Thursday, September 19, 2019

M&T Bank Corporation (MTB) Dividend Stock Analysis

M&T Bank Corporation (MTB) operates as the holding company for Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company; and Wilmington Trust, National Association that provide banking services. The last time I looked at the company was in 2008, when it had a 27 year track record of annual dividend increases.

Today, the company has increased dividends for 3 years in a row. M&T Bank kept dividends unchanged during the financial crisis, and only recently started raising them again. The bank took some TARP money, and is one of the few, if not the only TARP recipient that didn't cut dividends during the financial crisis. This is impressive, and is a testament to the strong management, which also did a very good job of keeping to a conservative loan approvals process. Most of the other major financial institutions ended up cutting or eliminating dividends. For example, everyone seems to like J.P. Morgan (JPM) today. However, J.P. Morgan cut its dividends during the financial crisis to maintain liquidity.

The last dividend increase was in August 2018, when the company raised is quarterly dividend by 25% to $1/share. Unfortunately, the board of directors has missed the opportunity to raise dividends in August 2019. In their defense, they raised dividends twice in 2018. If they raise dividends anytime by the end of 2020, the company will establish a five year track record of annual dividend increases.

Between 2008 and 2018, the bank has managed to boost earnings from $5/share to $12.74/share. The company is expected to generate $13.82/share in 2019.

M&T Bank has delivered strong performance because of its excellent underwriting, efficient operations, and acquisitions.

The company had a large exposure to real estate loans during the financial crisis, but stayed afloat and was one of the few financial institutions that did not cut dividends between 2007 and 2009. Rather, it maintained dividends unchanged, and recently started increasing them.

That’s because the company has sound underwriting standards, and focuses on risk adjusted yields, rather than chasing business and yield.

In the short-term, the decrease in interest rates and the interest rate inversion will be a headwind to profits. That would be offset by long-term growth in deposits and loans. The business is highly cyclical, and exposed to the ups and downs of the economy. During the next recession, the amount of loans will decrease, and the amount of charge-offs will increase. A company like M&T Bank with sound underwriting will experience a lower drop in profitability than peers. I like the deposit base, which tends to grow over time, and provides a float like instrument for the bank to use, as the average depositor is not earning much from their accounts. The decrease in interest rates will increase refinancing of loans, which could shrink interest margins in the short-run.

There has been a change at the top, as the long-time CEO who instilled the culture of smart underwriting died in 2017. However, many analysts believe that the people that remain at the bank have been trained under the right culture, and will continue doing the right thing.

Approximately one-third of business is in fee-based products, which scale well.

An increased penetration of online banking will result in a lesser need for branches, which could reduce costs, and increase profits down the road.

The number of shares outstanding has increased between 2008 and 2018. Since 2016, the bank has managed to use share buybacks to reduce the number of shares outstanding. The general growth in shares was due to major acquisitions done in 2011 and 2015. M&T Bank could likely continue its long-term earnings growth through strategic acquisitions done at the right price.

The dividend payout ratio has been declining over the past decade, as earnings per share have been increasing, while the dividend was mostly flat during that time period. I believe that there is ample opportunity for M&T Bank to boost dividends above the rate of earnings growth over the next decade. The bank’s dividend is safer than other financial institutions, because they haven’t raised it as much.

Overall, I find M&T Bank to be attractively valued at 11.60 times forward earnings. The bank has a yield of 2.50% today, which is well covered. There is ample room to grow future dividends down the road over the next decade.

Relevant Articles:

TARP is bad for dividend investors
Replacing dividend stocks sold
The return of Financial Dividends
Dividends Offer an Instant Rebate on Your Purchase Price
How to properly weight dividend portfolio holdings

Monday, September 16, 2019

Three Dividend Growth Stocks Rewarding Investors With a Raise

There were three companies with at least a decade of dividend increases under their belt which hiked distributions last week. I reviewed the latest increase against the ten year average in each of the three instances. I also reviewed the trends in earnings, and then looked at the valuation, in order to come up with a conclusion on whether these companies are worth researching further or not. I own shares in one of these companies, but I would not be adding today to it. I did identify one company that may be worth a second look if I can find it at the right entry price.

Per my dividend growth investing strategy, I am looking for companies that grow earnings and dividends, which are also available at attractive valuations. When I acquire shares in a company, I monitor the situation, in order to determine if my original thesis is still working. I also use my weekly dividend increase monitoring process to uncover companies for further research.

