes into paying loan money with savings as low as 10% on an average. While these are the US numbers, things are not much different in other countries either. This debt percentage is what makes Infinite Banking so powerful. Let’s get to know more about the concept and how it works:

What Is Infinite Banking?

Infinite Banking relies on a custom designed whole life insurance policy that allows users to access money, like a bank, and growing their money through the use of whole life insurance dividends. This lets individuals manage cash flow within their own system without the need to count on outside options such as actual banks or other lending institutions.

You start by building a large amount of “cash value” in a whole life policy. Now that you have this cash value, you can borrow money out of our life insurance policy. This can be used to fulfill your needs, be it to buy a car or some other items.

The money is basically a side loan provided by your insurance company and is guarded by the life insurance policy’s cash surrender value.

The concept has gained immense popularity in the last few years and is also known as bank on yourself, perpetual wealth system etc. In simple words, you put all your investments in a life insurance policy instead of investing somewhere else. From here you can withdraw, as needed, on agreed terms that include paying interest like you normally would if you took loan from a third-party.

Meanwhile, the actual cash value inside the life insurance policy is untouched, and continues to grow, with interest, whether money is borrowed against it or not.

How Does It Work?

A lot of people confuse infinite banking with a life insurance policy. By overfunding a life insurance policy, it can actually generate a substantial amount of interest.

The Infinite banking system is merely a way of utilizing the rules that are already in place by the government and by life insurance companies in order to gain the most benefit.

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Infinite banking system works in 4 ways.

  • You are the depositor.
  • You are the bank.
  • You are the borrower.
  • You get the profits from the system.

Let’s say you choose long-term investments to deposit into an Infinite Banking policy. Normally, long-term investments are deposited into IRAs, 401ks etc. However, that can be a risky investment as your investment can lose value with time. Plus, the taxes are also very high and liquidity can also be an issue.

Infinite banking gets its name due to it being infinite. There is no limit on how much money you can invest and the cycle can continue for as long as you want it to. Taxes can be dramatically reduced, and money is always liquid and accessable.

Depositing, Withdrawing And Imposing Interest

Consider the Infinite Banking system as an interest bearing system. The money you deposit in your own bank grows tax-free. This is why you pay no taxes on withdrawals as long as it is setup and treated properly.

The money is 100% liquid. This means you can take out the money whenever you want to. This money comes out as a loan, which gives us some added benefits when we borrow and when we retire. The benefit of taking the amount out as a loan is that the money keeps on growing. Here’s an example:

Let’s say, you have $100,000 in your banking system and you take out $25,000 for home remodeling, $2,500 to buy a lawn mower, and $10,000 for business purposes.

Now, even though you have borrowed this money out of your banking system, the amount continues to grow inside of your Infinite Banking policy.

Many who do this will choose to pay themselves back at a higher interest rate than the required amount. Now, the interest you pay will actually be in your favor and go in, as extra money, into the Infinite Banking policy.

By the time you pay the whole interest and loan amount, you will have more money in the bank and growing at a reasonable compound interest rate.

When money is borrowed out, it is treated as a loan to yourself. What interest rate would you want to earn on your money? It’s up to you to either follow the market interest rate or come up with your own interest rate. Experts believe that an interest rate of 5% to 10% is viable. Paying a higher interest rate will create a better future for yourself and your family.

So, you make a plan and set monthly principal amounts along with a set interest rate. This way, you keep on adding money into your banking system with interest and that money continues to grow with tax advantages. When done correctly, it can be a huge win-win for your situation.

This way, for every purchase you make, you increase your principal amount along with compound interest.

Benefits Of Infinite Banking

Non Correlated Assets: This investment option is non correlated. Meaning, there’s no ties to any shares or stock market. Hence, no fluctuations are observed throughout the investment period.

Tax Advantages: We can avoid taxes indefinitely when done correctly. This is because, as long as the life insurance policy is in effect, taxes are never owed. When you die, money is transferred from the Infinite Banking policy to your heirs tax free. This is the biggest drawback of other options such as IRAs and many consider this to be Infinite Banking’s biggest strength.

You’re The Boss and Have Total Control over Your Money: When it comes to other investment options, you have no control over your money. Infinite Banking offers you full control. You can borrow money whenever you like, and can charge interest as well. You can also borrow money from your policy for other investments when you feel they are a good option.

