Saturday, March 31, 2012

Taking stock of dividend investing

Many investors have become fans of dividend investing in recent years. If you lived through the tech wreck of 2000, the post-9/11 markets drop and the world financial system's near-collapse in 2008, you have probably come to appreciate the simple pleasure of getting regular dividend payments from boring companies -- especially if they rise regularly.

The fact so many investors seek out dividends has been helpful in persuading more companies to return value to shareholders directly through dividends. This is important. Academic research has shown many companies do a poor job of reinvesting their profits, especially if they try to diversify by purchasing other companies in different industries. A 2003 paper in the Financial Analysts Journal (with a refreshingly non-academic title: Surprise! Higher Dividends Higher Earnings Growth) found companies that paid out more of their profits as dividends had higher growth in profits.

This may explain another interesting fact many investors are not aware of: There is a growing body of research showing you can actually beat the broad stock market by investing for dividends.  READ MORE

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