I’m looking for passive income! Are these the best stocks to buy?

I’m looking for passive income! Are these the best stocks to buy?

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I’ve made solid strides in the past couple of years when it comes to buying stocks that will help me build a stream of second income. But I have no plans of slowing down.

The FTSE 100 tends to be where I do most of my shopping. With its average dividend yield of 3.6%, it’s easy to see why. By comparison, the FTSE 250 offers an average yield of 3.2%. Overseas, the average payout from the S&P 500‘s just 1.4%.

So I’m sticking to what I know. These two shares look like they could be smart additions to my holdings. Let me delve into them further.

Phoenix Group Holdings

Where better to start than with the business that pays the highest yield on the Footsie? That’s Phoenix Group Holdings (LSE: PHNX).

Its share price has struggled so far in 2024. While many shares have rallied, Phoenix Group’s down 6.5%. It’s also down 11.6% in the last 12 months.

But not to worry. That now means it offers investors a meaty 10.6% yield. Last year, it achieved its 2025 new business cash generation target two years ahead of schedule, delivering £1.5bn.

It further achieved over £2bn of cash generation. The business’ balance sheet’s also in good shape. Those are all major positives. As a result, in 2023, it increased its dividend by 2.5%.

High interest rates will continue to pose a threat as they impact asset valuations. More widely, the insurance sector can be very volatile. Phoenix is well-known for being a cyclical business.

But focusing on the longer term, with an ageing UK population, Phoenix Group looks like it could be in a strong position to benefit in the years to come. Looking forward, analysts forecast that earnings will grow nearly 39% a year to the end of 2026.

Taylor Wimpey

I’ve also added housebuilder Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW.) to my watchlist. It’s fared better than Phoenix Group, rising 2.8% year to date. Over the last 12 months, it’s jumped 25.7%.

That means it now yields 6.5%. Last year, its payout increased by 1.9% to 9.58p per share.

Housebuilders have struggled lately. Last year, Taylor Wimpey’s pre-tax profits fell 42.8% to £473.8m. The cost-of-living crisis has seen demand for homes decline.

What’s more, a delay in rate cuts could see it suffer in the near term. Talks of a cut in June were quickly nipped in the bud when the election was announced. It’s now looking like we’ll see the Bank of England makes it first move in August.

But when rate cuts do come, that should provide its share price with an uplift. I’m conscious about opening a position before then to benefit from a higher yield.

Lower rates should see demand rise. Management’s signalled that the property market has slowly been finding its feet in 2024, saying it had seen “continued market stability”. So some investors are optimistic that the housing sector’s turning a corner.

With that, these are two stocks I’ll most certainly be taking a closer look at in the weeks ahead.

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