Bank Balance Growth: For every time that you withdraw money, your principal amount increases when you pay it back with compound interest. Why? Because you are paying yourself back with principal amount along with interest.

Like every other investment option, IBC has its downfalls too.

Large Part Of Income May Be Required: To start this banking system, you will have to have a good amount of cash. You cannot start your own bank with $10. You should have at least 100 dollars a month, minimum, to start your own banking system.

You Need To Be Strict And Disciplined: The whole plan will fail if you get weak and do not pay the interest as agreed upon, or if you stop putting money into the policy too early. Usually, it takes 5-7 years to get an Infinite Banking policy running efficiently.

Infinite Banking is not a cure all for financial problems. However, it does provide a safe alternative to market based investments.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t represent the views of IWB.

Is it risky to invest in the stock market?

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Currently less than 2% of India’s population invest in stock market. So, the point is obvious that it is risky, or else I would expect everyone to jump in it if it gives risk-free better returns than bank FDs.

  • But the question is how risky??

Let us get to pure mathematics and do some data crunching.

There are 5828 stocks listed in BSE. And if you talk about last one year returns:

  • 455 stocks gave more than 100% returns ( 7.8% ).
  • 921 stocks gave more than 50% returns (15.8% ).
  • 1774 stocks gave positive returns (30.44%).
  • So, one year back if you had randomly picked a stock , there would be only 30% c.

Curation markets with infinite staking

Extending the bandwidth of token-curated registry designs.

TCRs are a crypto-economic primitive for distributed curation. The hordes are falling in love with it. Some have predicted there’ll be a 1000 live TCRs this year. Others believe they’re overhyped and bet many examples will be wed out soon. This text will try to show how both sides can be right.

On social scalability

TCRs have some well known limitations. First, the utility they provide needs to be above a “minimum economy size”. How much of its+140B annual spending is the digital advertising industry willing to redirect to AdChain-verified domains — what’s the sum of value applicants to the the registry will be staking to compete for? How much of the billionaire crypto investment industry are VCs willing to reallocate to tokens which happen to be in the Messari registry?

This requirement is not about the size of a list, but rather the economic value behind it. A short grocery list is unlikely to hold enough value to attract waves of applicants — unless it pertains to the Queen’s weekly supermarket plans.

Besides this “ minimum economy size”, needed to drive new applicants and incentivise curators (token holders) through price increases, there’s the issue of a “ maximum bandwidth”. It’s infeasible that a curatorship base will keep growing forever to afford adjudicating over an ever growing number of items. An interesting unknown with TCRs is just how large they can become.

�� The canonical TCR: a narrow set of applications

TCRs are simple sorting machines. Black & white, binary registries: either you’re in, or out. They are a good fit for lists whose focal point is very objective, application has a reason to be costly, and curation expertise is neither too cheap nor too expensive. Even better if membership is capped, or naturally limited. Few real-world, valuable (that people would actually pay for) curation engines satisfy these constraints.

  • Objective focal point & truth: the propose-challenge game must be able to converge towards a truthful outcome, one that’s unquestionable but previously not wide open or not consensual (otherwise it may be simpler to just use an oracle).
  • Publicly observable evidence, cheap to adjudicate over : on one extreme, this leads to curatorship at zero marginal cost (e.g. “are this list’s websites all cookie-free?”), work that will likely be done by machines. On another extreme, we get to work that’s too expensive, and will more likely be done by an expert alone (e.g. “are the diamonds registered in this list all above 20 carats?”). TCRs are fit for anything in between, with specific shortcomings when it comes to highly controversial issues.
  • Justifying costly applications: a key aspect is the stake or fee (in the case of Messari) required to apply for a listing, since this is the money that ultimately moves curators. There has to be some unique value in the registry from the point of view of new entrants. Note that such cost ideally can be staked from other forms of non-financial capital, in order to allow for potentially more inclusive registries.
  • Capped or limited membership: lists with a naturally defined cap can benefit from a constant or ever-growing churn as they approach saturation and keep generating interest from potential applicants. This applies to social status tiers such as schools, clubs, VIP events, premium catalogues, and even charity, where social status signalling means philanthropists basically “spend to escalate” between tiers.

Curation markets vs. Token-curated registries

Curation Markets are a variant of Token Curated Registries that aim to achieve richer signalling (some people would rather take the first as a broader definition that encompasses the second).

