Though rising yields have dampened the appeal for dividend investing, a niche corner of this space is still in vogue. This is none other than the dividend growth strategy. Stocks with a strong history of dividend growth year over year form a healthy portfolio with greater scope of capital appreciation as opposed to simple dividend paying stocks or those that pay high yields.
Why Dividend Growth?
Stocks that have a strong history of dividend growth belong to mature companies, which are less susceptible to large swings in the market, and thus act as a hedge against economic or political uncertainty. At the same time, these offer downside protection with their consistent increase in payouts.
These stocks have superior fundamentals as opposed to their traditional dividend counterparts such as a sustainable business model, a long track record of profitability, rising cash flows, good liquidity, strong balance sheet and some value characteristics. They have a history of outperformance over the long term but not necessarily high dividend yields. All these makes dividend growth a quality and promising investment metric for the long term.
Further, a history of strong dividend growth indicates that dividend increase in the future is likely. This makes the portfolio healthy and safe. Though these stocks have a long history of outperformance compared with the broader stock market or any other dividend paying stock, it does not necessarily mean that they have the highest yields.