The companies raising dividends last week include:

Philip Morris International Inc. (PM), through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, other nicotine-containing products, and smoke-free products and related electronic devices and accessories.

The company raised its quarterly dividend by 2.60% to $1.17. Philip Morris International has managed to boost distributions annually since being spun off from Altria in 2008.

The company has managed to boost dividends at an annualized 16%/year over the past decade. However, dividend growth has definitely slowed down substantially, to just 4.80%/year annualized over the past five years.

Dividend growth has slowed down due to the lack of earnings growth since hitting $5.26/share in 2013. The company has been able to boost dividends by increasing its dividend payout ratio, which has a natural limit to dividend growth.

Between 2008 and 2018, earnings per share rose from $3.24 to $5.08. The company is expected to generate $5.22/share in 2019.

The stock is attractively valued at 14 times forward earnings and offers a dividend yield of 6.40%. The payout ratio is at 89.70%, which is high for a tobacco company, but potentially dangerous given the flat earnings. There is an increased risk that the dividend may be sacrificed if PMI and Altria are allowed to merge.

For a value investor, it may make sense to buy the stock today, and hope that the P/E multiple expands so that you can sell the stock. You will be paid a nice 6.40% in the process, for as long as the dividend is at least maintained. As a long-term dividend growth investor, I see increased risks of a dividend cut, and I do not want to be limited to just earning the dividend from a security. I buy shares in growing businesses to hold on to, and not to buy low and sell high. The flat earnings per share create pressure on management to do something, such as pursue acquisitions and do different things to jump-start earnings growth. This activity may come at the expense of the dividend. If they successfully manage to kick-start earnings growth, then the payout ratio could gradually decline to a more manageable level, while still growing the dividend. Either way, I will continue holding on to PMI and Altria for the time being, but will refrain from adding more to my positions.

New Jersey Resources Corporation (NJR) is an energy services holding company, provides regulated gas distribution, and retail and wholesale energy services. The company operates through four segments: Natural Gas Distribution, Clean Energy Ventures, Energy Services, and Midstream segments.

The board of directors of New Jersey Resources approved a 6.80 percent increase in the quarterly dividend rate to 31.25 cents per share. This marked the 24th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever.

Between 2008 and 2018, the company has managed to grow earnings from $1.30/share to $2.64/share. The company is expected to earn $1.96/share in 2019.

The stock looks overvalued at 23.10 times forward earnings and yields 2.80%. While the dividend is secure, I am a little put off by the volatility in earnings per share. This security requires much closer research to identify the reasons behind the sharp ups and downs in earnings than your typical dividend growth stock.

Fortis Inc. (FTS) operates as an electric and gas utility company in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean.

The Board declared a common share dividend of $0.4775 per share, marking its 46th consecutive year of increased dividends. This is one of the few international dividend companies with such a long history of annual dividend increases. The new payment represents a 6.10% increase over the prior dividend of 45 cents/share. Fortis also provided guidance of a 6% annualized dividend increase through 2024.
Over the past decade, Fortis has managed to grow dividends at an annualized rate of 5.70%. I love the consistency around the annualized dividend growth. I decided to check the grows in earnings during the past decade.

The company managed to earn $1.51/share in 2008, and grow the bottom line all the way up to $2.59/share in 2018. This comes out to an annualized earnings growth of 5.50%/year, which is just a tad slower than the annualized historical dividend growth during the same time period. The company is expected to generate $2.57/share in 2019, implying lack of growth this year. The forward payout ratio is at 74%.

Right now the stock seems a little overvalued at 21.60 times forward earnings, offers a dividend yield of 3.40%, and a payout ratio of a little over 74%. Fortis may be worth a second look if it is available for less than 20 times earnings. Just as a side note, I wanted to mention that all figures are in Canadian Dollars for Fortis.

Relevant Articles:

Rising Earnings – The Source of Future Dividend Growth

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Blueprint for Successful Dividend Investing

This is a guest post by Nick McCullum from Sure Dividend. Sure Dividend uses The 8 Rules of Dividend Investing to systematically identify and rank high-quality dividend growth stocks suitable for long-term investment.

Dividend growth investing is one of the most straightforward and powerful ways to build long-
term wealth. It can also seem highly complicated to those without experience in this investment strategy.

Fortunately, one of the best things about dividend growth investing is its ease of implementation. This makes it well-suited for a wide variety of investors.

