For some reason General Dynamics caught my eye. I looked at it through my criteria filter to see if it would fit within my investment strategy. The first thing I noticed that $GD was paying a very nice dividend payout of $4.40/share. How did this compare to the share price? The dividend yield is 3.03%, which is better than the industry average. So far so good. I wasn’t too happy with the share price of $144.62/share at the time I am writing this. Ten shares would cost me $1446.20 and yield me $44.00. This would give me another 0.30 shares of stock, if the share price remained the same for a year.
I also noticed that the stock was trading at around the mid-point of its 52 week range and the trend looks to be heading down. This stock may go down a bit more. Earnings look strong. As a matter of fact, the fundamentals for the company look very good. The stock looks like it would be a good one to invest in. But for me I’ll take a wait and see approach. I’ll wait to see if the stock price continues its downward journey and wait for a buying opportunity.
Since the beginning of the week I took notice of Intel Corp ($INTC) stock price. Seeing as my investment funds are limited, I was hesitant in putting this stock on my watchlist. Upon careful review I think that this would be a prime candidate for my dividend portfolio.
What am I seeing? I’m seeing a stock trading at the low end of its 52 week range while at the same time paying out a very decent dividend of 2.67%. That’s something that I look for. Higher dividend payout relative to its share price. Its revenue growth is above the industry average, and there’s room to grow the dividends because it is below the industry average.
So, I’ll add this company’s stock price to my watchlist and see what happens. If the share price drops further than the dividend yield goes higher and makes this stock more desirable for me. I prefer a dividend yield that is high relative to its price. To me it is more important to have a high, sustainable payout per share than just high share price. Dividends are paid on a per share price so I’m interested in picking up as many shares as I can.
I also have certain criteria for choosing specific dividend stocks. As I mentioned before, a high dividend yield. I like my yields around 5% or higher but based on the company, its dividend history and growth, I can tolerate around 2% or higher. If the company pays out a decent dividend payout but the yield is below 2% then I’ll wait for the share price to drop. There are a few companies out there that pay a very decent dividend but their share price is too high for what I would get in dividends, as noted by a low (under 2%) dividend yield. To me that would be like paying a premium price.
The answer to the question will depend on your investing strategy and your goal. Speaking for myself, I prioritize on dividend yield with an eye on stock price. Regardless of either one, the stability and longevity of the company is paramount. I’m the type of person that would have missed out of Tesla when it first came out. I don’t speculate/gamble with my money. My goal is to create an income stream from my investment where I can stop working (I am overdue to officially retire and I still work because I have bills to pay). Now, in order to reach that goal my strategy is to invest heavily in dividend stocks (those stocks that pay you cash dividend periodically). If the company hasn’t paid any dividend consistently for 5 years, I’m just not going to seriously consider investing my money with them. Am I missing out on some tremendous windfall profit? Probably. But then I’m missing out on all those tremendous jackpots because I don’t go to casinos, either. When I look at a stock or fund I look to see what they are paying and how often. I then look at the stock price and determine if the stock price is worth paying to get that dividend. Again, this is a subjective determination for me. I don’t believe that there’s a right or wrong answer. Two people can look at a stable company that has been in business for a long time (i.e. Coca Cola or Intel) and based on the criteria I used, one person can decide that the stock price is worth it while the other one feels that it isn’t. Their choices based on their goals, strategy, and comfort zones.
I’ve come across a few stocks/funds that someone said was a great investment based on the dividend yield. The last one I encountered was YYY (Amplify ETF TR High Income ETF). The stock price is cheap at approx. $15/share. The dividend yield is at 10.39%. Very high. In the relationship to the share price this comes out to about $1.56/share. So for $1500 you can buy about 100 shares of this ETF and get $156 in dividends. Sounds great? To me the one factor that makes me pause is the Expense Ratio (both Gross & Net). It’s at 2.17%. I like my expense ratios below 0.10%. This is a deal-breaker.
In addition to dividend yields & payouts, and price shares I’m looking at expense ratios. I don’t want to invest in a fund with high dividend yields that end up being eaten up by fees. The dividend history and growth are also important to me. What about share price? Well, it is important in determining how many shares I can buy and the future acquisition plans going forward. If the share price drops it’s an opportunity to buy more (barring that all other factors remain basically the same) shares and collect even more dividends. If it goes up than the value of my shares increases and I still get to collect dividends.
For those that follow my blog and my Twitter feeds, you are aware that my current portfolio is heavy with ETFs, About 82% of my investment portfolio consists of ETFs and the balance of 17% are individual company stocks. Within those ETFs I have the following areas invested in:
Real Estate – VNQ (Vanguard Real Estate ETF).
Energy – VDE (Vanguard Energy ETF)
The other 2 Vanguard funds are concentrated on high value & high dividends across many sectors (VFIAX & VYM).
I would like to add a healthcare ETF and a technology ETF to my portfolio. I am looking at VGT and VHT. Both are pricey by my standards but both are paying decent dividends, and that what I in this for. So, I now have to go through the decision process of which one do I invest in first. I will be investing in both but it’ll be completed over the next few months. I do have other expenses that I am obligated to handle first.
