Has there ever been a more lucrative time for dividend-stock investors?
Short answer: NO.
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More companies are paying dividends than ever. What’s more, these dividend payers are paying more than ever.
Dividends hit a record high in 2018.
Global corporations paid $1.37 trillion in dividends last year, a 7.8% increase over dividends paid in 2017, according to data compiled by Janus Henderson (NYSE: JHG).
As we all know, records are made to be broken. 2019 should end with even more dividends paid.
Janus Henderson expects global dividends to rise another 4.2% year over year. By the time we roll into 2020, global corporations will likely have paid over $1.43 trillion in dividends to their shareholders.
No surprise here.
North American corporations, led by those with headquarters in the United States, are the most prodigious dividend payers.
The corporations located on our continent paid $509.9 billion in total dividends last year. They’re sure to pay more this year.
Dividend-income investors will always want to vet the North American landscape for opportunities. But don’t stop at the border.
More foreign corporations are hopping aboard the dividend-paying bandwagon. Indeed, Janus Henderson’s data show that the greatest dividend growth occurs elsewhere.
Emerging markets (Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia), surprisingly enough, are leading the charge in dividend payments. Total dividends paid increased by 17.5% last year.
A record is sure to emerge in emerging markets this year. Dividend payments from these formerly speculative hamlets were up a stunning 29.4% in the first quarter of 2019.
Of course, not all dividends are built alike.
Should you go with dividend growth or high yield?
There’s a difference.
How do you know that your dividends are secure?
I’ll lend a guiding hand.
First, consider a few simple criteria:
- Earnings growth
- Positive cash flow
- Dividend growth
- Continued dividend performance during a crisis
- Historically high yield supported by fundamental
And then consider a few possible pitfalls:
- Debt rising as a percentage of equity
- A massive increase in debt (frequently related to a dubious acquisition)
- Negative operating cash flow
- Dividend payment ratio rising as a percentage of earnings
- A dividend yield rising on a falling share price
- A dividend cut
If you’re still unsure, relax. We’ve already done much of the heavy lifting.
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