By translating curatorship into a non-discrete stake-based game, we can make for a continuous vetting system as opposed to a binary one. Think “grades of approval” (0 to 1), instead of the straightforward “yes” or “no” (0 or 1). Curation markets are more flexible, though even less battle-tested, than TCRs.

♾ Adding stakes, or “faites vos jeux”

The AdChain team has already discussed the incorporation of a prediction market to enrich signalling in the original TCR design. The 1.1 version even hints at the concept of “liquid trust pools”. Here we’ll propose an additional feature to the canonical Registry.sol contract: the possibility to add stakes towards any item in the registry. It can reduce the entrance barrier and cost to curate information, potentially increasing the throughput or bandwidth of the propose-challenge mechanism.

  • Each item i in the registry is associated with staked_i tokens, that signal belief in the item’s permanence in the list; and challenge_i tokens, that are staked as a signal of belief on the removal of the item.
  • To add a new item to the list, the applicant needs to stake at least MIN_DEPOSIT tokens to the stake_i .

To simplify, we set the applyStageLen to zero, effectively morphing this phase into an indefinitely extended stakingStage: an item is by default in the list from the moment it’s applied, and can be challenged for removal at any point thereon. This represents a tradeoff of security for scalability.

  • While an item is in the registry but not being voted on, others can freely add tokens to either staked_i or challenge_i . This is the ” faites vos jeux” period, or the stakingStage.
  • As soon as “certain conditions are met” ( see section below), the stakingStageends, and the commitStage for the PLCR face-off voting begins.
  • Voting works just as in the canonical TCR: there are pre-fixed commitStageLen and revealStageLenperiods, during which any token holder can participate, whereas votes are stake-weighted and obfuscated via the PLCR scheme.
  • After the revealStageends, votes are tallied. In the case of a delisting, dispensed tokens (a dispensationPct of all staked_i including the original listing owner + further stakers) are shared among challenge_i “counterstakers”, and the remaining staked_i tokens are shared among those who voted for a “remove”; in the opposite case, mutatis mutandis, and the original stake_i stakers win.

One problem with the “ there is a fixed stake that can be challenged by matching that stake” approach of the canonical TCR is that it’s more attractive to challenge “easy” items, i.e. those with a high probability of either winning or losing the challenge. Items that are somehow “ambiguous” may never be put to vote simply because challengers will go for the low-hanging fruits, which hold equal rewards for less risks.

The schema proposed above tries to address this issue by allowing for more granular signalling. Non-controversial items are expected to attract more stakes, increasing the “honeypot”, but also the amount of people the winnings will have to be shared among, in the perspective of counterstakers, making effective payouts lower.

Risk-taking is rewarded since optimising for the biggest “honeypots” with the less amount of people to share with means aiming to vote against the majority of stakers or counterstakers, in cases where the difference between both sides of the “faites vos jeux” prediction market is high (big honeypot, one side with few people). The most profitable opportunities require the most gut, too: once the voting that determines the payout is obscured, rational actors will likely assume the majority of voters will follow the prediction market signalling, making it tougher to stake on the other side.

To be more precise, given a subjective probability of P_i that an item will be voted to remain in the list, the expected payout for each staked token is (disregarding opportunity costs):

Rational stakers will add to staked_i if this value is > 0 , and to challenge_i if this value is . If we oversimplify and assume that P_i is the same value for all token holders, there is a natural equilibrium where P_i * challenge_i/staked_i = 0 , or challenge_i/staked_i = P_i

Divergences from this natural equilibrium represent arbitrage opportunities for curators. The description is grossly underspecified, but hints at how more sophisticated signalling can happen through stakes and counterstakes.

Indefinite application stage, random ‘challenging’

When does the stakingStage end, and an item’s listing goes into the commit Stage? Given the considerations above, putting listees randomly to be voted upon seems feasible. We outline three possible approaches:

  • Initiating the commit Stage for all items on which the MIN_DEPOSIT is met by “ faites vos jeux” challenges, i.e. where challenge_i >= MIN_DEPOSIT , at every timed round — this is close to how the canonical TCR works.
  • Initiating the commit Stage for every item on which the stake_i is met by “ faites vos jeux” challenges, i.e. where challenge_i >= stake_i .
  • Selecting randomly, among these, a predefined percentage to be actually voted on, at every timed round, challenge_i – stake_i being a factor of the probability of each item being picked. The percentage can vary according to the amount of new applicants in the list.

