SUPERVALU (NYSE:SVU) shareholders (like Austin) had better hope there is an exception to the phrase "history doesn't repeat itself." This has been an ugly year for the grocery chain, falling around 40% in 2012 while the Dow Jones Industrials Average (INDEX: ^DJI) has climbed above 5%. While comparing an index of solid blue chips to a volatile turnaround grocer seems unfair, it highlights the opportunity costs investors are missing when they make a bet on a long-shot flyer like SUPERVALU.

The weakness this year can be attributed to three major factors: losses, debt, and same-store-sales, all of which are in the wrong place. The company has been losing money for some time now, has an enormous debt burden taken on with the 2007 acquisition of Albertson's, and has had weak same-store-sales for numerous quarters.

For all the difficulties facing the company, though, Austin thinks the future is rosy. Pressures remain, but many of the crucial levers for a big turnaround are being pulled, and big writedowns disguise an otherwise respectable performance by the company. Investing in SUPERVALU certainty isn't for the faint of heart, but with that 7% dividend you can get paid to wait while the story plays out.

As high as SUPERVALU's dividend is, though, this is a turnaround story, not a steady income stock. If you're craving big, safe dividends for your portfolio, look elsewhere. You can start with The Motley Fool's special free report outlining our nine top dependable dividend-paying stocks. It's called "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks." You can access your complimentary copy today at no cost! Just click here to discover the winners we've picked.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.