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Old 07-10-2019, 03:38 PM   #21
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As a passive investor I don't really have a dog in this fight but I thought you guys might be interested in something that was presented at today's 2Q19 investment review meeting for a nonprofit I'm involved with. The chart shows the YTD2019 total return for the S&P 500 and five subcategories of dividend-payers ranging from 3.5%+ to zero.



So the way you read it, for example, is to see that companies paying dividends in the 1.6-2.4% range delivered total return of 23.8% in the first half. Ref the debate here, it seems that high dividends were negatively correlated with high total return. But of course six months is a pretty short time from which to make generalizations.

(Sorry, I have no way to get a chart that covers a longer time period.)
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:57 PM   #22
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Cool. I just looked and my divi's last year were 2.4%. My guys are doing it right!
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:06 PM   #23
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You would enjoy a 20% annual return if you had invested the day before their first ex-dividend date. Not too shabby, and handily beat out the market.

My point was that dividends shouldn't always be described as a management failure.
...
I agree. I'm saying that divs don't really seem to be indicative of anything. But we are getting silly to try to take away too much from any one company - that was just to illustrate, let's get back to the big picture.

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.... I'm a fan for a few reasons. First, dividend stocks (I didn't say high dividend stocks, as the highest can mean recent stock price drop, unattainable long term dividend, etc.) are generally more stable and less risky. ....

... dividend paying stocks weather financial crises better .....
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... I haven't seen any solid data to show that dividend stocks underperform the market. Do you have a link that shows this? .... .
Yes, several. Here are a few from this thread (disregard any ref to HYD, that was in error):

9-year fixed income plan

Quote:
OK, so I looked at ARTFX. Unfortunately, the history only goes back to 2014, so we can't see how it performed during the 2000 and 2008 periods. But even over this short period, it performed very similarly to a 40/60 blend.

http://bit.ly/2KXAZW0 << short link to portfolio visualizer

http://bit.ly/2KWoWIN << added Wellesley; same story

---------------------------

And yet, when I plug these into Portfolio Backtester, it shows that VTI outperforms a blend of VIG/VYM. And if I add in some bonds to make the performance about equal, the standard dev is very, very close.

Where's the advantage? Can you demonstrate the advantage, rather than just claim there is one? This isn't "poo-poo-ing" anything, it is letting the numbers talk.

http://bit.ly/2L7T9EL << short link

-------------------------------

So another back-test. Here VYM under-performs the total market (CAGR of 7.7% vs 8.44% for VTI), though with a small reduction in std dev (14.17% vs 15.24% for VTI).

If we adjust for near-equal performance with an 81/19 AA to bonds, the VTI/Bond mix has significantly lower std dev ( 11.86% vs VYM's 14.17%). This is to Bernstein's point (I think it was Bernstein, can't swear to it), you are better off adjusting the AA, than to try to goose returns with high-yield. He didn't find any alpha in the high yield, and neither have I.

http://bit.ly/2S0YkXN << short link to back-test
And if you look closely, you'll see that the div funds dropped more in the crash. There was no safety. Even when pulling 4%, or 3.3% or whatever from both.

Let's see your links that show over-performance. I like money, I'd like to see them.

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... Fourth, they actually force management to be disciplined. Charlie Munger once said (I think this is a quote, not a paraphrase) "the quickest way to solve Berkshire Hathaway's capital reinvestment risk would be to pay out most of the earnings as a dividend. The management can't screw up what it doesn't control. It's a brilliantly simple truth. Dividends impose discipline." He was referencing what to do after he and Warren pass away. And lastly, it's' a misconception that just because a stock pays dividends that it doesn't grow. That's simply just not the case. ...
And if that is the case, it should show in the data. Where's the data to support this?

Who has this misconception you threw out? Of course div payers can also grow.

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... There are a lot of good reasons to like dividend stocks. They're not for everyone, but I like them. Keep in mind, I don't only have dividend stocks, but I don't shy away from them.
I don't shy away from them either, I accept every one of them that is in my S&P500 or Total Market funds/ETFs. But I'm also not interested in investing in a sector of funds of div payers without clear evidence of an advantage.

