Dividend investing could be helpful for those investors who are trying to establish a viable income stream that would support their lifestyle in retirement. To get to that point however, investors have to give themselves several years of regular investing in income producing assets that they understand, before they generate enough in dividend income. While the recent financial crisis has not let the universe of dividend stocks unscatered, most diversified portfolios did not experience large drops in incomes. Dividend investing is different than traditional retirement investing strategies, since it focuses on living off the income stream generated by the portfolio and does not focus on selling a chunk of one’s portfolio each year in retirement.
There are three major factors, which will allow you to build a viable income stream in retirement.
The first one is to invest in dividend growth stocks, or companies which have followed a policy of regular dividend increases for at least ten years. While companies cannot control the dividend yields or the stock prices their securities are selling for in the public markets, they could control the amount of distributions paid to stockholders on a quarterly or annual basis. Good starting places for investors interested in researching companies with long dividend growth histories are the dividend achievers, the dividend aristocrats and the dividend champion’s lists. The goal is to include companies which raise dividends consistently in order to produce an income stream which increases at or above the average rate of inflation. Two companies which have managed to achieve that over the past four or five decades include Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Procter & Gamble (PG).
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of a range of products in the healthcare field. Johnson & Johnson owns more than 250 operating companies under 3 segments – Consumer, Pharmaceutical as well as Medical Devices and Diagnostics. Johnson & Johnson has increased its dividend for forty-seven consecutive years. This dividend aristocrat has a ten year distribution growth rate of 13.30% per year. Check my analysis of the stock. Yield: 3.60%
The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) is focused on providing branded consumer packaged goods. The Company’s products are sold in over 180 countries worldwide primarily through mass merchandisers, grocery stores, membership club stores, drug stores and in high-frequency stores, the neighborhood stores, which serve consumers in developing markets. The Company was organized into three Global Business Units: Beauty; Health and Well-Being, and Household Care. Procter & Gamble has increased its dividend for fifty-three consecutive years. This dividend aristocrat has a ten year dividend growth rate of 10.70% per year. Check my analysis of the stock. Yield: 3.10%
The Coca-Cola Company (KO) manufactures, distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups worldwide. Coca Cola has increased dividends for 48 consecutive years. This dividend aristocrat has a ten year distribution growth rate of 10.00% per year. Check my analysis of the stock. Yield: 3.30%
Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL), together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. This dividend champion has rewarded shareholders with dividend raises for 47 years in a row. The company has a ten year dividend growth rate of 12.90%. Check my analysis of the stock. Yield: 2.70%.
The second tool that would help investors increase their dividend income is the power of dividend reinvestment. During the accumulation stage, dividends should be re-invested back by purchasing more stock, which further compounds investment returns over time.
The last but not least factor includes portfolio contributions on a regular basis. The general rule of thumb is that for each dollar saved in your twenties in stocks, one would be able to generate one dollar in income in their sixties. Therefore, investing even only a small amount regularly should add to the income potential of one’s portfolio.
Let’s illustrate this point with the following example. Let’s assume that we have an investor with $1000 at the end of 1979. They have selected Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) as their investment choice and have three options to consider:
1) Spend all of their dividends and never contribute anything to the portfolio
2) Reinvest dividends in JNJ stock
3) Reinvest dividends in JNJ stock and also add $100 to the account each year
By the end of 2009 the first option would be generating almost $1169 in annual dividend income, for an yield on cost of 116.90%. The second option would be generating $2072 in annual dividend income, while the third option would be generating $3228 in annual dividend income. With the last option, the investor would have invested a total of $4000 throughout their lifetime.
To check the calculations behind the chart, open the spreadsheet from this location.
Full Disclosure: Long CL, JNJ,KO and PG
- Dividend Aristocrats List for 2010
- The case for dividend investing in retirement
- Dividend Grouping for Dividend Income
- Inflation Proof your income in retirement with Dividend Stocks
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