Dividend Stocks

Companies that pay out a portion of their profits as dividends are known as dividend stocks. This type of stock can serve as a reliable income stream; however, this reliability can come at a price, especially if the dividends paid are a great sum.

What is a stock dividend?

A stock dividend is a portion of a company’s profits owed to stockholders paid out to shareholders on a regular basis.

Are dividend stocks worth it?

Dividend stocks can be a passive source of income, but given that dividend yields are relatively low, investors will need to make a significant investment to see sizable revenue. For example, even if you own $500,000 in dividend stocks, if the yield is 3% you’ll only be making $15,000 per year. For some investors, that half-million might be better off invested elsewhere.

How many dividend stocks should I own?

This depends on your investment goals and approach. A conventional rule of thumb is that a diverse portfolio should include six to ten different dividend-paying stocks.

What are some popular dividend stocks?

Popular dividend stocks that tend to have high yields include:

  • Campbell Soup (CPB)
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
  • Novartis (NVS)
  • SunLife Financial (SLF)
  • Lowes (LOW)

Browse more in Public’s Cash Cows Theme, which includes a sampling of cash-rich companies that pay regular dividends.

What is a good dividend yield?

A solid dividend yield in the S&P 500 is 2.5 percent. It’s important to remember that the stock price can grow significantly more than your dividend yield, so that the appreciation of your investment is greater than the amount you make from dividends.

Can you lose money on dividend stocks?

There are some risks to investing in dividend stocks. There’s always the possibility that your investment can flounder or go bankrupt entirely. Companies aren’t bound by law to pay dividends, so they may choose to cut or eliminate dividends entirely at their discretion. If you’re just banking on dividends, inflation may eat away at your profit as well. Inflation is what happens when the purchasing power of currency goes down relative to the cost of goods and services.

Do you pay taxes on dividends?

Since dividends are a form of income, you have to pay taxes on them. This is the case even if you reinvest your dividends back into the same company or fund that the dividends came from.

How much do I need to invest to live off of dividends?

Historically, dividend growth outpaces inflation, which is good news considering that inflation can functionally make your income worth less than what you put into it. Additionally, stock dividends grow over time, so the longer you hold onto your investment, the greater your return. Given the market’s historic upward trend, this may be a good strategy for a long-term investment.

Say you bought 1,000 shares of stock each valued at $100, held on to them long enough, and reinvested your dividends as well, you could earn a significant income stream over time. That’s a lot of what-ifs, however. Most people’s contributions to their retirement funds are more gradual, so your revenue stream will not be as significant as someone investing a lump sum of $100,000 when they’re 30. Nonetheless, you can significantly augment your income with consistent investments into dividend stocks over time.

Bottom line

Dividends are a tempting offer in the world of investments, but in order for them to generate a meaningful return, you also have to make a meaningful investment. That being said, just because it takes time to reap the rewards doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

Pam Velazquez is Senior Marketing Manager at Public.com.

The above content is provided is paid for by Public and is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute investment advice or any other kind of professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. Before taking action based on any such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not endorse any third parties referenced within the article. Market and economic views are subject to change without notice and may be untimely when presented here. Do not infer or assume that any securities, sectors or markets described in this article were or will be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. There is a possibility of loss. Historical or hypothetical performance results are presented for illustrative purposes only.