�� Prediction markets & holographic consensus

Large lists suffer from a “bandwidth”, or “throughput” limitation in their propose-challenge mechanism. To maintain the level of diligence over an ever-growing registry, voter turnout must rise accordingly.

With the proposed scheme, we get effectively to a prediction market with regards to outcome of votes. This invokes Matan Field’s idea of holographic consensus, in which predictions rather than actual votes are used to achieve objective results (in a hologram, every piece contains the information about the whole). The decision to keep or delist an item is only occasionally exerted by a plenary among all token holders (which keeps the prediction market in good behaviour). In most cases, “professional” speculators do just as fine, betting on the outcome of voting and reflecting the will of the majority.

�� Conclusion

The simplicity of TCRs is definitely a feature. But some corollaries of the design likely deserve further iteration. The pattern is new, and has already seen a lot of evolution, from the addition of a new parameter to radical redesign proposals. There’s no reason to assume it’s set in stone.

Besides all those who come to die before existing, the distributed curated registries that thrive will likely have to adapt ferociously to achieve proper protocol-market fit. We believe these ones will eventually spawn their own sub-categorising and self-governing mechanisms. And that’s how both predictions shared in the beginning of this text may be true at the same time. Reviews: Infinite Market, Another Risky Investment

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(Bloomberg) — From London townhouses to Parisian apartments, some of the world’s richest homeowners are turning to their real estate holdings to access cash.Enness, a mortgage broker that caters to the wealthy, said more clients are seeking loans backed by real estate to help them repay other debt, invest in businesses and snap up cheap assets in the wake of a pandemic-driven rout of global markets.One Asian family drew down about 40 million pounds ($50 million) against a collection of homes in London’s upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood to fund property purchases and private equity investments in the U.K. A Middle Eastern client borrowed 15 million pounds against a plot on the city’s north side to acquire other sites. An owner from Eastern Europe is tapping liquidity from his Paris home.“We have individuals from all over the world contacting us for this very purpose,” said Islay Robinson, chief executive officer of London-based Enness. “There is an abundance of mortgage finance available, and using real estate to secure a funding line can open plenty of opportunity — especially if you are borrowing at record low rates.”Quentin Marshall, head of private banking at Weatherbys, said many of its clients are doing the same. They’re borrowing to diversify holdings and to avoid dismantling existing portfolios when markets are down.“People have got other investment assets that they don’t want to disturb,” Marshall said. “Rather than seek to do anything on that side of their balance sheet they are looking to borrow.”Attractive AssetReal estate is one of the largest asset classes held by rich families, comprising more than a fifth of holdings at family offices, according to a survey by UBS Group AG and Campden Research. They’re often not heavily mortgaged — if at all — making it an attractive asset to leverage.The ability of the wealthy to unlock home equity contrasts with the wider housing market, where new lending has dried up because in-person property valuations, a cornerstone of the process, have ground to a halt. U.K. home sales plunged by two-thirds in the week ended April 4, compared with the five-year average, according to real estate consultant Knight Frank. The decline has been more muted at the top end of the market, where bespoke deals and lower loan-to-value ratios are common.“We are operating as normal,” Marshall said.For those with sizable property empires, real estate is a cheap source of capital. Robinson said interest on a five-year loan is generally 1.5% to 3% over the Bank of England’s base rate, currently 0.1%. While global equity markets have tumbled — the MSCI All-Country World Index is down 18% this year — property values may fare better.Knight Frank forecasts London house prices will decline just 2% in 2020 before growing 6% in 2021. That relative stability has encouraged some of Robinson’s clients to restructure their debt by raising money against property to pay back loans secured by stock, avoiding potential margin calls.Rare DiamondsAn ability to access cash is proving key in the current climate, where some investors are seeing opportunities after weeks of falling equity prices. A variety of assets have been collateralized. Art-financing firms have made loans against works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and rare diamonds. Like property, valuations for fine art don’t necessarily correlate with equities.In some cases, wealthy families have even started lending to banks. Credit Suisse Group AG turned to its own wealthy clients to bolster its ability to lend as markets sank last month.Investors with large real estate holdings have plenty of flexibility in times like these, according to Robinson.“We have more options than you would expect at this stage of the cycle.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Oil plunges as Saudi Arabia, Russia output deal remains elusive

WTI crude had plunged 60 percent from its Jan. 6 peak through Wednesday as the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia exacerbated a supply glut while the COVID-19 pandemic crushed demand.

