Royalty & Associates

(812) 346-1456

A Primer on Dividends

Tip: Dividend Dates. There are four important dates for dividends:
Declaration Date: The company announces when it will pay a dividend and how much the dividend will be worth.
Ex-Dividend Date: Shareholders of record before this date are entitled to receive the next dividend payment.
Record Date: On this date, the list of stockholders is finalized.
Payable Date: On this date, the taxable dividend is paid to shareholders.

When interest rates reach historic lows, some investors in search of income-generating investments turn to dividend-yielding stocks.

Dividends are taxable payments made by a company to its shareholders. When a company makes a profit, that money can be put to two uses—it can be reinvested in the business or it can be paid out to the company’s shareholders in the form of a dividend. Some dividends are paid quarterly and others are paid monthly.

Dividend Ratios

Investors track dividend-yielding stocks by examining a pair of ratios.

Dividend per share measures how much cash an investor is scheduled to receive for each share of dividend-yielding stock. It is calculated by adding up the total dividends paid out over a year (not including special dividends) and dividing by the number of shares of stock that are outstanding.

Dividend yield measures how much cash an investor is scheduled to receive for each dollar invested in a dividend-yielding stock. It is calculated by dividing the dividends per share by the share price.

Other Dividend Considerations

Investing in dividend-paying stocks can create a stream of taxable income. But the fact that a company is paying dividends is only one factor to consider when choosing a stock investment.

Dividends can be stopped, increased, or decreased at any time. Unlike interest from a corporate bond, which is normally a set amount determined and approved by a company’s board of directors. If a company is experiencing financial difficulties, its board may reduce or eliminate its dividend for a period of time. If a company is outperforming expectations, it may boost its dividend or pay shareholders a special one-time payout.

When considering a dividend-yielding stock, focus first on the company’s cash position. Companies with a strong cash position may be able to pay their scheduled dividend without interruption. Many mature, profitable companies are in a position to offer regular dividends to shareholders as a way to attract investors to the stock.

Dividend income is currently taxed at a maximum rate of 20%.

Be cautious when considering investments that pay a high dividend. While past history cannot predict future performance, companies with established histories of consistent dividend payment may be more likely to continue that performance in the future.

In a period of low interest rates, investors who want income may want to consider all their options. Dividend-yielding stocks can generate taxable income but, like most investments, they should be carefully reviewed before you commit any dollars.

Keep in mind that the return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

The information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

Dividends Can Make a Difference

This chart shows the role dividends have played in stock market performance during the past 35 years ended December 31, 2016. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Dividends Can Make a Difference

Thomson Reuters, 2017. The S&P 500 Composite Index and S&P 500 Composite Index (Total Return) are unmanaged indices that are generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

All about how missing the best market days (or the worst!) might affect your portfolio.

You Would Rather Be...

You Would Rather Be...

Are you a thrill seeker, or content to relax in the backyard? Use this flowchart to find out more about your risk tolerance.

Keys to Investing for Retirement

Keys to Investing for Retirement

There are some key concepts to understand when investing for retirement.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

TIPS for Inflation

If you are concerned about inflation and expect short-term interest rates may increase, TIPS could be worth considering.

Measuring the Value of a Financial Advisor

Ever wonder what the real value of a financial advisor is? It’s not just added portfolio returns.

Options When Your CD Matures

Knowing your options when a CD matures can help you make a sound investment decision.

View all articles

What Is the Dividend Yield?

This calculator helps determine your pre-tax and after-tax dividend yield on a particular stock.

Taxable vs. Tax-Deferred Savings

Use this calculator to compare the future value of investments with different tax consequences.

Impact of Taxes and Inflation

Estimate the potential impact taxes and inflation can have on the purchasing power of an investment.

View all calculators

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

5 Smart Investing Principles

Principles that can help create a portfolio designed to pursue investment goals.

Keys to Investing for Retirement

There are some key concepts to understand when investing for retirement

View all presentations

Are Alternative Investments Right for You?

With alternative investments, it’s critical to sort through the complexity.

Your Personal Recovery

As the economy gathers momentum, many are waiting for their personal finances to gather momentum, too.

Jane Bond: Decoding Diversification

Agent Jane Bond is on the case, discovering how bonds diversify a portfolio.

View all videos