Illustration by Joel Arbaje

Investors seeking yield at a time of potentially negative interest rates can find some refuge in dividend-paying stocks. Well, not all of them.

In a low-rate world, equity investors need to be prudent—snobby, even—about their yield allocations. If there’s a recession, a utility is probably a better bet than a highly cyclical stock.

Or maybe the Federal Reserve, which has cut short-term rates twice since late July, forestalls a recession. That scenario favors more sectors and companies as the economy continues to chug along.

One sector that faces headwinds in either scenario is financials, their solid fundamentals notwithstanding. When

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