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Investing $250,000 in This Basket of Dividend Stocks Should Buy You 1 Whole Bitcoin by 2026

The crypto sell-off intensified over the weekend, as Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) fell below $35,000 and Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) fell close to $2,300 on Saturday. Both top cryptos are now down 50% or more from all-time highs set on Nov. 10.

Investors looking to free-roll a whole Bitcoin off dividends alone can do so by investing $250,000 into equal parts of Brookfield Renewable Corporation (NYSE: BEPC) (NYSE: BEP), Stag Industrial (NYSE: STAG), and NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG). Even if you don't have a cool quarter-million dollars lying around, all three companies have solid fundamentals and over 3.5% dividend yields. Here's what makes each dividend stock a great buy now.

Image source: Getty Images.

The perfect starter renewable-energy stock

Daniel Foelber (Brookfield Renewable): When we think of the renewable-energy industry, we often imagine solar panel manufacturers like First Solar, power optimizer and inverter technology companies like SolarEdge, or utilities like NextEra Energy. But massive utility-scale projects require financial backing, and that's where companies like Brookfield Renewable come into play.

Brookfield's investment proposition is simple. It invests in and operates a portfolio of high-quality projects and then passes along its earnings on those projects to shareholders through a stable and growing dividend.

Renewable energy has vastly underperformed oil and gas since early 2021. Part of that is due to a surge in investment leading up to 2021, both from existing players and oil and gas companies divesting away from fossil fuels to prepare for an accelerated energy transition. It's also worth mentioning that renewable equity valuations arguably got ahead of themselves in 2020. For example, the Invesco Solar ETF (NYSEMKT: TAN) rose more than 230% in 2020.

Rising interest rates threw a wet blanket on capital-intensive renewable projects that depend on debt. Inflation and supply chain issues add cost pressure and hassle to the industry, too. There are a lot of short-term headwinds ramming into the renewable industry now.

Investors who have been waiting to invest in renewables are in luck. Opening a starter position in Brookfield Renewable provides one of the easiest ways to expose your portfolio to the general growth of the industry instead of betting on a single technology or industrial company. What's more, Brookfield's 3.7% dividend yield offers a sizable passive income stream. At its 52-week low and down more than 45% from its high, Brookfield Renewable is a solid long-term buy.

A REIT focused on the industrial sector

Lee Samaha (Stag Industrial): The management team at real estate investment trust (REIT) Stag Industrial defines its focus as being the "acquisition, ownership, and operation of single-tenant industrial properties throughout the United States." As such, it's a play on growth in the industrial sector and its management to obtain properties on good yields with reliable tenants.

Stag manages the risk in its portfolio of 517 industrial properties through diversification of its customer base. No tenant accounts for more than 4% of its annualized base rental (ABR) revenue, and its top 20 tenants account for less than 20% of its ABR. For a flavor of its customer base, Amazon is its largest single customer, representing 3.8% of ABR, with FedEx and various logistics accounting for around 1%, respectively. Whichever way you look at it, this isn't a REIT that will get into significant difficulty if one or two high-profile customers get into trouble.

One of the key revenue drivers for the REIT comes from its exposure to growth from e-commerce. Around 40% of its portfolio "handles e-commerce activity," according to the company. Given the acceleration in e-commerce activity and investment created by the pandemic and social isolation measures, Stag is likely to see its tenants looking to expand.

Around 97.5% of its debt is fixed-rate, with only 15% of it maturing through 2023. As such, Stag should handle a potential rise in interest rates with ease. However, it could restrain its future growth, and rising rates will make its dividend yield relatively less attractive. Still, interest rates aren't going to 3.5% anytime soon, and Stag offers a decent way to play growth in the U.S. industrial sector.

Hit the gas and power your passive income

Scott Levine (NRG Energy): Offering investors an attractive 3.6% dividend yield, NRG Energy's stock is a worthy consideration for those looking to electrify their passive income stream. The high-yield potential, however, isn't the only reason investors should get charged up about NRG Energy. Management has articulated an interest in steadily raising the payout, targeting annual dividend growth of 7% to 9%.

Since NRG Energy, an independent power producer, excels at generating free cash flow (FCF), investors can feel confident that future dividend increases aren't going to jeopardize the company's financial health. Over the past five years, for example, NRG Energy has averaged annual FCF per share of $2.42 -- a period during which it returned an average of $0.36 per share to investors through its dividend. And management seems sure that the company will continue printing the green stuff. During an investor presentation last June, Mauricio Gutierrez, the company's president and CEO, lauded the company as "a unique consumer business that can deliver 15% to 20% annual growth in free cash flow per share over the next five years."

Another consideration for dividend-paying companies, besides FCF, is their balance sheets. Generating strong cash flow is great, but if the cash flow is merely going toward servicing a company's debt, it doesn't bode well for instilling faith in the company's ability to return cash to shareholders through the dividend. In the case of NRG Energy, the company's debt-to-equity ratio of 2 may raise a red flag for some; however, management is sensitive to the company's balance sheet, and on the third-quarter 2021 conference call, it expressed an interest in achieving an investment-grade balance sheet, representing a net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio of 2.5 to 2.75.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Foelber owns Bitcoin and Ethereum. Lee Samaha has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Scott Levine owns Brookfield Renewable Corporation Inc. and Stag Industrial. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Amazon, Bitcoin, Brookfield Renewable Corporation, Ethereum, FedEx, and Stag Industrial. The Motley Fool recommends First Solar, NextEra Energy, and SolarEdge Technologies and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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