In a zero-interest environment, what are safe (conservative) alternatives for income?

  • Could you define "safe" here? Do you mean, for instance, no risk to principal? Insured deposits? etc. – Chris W. Rea Dec 7 '14 at 13:37

Dividends. There are blue chip companies that have paid and raised their dividends for 20 or more years. As an example: Altria (MO). There are also ETFs that specialize in such stocks such as SDY.

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anything that produces steady income will produce a "real return" (return above inflation) in a zero-interest rate environment:

  • bonds
  • rental property (or ownership through REITs)
  • dividend producing stock
  • preferred stock

Note, however, that all of these will decline in value if interest rates rise.

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