If you’ve followed the financial news over the last few years, you’ve likely seen a lot of coverage on mergers and acquisitions.

And if you weren’t following closely, you might wonder why takeovers are such a hot topic…

Well, in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 — and fueled by ultralow interest rates — corporate earnings took off in a way not seen since the dot-com boom of the 1990s.

But after years of eye-popping earnings growth, the gravy train finally hit a speed bump in 2015. A slowdown in consumption overseas — particularly in China and Europe — hit multinational corporations hard here in the U.S.

But many firms were already hoarding mountains of cash — and had access to even more easy money with cheap credit.

So what do you do as a cash-rich company when growth slows down and you’re not sure when it’s going to pick up again, yet shareholders are clamoring for it?

You do the only thing you can to restore it quickly — you grow by acquiring your rivals and pocketing their sales, profits and cash flow.

Sure enough, we witnessed a record-breaking year for takeovers in 2015, as corporations responded to shareholder pressure to just keep growing.

Around the world, $4.3 trillion of merger deals were made, according to Dealogic.

That’s $4.3 trillion worth of profits for shareholders that were savvy enough to be holding onto shares of a takeover target before a deal was announced.

If you’ve ever owned shares of a company that received an unsolicited takeover offer, you understand the excitement of waking up on a Monday morning and seeing you brokerage account swell instantly by 30%, 50%, even 75% or more.

If you’ve never had that experience that’s about to change. Our sole mission with The Takeover Alert is to identify the market’s most compelling takeover targets before a deal is announced to hand you lightning fast and meaningful paydays.

Zach Scheidt

Zach Scheidt is the editor of Lifetime Income Report, Income on Demand, Buyout Millionaires Club, and Family Wealth Circle — investment advisories dedicated to finding Wall Street’s best yields. He brings to the table impeccable investment management experience and a solid record of identifying oversized payout opportunities. Zach previously edited Income and Dividend Report, which...

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