Additionally, dividend growth investing stands the test of time. This investment strategy has been studied/written about since at least 1934, when Security Analysis (arguably the most famous book on investing) was published:

“The prime purpose of a business corporation is to pay dividends regularly and, presumably, to increase the rate as time goes on.”
– Benjamin Graham in Security Analysis

Clearly, something is special about dividend growth investing.

With that in mind, this article will describe four easy-to-understand principles that form the blueprint for successful dividend growth investing.

Invest in Consistent Dividend Growers

There is plenty of academic evidence to show that stocks with consistently rising dividend payments tend to outperform the broader stock market.

Identifying stocks with strong dividend growth prospects, however, can be difficult.

History is on our side here – dividend history matters. Stocks with long streaks of dividend increases are highly likely to continue increasing their dividends for years to come.

Take the Dividend Aristocrats, for instance. To be a Dividend Aristocrat, a stock must:

·         Be in the S&P 500
·         Have 25+ consecutive years of dividend increases
·         Meet certain minimum size & liquidity requirements


The Dividend Aristocrats are a great source of evidence to support to benefits of dividend growth stocks because they have widely outperformed the S&P 500 over long periods of time.

More specifically, the last decade has seen the Dividend Aristocrats return 10.6% (including reinvested dividends) per year compared to the S&P 500’s total return of 7.7% per year.



The Dividend Aristocrats, along with other databases of stocks with long dividend histories like the Dividend Achievers and the Dividend Kings, are excellent places to look for stocks with solid prospects of consistent dividend increases moving forward. 

Be Mindful of the Payout Ratio

One of the most common mistakes that dividend growth investors make is ‘chasing yield’ – the act of blindly investing in high yield dividend growth stocks without adequate research into the underlying business fundamentals.

Investors are initially attracted to these high yield stocks by the prospect of generating exceptionally high dividend income, but their expectations are quickly crushed after a too-high dividend yield is reduced by a dividend cut.

High yield dividend stocks are not necessarily bad investments. In fact, high yield is preferable, all else being equal.

The trouble is that in reality, all else is not equal. In most cases, a higher dividend yield is accompanied by a higher payout ratio – and high payout ratios may indicate that a company’s dividend is unsustainable.

The payout ratio expresses (as a percentage) how much of a company’s earnings are paid out as dividend payments. The payout ratio is important because it allows us to assess the risk of a future dividend cut.

Historically, stocks that cut their dividend payments have been the worst performers out of all subsets of dividend growth stocks.



Source: Hartford Funds

Chasing high yield dividend stocks can lead to investing in stocks with unsustainable payout ratios, resulting in dividend cuts.

Accordingly, keeping an eye on the payout ratios of your investees is a key component of a successful dividend growth investing strategy.

Avoid Overvalued Dividend Stocks

How to do well as a dividend growth investor can be summarized with the following sentence:

Invest in great businesses with strong competitive advantages and shareholder friendly managements trading at fair or better prices.

That last part – investing in businesses trading at fair or better prices – is the topic of this section.

Even the very best businesses can make terrible investments if their stocks are trading at terribly high valuations.

“For the investor, a too-high purchase price for the stock of an excellent company can undo the effects of a subsequent decade of favorable business developments.” - Warren Buffett

Fortunatly, there are a number of useful valuation metrics that investors can use to identify attractively-priced stocks. The most important are:

·         The price-to-earnings ratio (PE ratio)
·         The price-to-book ratio (PB ratio)
·         The price-to-cash-flow ratio

Of these three useful valuation metrics, the most widely-used is the price-to-earnings ratio.

The price-to-earnings ratio measures how much an investor is paying for each dollar of underlying corporate earnings. Another interpretation of the price-to-earnings ratio is the amount of years it would take for an investor to be paid back if the company paid out all of its net income as dividends.

Corporate valuation is part art, part science. When assessing a company’s valuation, it is important to make two significant comparisons:

·         Compare the company’s valuation to its historical average
·         Compare the company’s valuation to its peer group

If a company’s price-to-earnings ratio is below that of its peer group and its long-term historical average, the company will, on average, make an attractive investment.

One word of caution should be said for investors looking to analyze companies using the price-to-earnings ratio.

It is important to use the earnings metric which most accurately describes the profitability of the underlying business. Accordingly, we recommend using a company’s adjusted earnings-per-share when computing its price-to-earnings ratio.