I looked at the data for VHT (Vanguard Health Care ETF) via my TD Ameritrade account. Currently the fund is trading at $204.84 per share which is a bit high for my purposes. In looking at this fund’s 52 week range you see that its share price is at the end of the high range. The chart shows the fund’s value is increasing so I doubt that the price will be dropping drastically, barring any unforeseen circumstances. But now for the key question. What about the dividends? VHT has an annualized payout of $2.55/share (a 1.24% yield). If the share price were to drop to the other end of the price spectrum of $138.11 the yield would then be 1.85%. The average 5 year dividend growth rate is 23.01%.
According to Morningstar the risk factor for this fund shows that it’s rated as Below Average and the returns are rated as Average. Both of which are a positive factor for me. Morningstar has the fund designated as a Large Blend fund. The one thing that I am not happy with for this fund is that the Net Expense Ratio is about 0.10%. This is the maximum I would prefer.
The market Return for the funds is 6.39% so far for 2020, For 2019 it was 21.86%. Some of the company stocks that are included in this fund are:
JNJ – Johnson & Johnson
UNH – UnitedHealth Group
PFE – Pfizer Inc
MRK – Merck & Co Inc
ABT – Abbott Laboratories
TMO – Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc
ABBV – AbbVie Inc
AMGN – Amgen Inc
BMY – Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
MDT – Medtronic PLC
The other Vanguard fund that I checked out on TD Ameritrade was VGT (Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF). This fund is another pricey one that is trading at its 52 week high range of $313.59, Morningstar has this fund rated Below Average risk and Above Average return. They also have it designated as a Large Growth fund.
In digging into the data for this fund I find that the dividend payout is annualized at $3.00/share (a 0.96% yield). In screening just for high paying dividend stock with a yield greater than 5%, this fund would not have shown up on my radar. But is still pays a decent dividend even if the share price makes it a challenge for the average person to purchase more than just a couple of shares. The Net Expense ratio is also at the maximum preferred ratio of 0.10%.
The returns for this fund for 2020 so far are 21.33%. For 2019 the returns were 48.61. Some of the company stocks that are included in this fund are:
AAPL – Apple
MSFT – Microsoft
V – Visa
MA – Mastercard
NVDA – Nvidia
PYPL – PayPal
ADBE – Adobe
INTC – Intel
CSCO – Cisco
CRM – Salesforce
I really like both of these funds but I can’t afford to buy both of them at this time. So, I have to make a decision which one I want to buy first. It comes down to 2 factors: a) share price, and b) dividend payout (after all, that’s what I’m interested in). They’re both pretty close in both of these areas.
The final decision at this time for me will be that I will be buying the funds in this order:
VHT (Vanguard Health Care ETF)
VGT (Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF)
The one question that I had to ask myself was I going to invest my money into stocks that were going to increase in value (price/share) over time or stocks that would be paying a specific amount per share.
Investing for value is by far the more riskier process. You can’t always tell if a stock’s price will go up or down. Take for example the 2 shares of Obalon (OBLN) that I bought back in 2019 before I really had a grasp of what I was doing. I had just signed up with Robinhood and I had $5 burning a hole in my pocket. At that time I bought 2 shares at $1.89/share and I bought 5 shares of Guardian Health Sciences (GHSI) for $0.206/share. I bought those shares because, at that time, I was focused on the Health sector and thought that investing in anything Health industry related was a smart investment. As I learned more I ended up changing my investment strategy (which I didn’t know it was a strategy then). A couple of month’s later I sold the Guardian stocks for $0.55/share. The Obalon share price had dropped down to below $0.80/share and hasn’t moved up over $1. I have a standing sell order to rid them at $2.20/share (about a 20% increase over what I paid for them). At this time, I’m not looking to lose money.
At the time I signed up with Robinhood I received a free (no cost to me) share of Lyft (LYFT). When I got it the share price was in the $40 range. I didn’t know anything about the business model for the company nor what their plans were. So, I just held on to the share and started doing some research about what was going on with Lyft. One of the things I learned was due to the lockdown because of the Corvid-19 neither Lyft or its competitor, Uber, were going to be going great guns in price. I also learned due to the restricted revenue due to the virus, revenue wasn’t planning on growing. Additionally, in all of the years that Lyft has been in business it has never paid any dividends and was not planning to do so in the near future. I ended up selling it for $29/share. I didn’t pay anything for it but I didn’t maximize the gain I could have gotten. I determined that value investing was not for me.
So, where did this leave me? It left me looking into dividend investing, where I invest in stocks that pay high dividends on a consistent basis. This is where Seeking Alpha and Finviz came in handy. I used Finviz’s Screener feature to identify companies/funds that were paying out high yield dividends. The criteria I used was:
High Dividend Yield greater than 5%.
The share price must be less than $20/share (I’m not overly rich).
They have been paying dividends for many years and their dividend growth is on the positive side.
The logic for these is to be able to get the largest return I could and to be able to buy the maximum amount of shares (because dividends pay per share) with the limited funds. That’s not to say I am not invested in higher priced funds, but that’s for another post at a future time.
Based on the above criteria I identified 2 stocks; Arbor Realty Trust, Inc (ABR) and Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (ACRE). I then researched these stocks further on Seeking Alpha. They both fit with what I was looking for, were well within my comfort zone regarding risk, etc. I will use the dividend from these socks to reinvest into the same companies. At some point I will be looking to take the dividends instead of reinvesting but that will be a few years in the future.