TrackYourDividends’
Guide to Dividend Investing

By investing in dividend stocks, you are joining an ever-growing group of people who expect more from their portfolios. Dividend investing is a way to supercharge your portfolio because it enables you to add income on top of your capital gains. 

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What is a Dividend?

A dividend is a portion of a company’s profit that is typically issued to shareholders as a cash payment. Not all companies pay dividends, but many find it to be a good use of their profits and pay dividends on a regular basis. 

There are numerous benefits to investing in dividends. Dividend income not only offers investors a steady stream of income, it also helps them to fight off the erosion of purchasing power created by high inflation. 

Dividends have been around since the 1600s, when they were first offered by the Dutch East India Company. Since then, they have only grown in popularity and usefulness. In fact, from 1930 through 2019, dividends contributed 42 percent of the total return of the S&P 500. In more recent years, particularly with the development of dividend funds and ETFs, the number of investors seeking dividend income has rapidly increased.

When is Dividend Income Paid?

When it comes to dividend investing, timing is everything. When you buy and sell the stock can have a significant impact on whether you will be eligible to receive the dividend payment. It is important to understand the crucial dates that will affect you. 

Additionally, how long you hold the stock will determine whether your dividend is an ordinary or a qualified dividend. This categorization determines how your dividend income will be taxed. Learn more about dividend taxes.

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How to Find the Best Dividend Paying Stock

When it comes to finding the best dividend paying stock for your portfolio, you may be tempted to focus solely on yield. After all, dividend income is the primary reason people invest in dividend stocks. But keep in mind, there are many ways to analyze yield. We recommend using several key dividend ratios to take a multi-faceted look at stocks you are considering. 

In addition to analyzing yield, there are other factors to consider when you are looking for the best dividend paying stocks. For example, you will most certainly benefit by evaluating basic measures of a company’s financial health. 

Moreover, we believe companies that have a consistent history of increasing payments make better long-term investments than those that simply have a higher yield today. Luckily, there are many lists that give you a quick and easy way to identify these historically great companies.

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More Than Dividend Stocks

Finding the best dividend paying stocks will require some research and due diligence on your part, but your portfolio is more than just the stocks you buy. Portfolio construction is how you blend your investments together to give you the greatest potential to meet your objectives while also managing your risk. Having a working knowledge of assets classes, allocation, and diversification will help you become a better dividend investor. 

As an investor seeking dividend income, you are also likely to hold more income-focused assets. Some of these products are more complex and can be confusing. Investing in something you do not understand adds an avoidable risk to your portfolio.  We recommend taking a comprehensive look at some of the most common income producing investments

Compounding Benefits

Dividends allow you to earn income simply by owning a stock. This dividend income is likely to increase over time if the company increases the dividend yield, the share price goes up, or you accumulate additional shares. One of the essential benefits of dividend investing is compounding growth over time. 

If you reinvest the money you make from dividends, you allow that money to make even more money.  Thereby creating a cycle of exponential growth over time. 

A Dividend Reinvestment Plan, more commonly known as a DRIP is an automated reinvestment strategy. Instead of receiving your dividend payment in cash, a DRIP allows you to automatically reinvest back into shares. Many investors prefer this “set it and forget it” approach. 

Whether you are an investor who is just starting to focus on dividend income, or one who has been investing in dividends for years, we’re glad you’re here. TrackYourDividends offers a wide array of screens and tools to help you get the most out of your dividend portfolio.

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