Adjusted earnings-per-share is a metric that backs out one-time accounting charges that may artificially impact a company’s earnings. Examples include restructuring charges, merger- and acquisition-related charges, or foreign exchange fluctuations.

Changing from traditional earnings (or GAAP earnings) to adjusted earnings-per-share can have a significant impact on a company’s EPS. Consider Altria (MO), for example:

·         2016 GAAP earnings-per-share: $7.28
·         2016 adjusted earnings-per-share: $3.03

Altria’s GAAP earnings-per-share is more than twice as high as its adjusted earnings-per-share, driven by a significant, one-time cash windfall when SAB Miller (which Altria had a 27% stake in) was acquired by Anheuser-Busch Inbev.

Clearly, these ‘earnings’ will not be repeated in future years, and should be excluded from the company’s net income when estimating its future earnings potential.

Note: A couple of years ago, Dividend Growth Investor wrote an insightful article on Altria’s ‘apparent’ undervaluation due to its artificially high GAAP earnings-per-share. I suggest you read it here.

Invest For The Long Term

“The single greatest edge an investor can have is a long-term orientation.”
– Seth Klarman, billionaire portfolio manager at the Baupost Group

Long-term investing has a number of intuitive benefits that dramatically improve one’s likelihood of building wealth through successful dividend growth investing.

The first advantage to long-term investing is that it is more tax efficient. Stocks held for more than one year are subject to the long-term capital gains tax rate, which is lower than the short-term capital gains tax rate.

In addition, investors don’t need to pay taxes on their capital gains until they sell.

Long-term investing allows us to continually invest those deferred capital gains taxes (which technically belong to the government) for our benefit. This strategy is sometimes called the ‘Buffett Loan’ because of its extensive use by superinvestor Warren Buffett.

To get a sense of how powerful this ‘Buffett Loan’ can be, consider two hypothetical Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) investors:

·         One holds for the long-term (taxes are deferred)
·         One sells and repurchases each year (taxes are paid annually)

The comparison of each investor’s total returns is shown below, assuming a 20% long-term capital gains tax rate.



Source: Yahoo! Finance

The difference is astounding, and provides enough evidence by itself to support long-term investing.

Incredibly, there are also two other main benefits to long-term investing.

Long-term investing reduces frictional investing costs such as brokerage commissions.

While there exist plenty of low-cost stock brokers in today’s investor-friendly world, every dollar spent on brokerage commissions is one dollars that can’t compound for your benefit.

Thirdly, long-term investing is easier.

When you’re investing on a time frame of years or decades, the day-to-day fluctuations in stock prices suddenly become much less gut-wrenching. You also spend less time on portfolio management, because long-term investing naturally leads to smaller trading volume in the portfolio of an individual investor.

Long-term investing is certainly beneficial for investors, but it can be difficult to execute in practice.

Having well-defined buy and sell rules helps to manage your portfolio for the long-term. We recommend selling stocks only when they become grossly overvalued (with a normalized price-to-earnings ratio exceeding 40x) or when they cut their dividend.

Final Thoughts

At Sure Dividend, we strongly believe that dividend growth investing is one of the most effective and repeatable strategies for building long-term wealth. This is a belief that we share with the Dividend Growth Investor website.

Dividend growth investing can seem very complicated to those just starting out. However, the blueprint for successful dividend growth investing is actually quite simple:

·         Invest in consistent dividend growers
·         Be mindful of the payout ratio
·         Avoid overvalued stocks
·         Invest for the long term


Applying these principles to your own investment strategy should yield dividends (pun intended) for years to come. 

Relevant Articles:

Monday, September 9, 2019

My Portfolio Monitoring Process In a Nutshell

As part of my monitoring process, I review the list of dividend increases every week. I have also found it helpful to incorporate this monitoring process with the process I use to evaluate companies quickly. I use my secret screening process, which I have been discussing in detail over the past decade.

In my screening process, I generally look for the following:

1) A minimum streak of ten consecutive annual dividend increases
2) A P/E ratio below 20.
3) A dividend payout ratio below 60% ( with an exception for certain types of securities such as REITs)
4) Annual dividend growth exceeding inflation over the past decade
5) Growth in earnings per share over the past decade, to substantiate future dividend growth

I try to put all of this information together in my evaluation of the companies I am researching. The screening process is just the first part of the evaluation of course – a more detailed analysis is needed of each security, in order to get a feel for the business. To make matters even more complicated, the parameters can be changed depending on underlying conditions.