Show me, please show me!

-ERD50
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:09 PM   #24
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Cool. I just looked and my divi's last year were 2.4%. My guys are doing it right!
Not if the 2.4% was a weghted average of stocks with > 3.5% and < 0.6% dividends!

I honestly don't understand this obsession with dividends. Just buy the market and take a nap. If it's good enough for nunnun, it's good enough for me! (reference to the 'Beat Boho' thread for those not in on the joke).

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Old 07-10-2019, 04:45 PM   #25
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdahl.../#3c6e3eea7479

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Through my work at The White Coat Investor where I help high income professionals to get a "fair shake" on Wall Street, I have run into many investors who inappropriately focus their investments on dividend-paying stocks. While there are far worse ways to invest, a focus on dividend-paying stocks has an almost cult-like following. There are five reasons why overly focusing on dividends is generally an investing error. ....

# 1 Uncompensated Risk ....
# 2 Failure To Focus On Total Return ....
# 3 Mistake Dividend Stocks For Bonds ....
# 4 Dividends Are Tax-inefficient ....
# 5 Inefficient Method To Get A Value Tilt ....

Dividend stocks need not be avoided completely. In fact, I essentially own all of the dividend paying stocks in the world via total market index funds. However, these five arguments demonstrate well why building a portfolio composed entirely of a handful or two of high-yield stocks is a mistake that will be regretted by many investors.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Not if the 2.4% was a weghted average of stocks with > 3.5% and < 0.6% dividends!

I honestly don't understand this obsession with dividends. Just buy the market and take a nap. If it's good enough for nunnun, it's good enough for me! (reference to the 'Beat Boho' thread for those not in on the joke).

-ERD50
My stock pickers are doing a good job. Last year 2.4% in divi's and this year 21.2% growth YTD. I told them to go with large cap dividend payers and they seem to hit the sweet spot.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:19 AM   #27
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Ok maybe someone can explain ex Dividend to me, today in my brokerage account I was down a lot more than the actual market for stock (T) and I researched it and they said it was because of ex Dividend date is today, but how do you make any money if the take out the same amount you make when the Dividend hits.. why would anyone be in any of these stocks if they pay the money out of your own account, looks to me I will break even when the Dividend hits but today I lost money
Your question is not entirely clear but it seems to me that everyone is answering a question you are not asking. Are you saying that based on 4pm closing price for AT&T for the number of shares you own, that the total value being displayed in your brokerage account is wrong? Meaning some type of technical error? (T) fluctuates up and down like every stock, and recently got a slight bump higher when they announced they were selling a few of their regional sports networks to retire about 8 billion in debt. Since it is trading at or above its 52 week high I expect a lot of people are looking for an excuse to sell as its relative performance has not been good.

I don't buy the rational that a stock drops by the dividend on the ex-dividend date, though it is more often a down day because of this factor. It is not like the buyer 2 days earlier, 3 days earlier, etc, does not also know this and bids accordingly.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:34 AM   #28
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T dropped more than the 50 cent or so dividend paid on Tuesday. Not a lot, though. The OP may have erred in their OP. Slowly, the NAV is recovering. Since T holds a lot of debt, they will not recover as sweetly as a company with less debt. Telecoms are not in favor.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:03 AM   #29
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While my portfolio returns average about 7.5% over a 5, 10 and 15 year period I lean toward dividend paying funds. Dividends cover about 85% of our expense needs and within a few years they will cover 100%.

For me, I like dividends more from a personal history perspective. I grew up around old great-aunts who'd sit at their dining room table, cutting bond coupons (while sipping Manhattans) tsk-tsk-ing how so-and-so had to dip into her principal and what-a-sad-story-that-was.

Having 'never touch the principal' drilled into me as a child, I've yet to ever sell a share in order to access income. Yes, I know it's an outdated mindset, but it's more than that.

I just like the idea of having $X drop into my account every month/quarter without having to think about it.

More so, during mild recessions the dividends tend to remain steady. More than once when I reached the point where I've needed cash, without dividends I might have had to sell shares at a low.

