With Treasury yields at their lowest levels in 50 years, creating steady income is a high hurdle for income-seeking investors. Conventional wisdom suggests turning to safe, income-yielding investments, such as Treasuries or high-quality corporate bonds. And adding some dividend-paying stocks would achieve a little growth in addition to income.

Today, however, with 10-year Treasuries and the BarCap U.S. Aggregate both yielding less than 3%, and the S&P 500's dividend yield at 1.9%, the search for a consistent payment stream may seem daunting. Another complication is that bonds will face downward pressure on principle when interest rates eventually do rise.

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