For example, if interest rates were to get to 10%,it may be better to focus on companies with a lower P/E ratio. However, if interest rates were to stay at 2% or 3% for the foreseeable future, a P/E ratio of 30 would not be inappropriate. I came up with a P/E of 20 a decade ago, when I could easily find Treasury Bonds yielding 4% to 5%. I have not increased the P/E ratio requirement yet, because I also want to have some margin of safety, in case yields get back up to 4% over the next decade. I am stating that, in order to warn investors not to look at P/E ratios in a vacuum, while ignoring the present condition of interest rates and growth expectations of US businesses.

In addition, the screen helps me see enough of the data, which helps me to compare between two different companies. For example, if two companies sell at a P/E of 20, the one that grow earnings and dividends at 7%/year is cheaper than the one that grows earnings and dividends at 2%/year.
I also find it great to know what to look for. But it is equally great to know what to avoid.

Going back to the monitoring of dividend increases, I identified three companies which raised dividends last week, and have at least a ten year history of annual dividend increases.

I put all three companies through my screening process, and did a quick review to determine if these companies are worth pursuing further. The companies include:

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide.

The company raised its quarterly dividend by 2.10% to 61.50 cents/share. This is the 13th consecutive year Verizon’s Board has approved a quarterly dividend increase. Over the past decade, this dividend achiever has managed to grow distributions at an annualized rate of 3.10%.
Between 2009 and 2018, Verizon managed to grow its earnings from $1.72/share to $3.76/share. Verizon is expected to generate $4.80/share in 2019.

The stock is attractively valued at 12.30 times forward earnings and offers a dividend yield of 4.10%. I alerted subscribers to my premium newsletter that I am buying Verizon when it was in the mid $50s. I would be more interested in Verizon in the low 50s and below.

Vector Group Ltd., (VGR) manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. It operates in two segments, Tobacco and Real Estate.

The company raised its quarterly dividend by 5% to 40 cents/share. This marked the 21st consecutive year of annual dividend increases for this dividend achiever. Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost dividends at an annualized rate of 5%.

Between 2009 and 2018, Vector Groups earnings per share grew from 22 cents/share to 48 cents/share. The company is expected to generate 37 cents/share in 2019.

I believe that the stock is overvalued at 34 times forward earnings. I do not think that the dividend is safe, given the high payout ratio. The stock yields 12.70%, which is unsustainable in my opinion.

Brady Corporation (BRC) manufactures and supplies identification solutions and workplace safety products to identify and protect premises, products, and people in the United States and internationally.

The company raised its quarterly dividend by 2.40% to 21.75 cents/share. This marked the 34th annual dividend increase for this dividend champion. During the past decade, Brady has managed to grow distributions at an annualized rate of 3%.

Over the past decade, the company managed to grow earnings from $1.32/share in 2009 to $1.73/share in 2018. The company is expected to earn $2.38/share.

The stock is a little overvalued at 21.40 times forward earnings. It yields a safe 1.70%, which is a low yield for a slow growing dividend stock. Based on 2018 earnings per share, the stock looks even more overvalued at 29.50 times earnings. Given the high P/E ratio and the low earnings and dividend growth, I view the stock as a hold.

Relevant Articles:

Ten Dividend Growth Stocks For Retirement Income
Should I invest in AT&T and Verizon for high dividend income?
Why do I use a P/E below 20 for valuation purposes?
How to value dividend stocks

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dollar Cost Averaging Versus Lump Sum Investing

Dollar cost averaging is a process, where the same amount of funds is allocated to preset investment/s at regular intervals of time. It is widely believed that investors who choose to systemically allocate funds towards their investments are reducing their risk of investing their whole amount at the top of the price range.

Most individuals use dollar cost averaging to purchase investments. The reason behind these actions is the fact that most individuals are able to allocate funds for investing once a month or every two weeks for example, depending on the frequency with which they are able to save money. If our investor is able to save 15% of their illustrative $1000 monthly salary, which is paid every two weeks or twice/month, they would be able to allocate anywhere between $150 - $225 every month towards their retirement investments. The $225/month is derived for the situation where a person who is paid bi-weekly ends up receiving three paychecks instead of three. Either way, the typical 401 (k) investor would purchase the same funds whenever they get paid. The typical dividend investor would likely accumulate new contributions with any distributions from their portfolios, before they make their stock investments. Depending on portfolio sizes, minimum amount of purchases and amount of distributions per month, dividend investors end up purchasing different dividend stocks on a regular basis, which closely mimics the practice of dollar cost averaging.

