Dividends Return

The decade from 1998 to 2008 was dismal for most investors. It was not dismal for dividend growth devotees. It was a lost decade for people who invested in 1998 because is was the peak of the bull market for many stocks. If you buy when stocks are popular and prices are high, future returns will be poor. It's that simple. And poor returns they were. Ten years later, at the end of 2008, share prices the world over had plummeted. Return, note, is composed of two elements: capital appreciation and income (interest or dividends). If your stocks do not gain in price and if they do not pay dividends, what do you get? Zip! If on the other hand, your common stock not only pays a dividend, but grows the dividend, what do you get? Both…gains and income.

I was curious. How did our dividend growing shares handle this dismal decade? Actually, quite well. There were no negative numbers among the dividend-paying stocks in my list for the decade ending December 31 2008. If we can handle what happened last year, we can handle anything, right! On average, dividends provided most of the return over the decade. This is too be expected when prices are not roaring. The average return provided by dividends from stocks in my list was 63% from 1998 to 2008. The high was 134% from BMO, the low 10% from Empire. Average dividend growth over this decade was 14.8%. Most common stocks in the list had double digit dividend growth (preferred stocks do not provide any dividend growth: I do not buy preferreds)). The only four commons with single digit dividend growth were TRP, CU, TOC, LB. I'll have a full report on this data in my June 2009 report. I'll print a few extra copies. It is important to know how dividend paying stocks have done. “it is to be expected that dividends will continue to outpace capital gains for some time” David Stanley, MoneySaver May 2009

David Stanley had an excellent column on this topic in the May 2009 issue of Canadian MoneySaver: Dividends Take The Cake. I thank Dr Stanley for the idea and for his help in developing the data I needed to do this project for all the stocks in my list. Dr David's data went from 2000 to the end of the first quarter of 2009. The CAGR of the TSX was .74 for that period…less than 1% see what I mean by dismal). The CAGR of the nine dividend stocks he did (all in my list) was 9.56%. CAGR = compound annual growth rate. David Stanley found the portion of the return provided by dividends was 77%. Connolly thought: if your stocks do not pay dividends…how do you make your money? There are people out there who buy stocks that do not pay dividends: imagine! Of course, there were people who bought asset-backed commercial paper too. But that's another story.

comments/dividends_return.txt · Last modified: 2009/06/05 08:11 by tom
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