Some Tips for Finding the Highest Dividend Stocks for Your Portfolio

How to Invest in the Highest Dividend Stocks

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When a company makes money, it sometimes sends part of that profit back to its owners in the form of cash dividends. A dividend investor is someone who uses his money to invest in the stocks of companies that tend to pay high dividends.

Key Takeaways

  • High dividend stocks earn passive income.
  • High dividend yields can nonetheless be a red flag, because yields tend to rise when investors aren’t buying the stock.
  • Look for a dividend payout ratio in the area of 60% to 70%, which can indicate that the company is retaining some revenue for expansion.
  • A debt-to-equity ratio of no more than 1.0 indicates that the company has at least $1 of net worth per dollar of debt.

Why Invest in High Dividend Stocks? 

Investors like high-dividend stocks because they want to earn passive income that can provide a good standard of living, particularly during their retirement years. When this type of investing is done with enough discipline and over an extended period of time, it's even possible to get rich from dividend stocks. 

Successful dividend investors strive to build a collection of the highest-dividend-paying stocks they can find, because the richer the dividend, the more money that they'll find automatically deposited in their accounts each year or reinvested—or, in the case of some old-fashioned investors, they'll find some nice paper dividend checks stuffed in their mailboxes.

What You Need to Know About High-Dividend Stocks 

You can find good and appropriate stocks for your portfolio in multiple ways, but pinpointing the highest-dividend-paying stocks is a bit trickier. Like all things in life, dividend investing is rarely as simple as it sounds.

Finding the best-paying stocks can be fraught with danger, because companies often have high dividend yields for a reason. Most commonly, these yields are the result of investors avoiding the shares. That can occur because they believe the dividend is in danger of being cut or because they think the business is in trouble and might not survive in the long term. It's important to watch out for the "dividend trap." Sometimes high dividend yields and low price-to-earnings ratios (p/e ration) are illusions. 

How to Find the Highest-Dividend-Paying Stocks Without Taking on Too Much Risk

You can look for certain things if you want to build a portfolio of the highest-dividend-paying stocks, but you'll still want some protection against the downside. Taking some or all of these precautions can help you avoid some of the risks:

  • Make sure the dividend-payout ratio doesn't exceed 60% to 70%. A payout in that range means the company is retaining at least 30% to 40% of its earnings for expansion.
  • Your dividend stocks should be in companies that have pricing power, which means they can increase prices to offset a high inflation rate and continue paying their dividends even if the government is printing money like crazy.
  • Look for stocks that have debt-to-equity ratios of less than 1.0. That ratio means that a company has at least $1 of net worth for every $1 in debt. In financial terms, this is called the "capitalization structure."
  • Look for stocks that have a p/e ratio of 15 or less. This can offer some additional downside protection in the event that the dividend is cut.

Please consult with a financial advisor for the most up-to-date trends. The information contained in this article is not intended as investment advice, and it is not a substitute for investment advice. 

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