To each is own of course, but at this point in my life I'm more focused on income than growth which, as noted, at 7% seems fairly typical of many investors.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:17 AM   #30
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So the way you read it, for example, is to see that companies paying dividends in the 1.6-2.4% range delivered total return of 23.8% in the first half. Ref the debate here, it seems that high dividends were negatively correlated with high total return.
Interesting chart, thanks!

I don't know, but wonder if the higher dividend payers (3.5%+) are those who must entice you to invest in them (higher risk endeavors) vs stable, established companies who are simply returning profit to investors at 2%-2.4%.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:30 AM   #31
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I was curious, turns out your choice of Apple as an example was a poor one. I had forgotten that they paid a div much earlier too:

https://finance.yahoo.com/chart

https://yhoo.it/2S4MOKO << short link...

Roughly:

from 1980 to 1987, no div, and grew ~ 3x.

from 1987 to 1995, they paid a dividend, and look to be flat or negative (probably slightly positive if you include the divs, this is an NAV chart).

from 1995 to 2012, no div, and grew from ~ $1.40 to ~ $83. ~ 60x!!!!!

from 2012 to present, they paid a dividend, and grew from ~ $83 to $203 . ~ 2.5x

If I had a time machine, I'd take the no-div AAPL! How about you?

PS: this 'proves' nothing, other than divs may not be such a reliable indicator.

-ERD50
This is an excellent example. This is an incredible company that grew into the largest publicly traded company in the world (though not currently due to global trade issues, not management) all while paying dividends.

Surely you can't be serious here? You must realize there is a huge difference between growing a small company into a large one and growing a large one into an enormous one. That's absolutely not a fair comparison. There's no management team on earth that could grow a $500 million market cap company into a $30 trillion market cap company (60x) in 7 years. This is a disingenuous comparison, and you know it.

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I agree. I'm saying that divs don't really seem to be indicative of anything. But we are getting silly to try to take away too much from any one company - that was just to illustrate, let's get back to the big picture.





Yes, several. Here are a few from this thread (disregard any ref to HYD, that was in error):

9-year fixed income plan



And if you look closely, you'll see that the div funds dropped more in the crash. There was no safety. Even when pulling 4%, or 3.3% or whatever from both.

Let's see your links that show over-performance. I like money, I'd like to see them.



And if that is the case, it should show in the data. Where's the data to support this?

Who has this misconception you threw out? Of course div payers can also grow.



I don't shy away from them either, I accept every one of them that is in my S&P500 or Total Market funds/ETFs. But I'm also not interested in investing in a sector of funds of div payers without clear evidence of an advantage.

Show me, please show me!

-ERD50
From the links you posted, it appears that the dividend stocks performed about the same as the market, and that's with a high 1% expense ratio (that I'm assuming any program worth its salt would take into account, or what's the point?). Without that expense ratio, it's pretty clear they would be beating the broad market. And the dividend stocks actually did NOT fair worse in the crash, as per the data you presented. Actually quite the opposite, unless I'm missing something.

And I'm not trying to prove that dividend stocks over-perform the market. My argument from the beginning was that paying dividends isn't always a management failure, which was posted earlier. You've turned this into a dividend vs non-dividend discussion. That was not my intention.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:21 AM   #32
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.... And the dividend stocks actually did NOT fair worse in the crash, as per the data you presented. Actually quite the opposite, unless I'm missing something. ....
One of us is missing something then, I recall the graphs showing the div-payers to dip a bit further than total market. So point it out if you see something different, maybe I screwed up?

I will likely be away from the computer for a day or two, so don't take that absence as giving up on the discussion.

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Old 07-11-2019, 08:44 AM   #33
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... I don't buy the rational that a stock drops by the dividend on the ex-dividend date, though it is more often a down day because of this factor. It is not like the buyer 2 days earlier, 3 days earlier, etc, does not also know this and bids accordingly.
If I understand your statement here IMO, you do not understand how "ex dividend" works.

