One of the most compelling cases for dividend investing, is that it provides a significant source of income for investors, while at the same time features attractive long-term returns. Typically, stocks that pay dividends are larger, more established companies. And while these firms have the ability to either continue or increase payouts, they do not always feature the highest dividend yield.
Since much of the focus of this strategy is centered around yield, investors sometimes put too much weight towards this one metric. Sometimes, the highest yielding stocks are “too good to be true”. While sifting through this High Yield Dividend Stocks list, be sure to avoid this dividend value trap.
When using this page, be sure to base your screen on multiple metrics before making any investment decisions. In addition to yield, we encourage investors to use both objective and subjective factors as their investment criteria. Some of these factors include:
- Market Capitalization: Small and micro cap companies tend to exhibit significantly higher volatility than their large cap counterparts. A simple screen by market cap can help avoid some of the smaller, more risky high yield options.
- Earnings Reports: Each quarter, companies post their latest results. These financial reports are key, since they highlight how the company has been performing.
- Guidance: Earnings guidance is given by companies to let investors know what their expectations are about future earnings, revenues, and the overall health of the business. Even if a company reports better than expected past results, the guidance given during that quarter may indicate a big change for future quarters.
- P/E Ratio: While this may be an obvious choice for investors, we can’t stress enough how important this indicator can be. A stock with a sky high P/E ratio, or one that is significantly higher than its peers, should certainly be scrutinized.
- Payout Ratio: Dividend payout ratios should never be above 100%, which indicates a company is paying out more than it earns and will likely not be able to sustain its dividend policy.
- Dividend Trends and Growth: Another obvious indicator, dividend trends are crucial for investors to follow. If a company suddenly announces a decrease in dividends, this should certainly raise a red flag. Conversely, if a company has been steadily increasing dividends for some time, this is obviously a good sign.
- Industry Trends: This is a bit of a tough one to follow, but nonetheless it’s important for investors to stay on top of not only their investments’ business, but also those of their competition and the overall industry.
While using these screens, investors will likely find that certain sectors feature companies that do, in fact, offer both high and sustainable yields. Be sure to look out the 4 Dividend Friendly Industries, to learn more. As always, we encourage investors to take the extra step and dive deep under the hood of these high yielding companies.