Unfortunately, few investors have large amounts of cash simply sitting around, that they need to dollar cost average. For those lucky enough to have this happen to them, dollar cost averaging can be a tool to minimize risk of purchasing at the top. It would also help them in gaining more experience in the markets, particularly if they had none whatsoever previously. For lottery winners or those lucky individuals who happen to obtain a lump sum of cash, dollar cost averaging might be a great way to handle the bounty.

In order to test whether dollar cost averaging gives investors an advantage over lump sum investing, I obtained monthly data for the Vanguard S&P 500 mutual fund (VFINX) between 1981 and 2018. In order to calculate dollar cost averaging results for a given year, I would put $100 in investment every month beginning in the last day of the last month of the previous year, up until the last day of November for the next year. For lump-sum amounts, I would put a theoretical $1200 investment either at the closing prices for the previous year. I would then multiply the number of shares accumulated for both dollar cost averaging and lump sum investing times the ending prices by the end of the current year. Next, I would then compare which strategy delivered better results for the given year.

Date
 Lump Sum
 DCA
Result
1981
       1,098.54
   1,117.82
DCA Outperforms
1982
       1,433.79
   1,429.52
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1983
       1,404.73
   1,216.40
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1984
       1,242.92
   1,239.05
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1985
       1,473.91
   1,292.60
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1986
       1,313.13
   1,148.58
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1987
       1,257.61
   1,055.12
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1988
       1,378.40
   1,253.74
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1989
       1,558.69
   1,314.83
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1990
       1,177.55
   1,189.81
DCA Outperforms
1991
       1,569.19
   1,345.34
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1992
       1,303.30
   1,273.93
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1993
       1,313.23
   1,249.49
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1994
       1,209.33
   1,199.25
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1995
       1,653.41
   1,401.08
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1996
       1,474.65
   1,344.57
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1997
       1,598.04
   1,369.17
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1998
       1,550.49
   1,393.68
Lump - Sum Outperforms
1999
       1,453.17
   1,349.92
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2000
       1,095.78
   1,113.08
DCA Outperforms
2001
       1,055.10
   1,159.44
DCA Outperforms
2002
           932.58
   1,062.18
DCA Outperforms
2003
       1,542.68
   1,424.08
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2004
       1,325.18
   1,296.08
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2005
       1,260.10
   1,251.41
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2006
       1,387.97
   1,314.86
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2007
       1,263.99
   1,204.03
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2008
           753.33
      882.18
DCA Outperforms
2009
       1,521.88
   1,470.44
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2010
       1,381.79
   1,362.38
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2011
       1,221.74
   1,189.36
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2012
       1,388.33
   1,257.59
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2013
       1,588.61
   1,387.93
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2014
       1,361.96
   1,293.19
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2015
       1,214.61
   1,203.91
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2016
       1,341.33
   1,297.13
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2017
       1,462.03
   1,333.67
Lump - Sum Outperforms
2018
       1,144.92
   1,101.25
Lump - Sum Outperforms

The Excel file containing the calculations behind the file can be downloaded from this location.

Overall, lump-sum investing performed better in 32 out of 38 years. Dollar cost averaging performed better in only 6 out of 38 years. Not surprisingly, these were the years when the stock market was either flat or declined. As a result, dollar cost averaging reduces investor’s risk when things were difficult, but at the expense of foregone gains when things went well. Because stocks have a historical tendency to move up over time, investors who practice dollar cost averaging might be at a disadvantage. Of course, for those who practice dollar cost averaging because they didn’t have the lump-sum in the first place, this is still the best way to accumulate a sizeable nest egg.

In this exercise we did not look at other key components of investment which deals with investment selection, analysis, valuation and purchase. We assumed that these decisions have already been made. In reality however, there could be a situation where our investor might not find any potential assets that have sufficient low valuation to merit investment in them. Most index investors or savers in a 401 (k) invest regardless of overall valuations.

Relevant Articles:

How to accumulate your nest egg
How to retire in 10 years with dividend stocks
Optimal Cash Allocation for Dividend Investors
How to Generate an 11% Yield on Cost in 6 Years
How to be a successful dividend investor

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