JPMorgan Fires Credit Trader and Cuts Staff Bonuses for WhatsApp Use

(Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. punished more than a dozen traders for using WhatsApp at work, firing one and cutting bonus payments for the rest.Edward Koo, who had spent almost 20 years at the firm and was put on leave in January, was formally dismissed after JPMorgan concluded he broke company rules by creating a WhatsApp group and using it to discuss market chatter with other trading employees, according to people with knowledge of the matter.Koo traded corporate bonds and credit derivatives. The cut to bonuses sparked outrage among subordinates who followed Koo’s lead in using the channel, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.A JPMorgan spokesperson declined to comment. Koo didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.Messages on the WhatsApp service are encrypted from start to finish, and can’t easily be monitored by Wall Street firms’ compliance departments, a problem for companies that need to make sure their employees aren’t engaging in illegal activity such as fraud or insider trading.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

U.S. senator to liquidate individual stock shares after coronavirus flap

U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler said on Wednesday she would liquidate her individual stock share positions after the wealthy Republican and her husband were criticized over sales of millions of dollars in stock during the coronavirus outbreak. Loeffler, who was appointed to her Senate seat in January by Georgia’s governor, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In a Wall Street Journal opinion column on Wednesday, Loeffler said she was not changing her investment strategy because she has to.

Prepare for massive new opportunities in stocks as the response to the coronavirus reshapes the economy

There will be a big shift in the economy, helping the likes of biotechnology and semiconductor stocks.

Fed Is Seizing Control of the Entire U.S. Bond Market

(Bloomberg Opinion) — The Federal Reserve is not leaving any corner of the U.S. bond market behind in this crisis.There’s no other way to interpret the central bank’s sweeping measures announced Thursday, which together provide as much as $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. It will wade into the $3.9 trillion U.S. municipal-bond market to an unprecedented degree, can now purchase “fallen angel” bonds from companies that have recently lost their investment-grade ratings, and has expanded its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to include top-rated commercial mortgage-backed securities and collateralized loan obligations.The details matter. Here’s what’s new and significant for bond markets:Municipal Liquidity FacilityThis is new and close to what I’ve argued for over the past year. The Fed’s facility will buy muni debt directly from issuers that’s sold for cash-flow purposes and matures no later than 24 months from the date of issuance. I had figured that for simplicity the central bank would make this available only to states, but the Fed decided that in addition to states and Washington, D.C., it would also buy notes from cities with more than 1 million residents and counties with more than 2 million.The Treasury Department is making an initial $35 billion equity investment, and the vehicle can snap up as much as $500 billion of eligible debt.At first glance, this looks well done. The parameters are probably enough that it won’t break the muni market, while it should force down short-term borrowing costs and allow states and large localities to raise a lot of cash in a hurry. That’s what’s needed as much as anything during the coronavirus pandemic.Primary/Secondary Market Corporate Credit FacilitiesI said the Fed should never buy junk bonds. My Bloomberg Opinion colleague Noah Smith said speculative-grade borrowers need a lifeline, too.The central bank split the difference. It changed the parameters of both of its corporate credit facilities to include fallen angels that were investment grade just a few weeks ago but lost those ratings because of the intentional economic shutdown. The specific wording is this: “Issuers that were rated at least BBB-/Baa3 as of March 22, 2020, but are subsequently downgraded, must be rated at least BB-/Ba3 at the time the Facility makes a purchase.”That’s a potential boon to the likes of Ford Motor Co., which became the largest fallen angel on March 25 after both Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global ratings dropped its $35.8 billion of debt into speculative grade. Overall, the yield difference between double-B and triple-B rated debt has ballooned to 290 basis points from as little as 38 basis points in December.That spread will likely tighten if high-yield investors need not fret about downgrades causing a supply glut. Indeed, the largest exchange-traded fund tracking the high-yield market surged by the most since January 2009 on Thursday. It didn’t hurt that the Fed also said it might buy a small amount of ETFs “whose primary investment objective is exposure to U.S. high-yield corporate bonds.”The two facilities combined could reach up to $750 billion in size — a huge bite out of the corporate-bond market. Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan FacilityThe Fed’s TALF has even more rigid parameters than the muni and corporate facilities. The most notable carve-out in Thursday’s announcement appears to be for commercial mortgage-backed securities.All the eligible securities for this vehicle must be rated triple-A and have been issued on or after March 23, with the one exception of CMBS. Rather, the Fed can buy only legacy CMBS issued before that date that are tied to real property in the U.S. or its territories. CMBS investors and even a group of bipartisan lawmakers have been pounding the table for inclusion in TALF after the commercial real-estate market was inundated with margin calls and forced selling late last month.The Fed can now also purchase top-rated tranches of new CLOs. That market was already showing signs of thawing, with Apollo Global Management Inc. marketing a $500 million CLO just this week. This announcement should further keep triple-A CLO spreads in check. TALF will initially make up to $100 billion of loans available, fully secured by eligible asset-backed securities. ***All this, of course, is in addition to the Fed’s relentless purchases of U.S. Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities. BlackRock Inc. said on Wednesday that the central bank’s balance sheet would most likely grow to more than $10 trillion in the coming year from $4.2 trillion at the start of 2020 and would potentially exceed 50% of nominal U.S. gross domestic product.“Our emergency measures are reserved for truly rare circumstances such as those we face today,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a webcast Thursday. “When the economy is well on its way back to recovery, and private markets and institutions are once again able to perform their vital functions of channeling credit and supporting economic growth, we will put these emergency tools away.”Calling the Fed’s actions “throwing the kitchen sink” at the bond markets seems like a huge understatement. It’s extending its reach into everything, which is probably fine for now. The tricky part will be knowing when and how to let go.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