Let's call the ex-evidend date D0. Two days before would be D-2 and so on. Buyers on D-3 and D-2 know exactly what they are doing. They are buying a stock that will pay them a near-immediate dividend. Buyers on D0 know that they will not receive that dividend.

So, for example, talk about a theoretical company that has announced a $1 dividend and is on D-3 and D-2 trading at $100. Buyers on those days know that they are buying a $99 stock and a $1 dividend. Buyers on D0 don't get the dividend so they are only willing to pay what the stock was actually worth on D-2 and D-3, which is $99. Hence the price drops by an amount equal to the dividend paid to holders on D-1.

Now market action can and does fuzz this up a bit, but the fundamental principle is that the value of what is being purchased is reduced by the dividend on D0. To say that buyers do not take this into consideration is to say that buyers pay no attention to the book value of what they are buying. However you slice it, a stock is worth less after it pays out some of its cash to its shareholders.

Consider an extreme: A company whose only asset is $100 per share in cash and that has announced a special dividend of $100. On D-2 and D-1, buyers know that they are getting this dividend so they are willing to pay close to $100 for it. On D0 the stock is worthless; the cash is gone. Would you expect anyone to still pay $100?
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:45 AM   #34
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One of us is missing something then, I recall the graphs showing the div-payers to dip a bit further than total market. So point it out if you see something different, maybe I screwed up?

I will likely be away from the computer for a day or two, so don't take that absence as giving up on the discussion.

-ERD50
Here's a screenshot of the year to year:



In the end though, there wasn't much difference between the two... But a cheaper identical index fund would blow it out of the water (for that time frame anyhow).
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:42 AM   #35
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If I understand your statement here IMO, you do not understand how "ex dividend" works.

Let's call the ex-evidend date D0. Two days before would be D-2 and so on. Buyers on D-3 and D-2 know exactly what they are doing. They are buying a stock that will pay them a near-immediate dividend. Buyers on D0 know that they will not receive that dividend.

So, for example, talk about a theoretical company that has announced a $1 dividend and is on D-3 and D-2 trading at $100. Buyers on those days know that they are buying a $99 stock and a $1 dividend. Buyers on D0 don't get the dividend so they are only willing to pay what the stock was actually worth on D-2 and D-3, which is $99. Hence the price drops by an amount equal to the dividend paid to holders on D-1.

Now market action can and does fuzz this up a bit, but the fundamental principle is that the value of what is being purchased is reduced by the dividend on D0. To say that buyers do not take this into consideration is to say that buyers pay no attention to the book value of what they are buying. However you slice it, a stock is worth less after it pays out some of its cash to its shareholders.

Consider an extreme: A company whose only asset is $100 per share in cash and that has announced a special dividend of $100. On D-2 and D-1, buyers know that they are getting this dividend so they are willing to pay close to $100 for it. On D0 the stock is worthless; the cash is gone. Would you expect anyone to still pay $100?
I agree your example is a good summary of how it works (much better and clearer than what I was saying). But that it does get all fuzzed up by other market action and the tax consequences of the dividend payout (some pay taxes on it, others do not) which impacts some participants on the margins as the ex-dividend date nears. Some may not want to buy and immediately be taxed the payout which is immediately handed back to them. Personally I rarely even take notice of the ex-dividend date when thinking about whether to buy or sell shares.

I don't have any links to articles, but 5-10 years ago I remember reading how a few traders tried to trade around the ex-dividend date of some companies, to capture the dividend payout but quickly sell afterwards. Where the idea was that the stocks typically did not drop the full amount for reasons (from their point of view) that I cannot recall. That the scheme sort of worked for a while, but then did not.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:55 PM   #36
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Here's a screenshot of the year to year:

.....

In the end though, there wasn't much difference between the two... But a cheaper identical index fund would blow it out of the water (for that time frame anyhow).
What do your portfolios 1 & 2 represent? I don't see any link to the source data.

Anyhow, here's what I was talking about, from the other thread:

http://bit.ly/2LSp3Vs << short link to back-test

port #1 - VYM

port #2 - VTI/VBMFX 75/25 (Bond fund added; set AA to match VYM performance)

port #3 - VTI (Total Market ETF)

A) VTI outperforms VYM.

