The Appeal of Dinky Dividends

Posted by D4L | Sunday, June 10, 2012 | | 0 comments »

Don’t scoff at stocks with dinky dividend yields of 1% or so. Some of them may hold the key to handsome total returns in coming years. The broad case for dividend-paying stocks rests on surging demand for yield, combined with a tight supply of it. Over the next 20 years, as the baby boomers retire, the percentage of the U.S. population the age of 65 and up will double, according to the Census Bureau. Many investors will look to convert savings into income by purchasing investments with cash yields.

The obvious response for stock buyers is to scoop up shares with high dividend yields, but there are two problems with that approach now. First, it has already worked too well. Last year, a simple strategy of selecting S&P 500 stocks with high dividend yields returned 18.5%, the highest return of more than 30 strategies tracked each year by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Second, there’s at least some chance that dividend taxes will jump after this year, when a 15% rate cap is set to expire (see “Preparing for a Dividend Tax Hike”). It’s unclear whether higher taxes would reduce long-term demand for high-yield stocks, but it could spook investors in the short term.

Source: Smartmoney

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