3 High-Powered Dividends Stocks With Over 7% Dividend Yield

After weeks of historic uncertainty, global stock markets are quickly settling down from now what is now nearly a month of record share price volatility. It appears that social distancing is helping slow new cases of the coronavirus, and there is hope that the global economy will return back to normal. Many stocks have bounced significantly from their lows because of this hope, but there are still plenty of deals to be had.Some well capitalized energy firms, which are already operating in uncertain times as many economies around the world remain in standby mode from the social distancing required to keep covid-19 at bay, are also having to deal with a dramatic drop in oil prices. This was brought by production disagreements between major producing countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, and a major oversupply of oil. In many parts of the industry, the companies that generate strong cash flows also have generous dividend payouts.But not all energy companies are created equal. The below firms are not directly dependent on oil prices for their profits and cash flow that they use for dividend payments. The sudden (but temporary) drop demand is certainly a near-term concern, but should improve quickly as people return to work. A recent screen in TipRanks database helped uncover important details on these three high-powered dividend stocks. Let’s take a closer look.Valero Energy Corp (VLO)Valero is a pure play refiner. In its words, it has “premiere assets and low cost operations.” As one of the largest refiners out there, it’s hard to argue with them. Its 15 refineries support 3.2 million barrels per day (BPD) and its has over 3,000 miles of pipelines to market and distribute the fuel it makes. It’s a disciplined capital allocator, and though the current environment is adversely affecting demand, conditions should soon return back to more normal conditions.RBC Capital’s Brad Heffern has Valero on its “Global Energy Best Bets Ideas” list and believes that the firm is “positioned to take advantage of global crude oversupply and a low position on the cost curve.” It also cited the “high complexity” of Valero’s refining operations, which is a good thing as it allows it to tactically shift refining to areas seeing higher demand, and/or better margins.Speaking of the dividend, Heffern sees “less risk of a dividend cut” compared to the peer group. Indeed, in the previous three fiscal years Valero has generated average operating cash flow of around $5 billion. Subtracting out an average of $1.5 billion to grow and maintain its extensive refiner facilities has left about $3.5 billion annually to buy back stock and pay the dividend. The dividend requires $1.5 billion, which is right at its target to pay out 40% to 50% of that free cash flow. So, looking back there appears to be plenty of cushion to fund and support the dividend payout. Overall, annualized, Valero’s dividend comes out to $3.92, giving a yield of 8.5%.Unsurprisingly, Heffern rates Valero shares a Buy along with a $59.00 price target — 15% upside from current levels. (To watch Heffern’s track record, click here)Wolfe Research said it even more succinctly in a recent research note on Valero. Lead analyst Sam Margolin sees “ample liquidity, no [debt] maturities near term, and upside leverage with dividend growth.” We like the vote of confidence, and patience in the current environment that should only continue to settle down.All in all, among of the 10 analysts who’ve ventured an opinion on Valero in the last month, each and every one of them put a “buy” rating on the stock. The overwhelming consensus is that Valero shares should be worth $75.44 per share over the next 12 months. So, the message is clear: Valero is a Strong Buy. (See Marathon Petroleum stock analysis on TipRanks)Kinder Morgan (KMI)Oil and gas pipeline operator Kinder Morgan stresses that its business is driven by fee-based arrangements that are “entitled to payment regardless of throughput.” This implies its business is not driven by the swings in commodity prices and should insulate it from the current dramatic drop in oil prices.Also importantly, UBS analyst Shneur Gershuni detailed in a recent report that 80% of Kinder’s business is tied to natural gas and refined products, not crude oil. Gershuni also cited Kinder’s balance sheet strength, which was relayed in a discussion with Kinder CEO Steven Kean. He noted that Kinder still plans to boost its dividend another 25% this year, continuing a trend to boost its annual payout. The dividend is currently $1 per share and will go up to $1.25 for a current dividend yield of 7%, based off the current share price of $14.72.It’s not surprising, though, why Gershuni reiterated his Buy rating on KMI shares along with a $26 price target. Should the target be met, investors pockets will jingle with returns in the shape of 77%. (To watch Gershuni’s track record, click here)Turning to Kinder’s cash flow statement, its bias toward self-funding its operations is apparent. Operating cash flow production has average just below $5 billion over the past three annual periods. Capital expenditure, or the investment to grow and maintain its pipeline operations, was $2.3 billion, leaving $2.7 billion in free cash flow. That suggests there is ample room to continue and expand the payout to shareholders. Kinder is also paying down its debt over time. All good signs.When looking at Wall Street’s stance, Gershuni is not the only bull, as TipRanks analytics showcase KMI as a Buy. Out of 12 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 8 rate KMI a Buy, while 4 suggest Hold. Meanwhile, the 12-month average price target stands at $18.58 marking a 26% upside from where the stock is currently trading. (See Kinder Morgan stock analysis on TipRanks)Marathon Petroleum (MPC)Marathon Petroleum has some diversification that, despite the past saber rattlings by activist investors, is helping it through the current economic woes brought by fighting covid-19. It is an oil refiner, energy pipeline owner and facilitator, and, best know to most consumers, operates gas stations under the Marathon and Speedway brand names.Refining operations make money based off the price differentials, or spreads, of various types of oil. For instance, heavier, dirtier oil (think Canadian oil sands or Venezuelan oil) can trade at a higher price, which can make it more profitable for refiners to, well, refine, compared to lighter (and sweeter) grades. Gasoline margins at gas stations also oscillate based off of market demand and supply. Diesel and regular gasoline spreads also impact what Marathon chooses to refine. Its complicated stuff, but Marathon has its hands around how to navigate the spreads.Income was enough to raise the dividend to 58 cents. The annual payment, $2.32, gives the stock a yield of 10%, far higher than the 2% average dividend yield found on the broader markets. Marathon has a reliable dividend history, and adjusts the payment when needed to ensure that the company can afford the dividend.Marathon had been mulling over caving to activist investor demands, but for now it is not selling its gas stations and looks to be keeping the structure of its pipelines (midstream assets) intact. In a report on March 18, research firm Jefferies sees the decision to keep its relationships with its pipeline entities as a “positive”, and noted the hiring of a new CEO (Michal Hennigan) as the removal of another overhang.Lead analyst Christopher Sighinolfi ended his most recent report by suggesting MPC is a “deeply discounted security[y] and sees catalysts in the spin out of the gas stations and stock buybacks as catalysts to push the stock back toward recent highs.As a result, Sighinolfi reiterated a Buy rating on MPC shares alongside a $74 price target, which implies nearly 200% upside from current levels. (To watch Sighinolfi’s track record, click here)What does the rest of the Street have to say? As it turns out, other analysts are in agreement. 7 Buys and 3 Hold ratings add up to a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The $62.11 average price target puts the upside potential below Sighinolfi’s forecast at $62.11. (See Marathon Petroleum stock analysis on TipRanks)Disclosure: The author has a long position in MPC and KMI.To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Yelp lays off 1,000 employees, furloughs another 1,000

San Francisco-based Yelp, whose business model is reliant on other small businesses, has seen its customer base decline during the COVID-19 shutdown.

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