B) VTI/VBMFX 75/25 provides the same return with far lower std dev ( 11.31% for the blend, 14.17% for VYM)

In the 2009 downturn, VYM dropped further than VTI, and a lot further than the blend.

What "cheaper identical index fund" are you talking about? Ticker? Chart? blow it out of the water "?


-ERD50
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Old Today, 10:56 AM   #37
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What do your portfolios 1 & 2 represent? I don't see any link to the source data.

Anyhow, here's what I was talking about, from the other thread:

http://bit.ly/2LSp3Vs << short link to back-test

port #1 - VYM

port #2 - VTI/VBMFX 75/25 (Bond fund added; set AA to match VYM performance)

port #3 - VTI (Total Market ETF)

A) VTI outperforms VYM.

B) VTI/VBMFX 75/25 provides the same return with far lower std dev ( 11.31% for the blend, 14.17% for VYM)

In the 2009 downturn, VYM dropped further than VTI, and a lot further than the blend.

What "cheaper identical index fund" are you talking about? Ticker? Chart? blow it out of the water "?


-ERD50
I took a screenshot of the link you posted.

As far as dropping further in the downturn, I never said that dividend stocks wouldn't drop more than non-dividend stocks. I said when they drop, you'll still get the dividend, and if you re-invest the dividends, you pick up stock on the cheap with that dividend. You'll also see that the dividend stocks recovered more quickly.

A bond/total market ETF blend is comparing apples and oranges in relation to the current discussion, so I don't have anything further to comment on that.

Regardless of whether that particular mutual fund you compared to the market outperformed or underperformed doesn't prove much of anything. I don't know which individual stocks are in it and how they were picked. Did they just pick the highest dividend stocks without looking into the fundamentals? I don't know and I'm not willing to do the research.

When I said ETF, I misspoke. I meant lower cost mutual fund. And I don't have a ticker or know of one because I don't invest in mutual funds. I strictly do individual stocks and NASDAQ and S&P 500 ETFs.
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Old Today, 11:37 AM   #38
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... As far as dropping further in the downturn, I never said that dividend stocks wouldn't drop more than non-dividend stocks. I said when they drop, you'll still get the dividend, and if you re-invest the dividends, you pick up stock on the cheap with that dividend. You'll also see that the dividend stocks recovered more quickly. ....
OK, you said it. But what good does that do? That chart, the attachment in my post #36, includes reinvestment of dividends. And VYM does not keep up with total market, and dropped far more than a risk-adjusted blend. And continued to lag during the recovery. I don't see the 'recovered more quickly' in that chart. Maybe, just maybe %-wise, but only because it dropped further? That's cold comfort.


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... A bond/total market ETF blend is comparing apples and oranges in relation to the current discussion, so I don't have anything further to comment on that. ...
It is relevant to this discussion, but there were two reasons I included the blend:

#1) If I didn't, someone could rightly point out that VTI (Total Market) had higher volatility than than VYM (div stocks), so it isn't a fair comparison. So I added a bond element to match the performance of VYM, and to bring down the volatility. And the result is that VYM under-performs on a risk (volatility) adjusted basis too.

#2) Well, dividend stocks are looked at kind of like bonds - take the income stream and let the price take care of itself. So it really is relevant to compare to an AA containing bonds as I did in #1.


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... Regardless of whether that particular mutual fund you compared to the market outperformed or underperformed doesn't prove much of anything. I don't know which individual stocks are in it and how they were picked. Did they just pick the highest dividend stocks without looking into the fundamentals? I don't know and I'm not willing to do the research.

When I said ETF, I misspoke. I meant lower cost mutual fund. And I don't have a ticker or know of one because I don't invest in mutual funds. I strictly do individual stocks and NASDAQ and S&P 500 ETFs.
Well that's good for you I guess. But as soon as we get into the "I don't buy index funds/ETFs, I select stocks based on xyz", we have left the area of really being able to help anyone on this forum. Unless of course you have a method you can share that can be replicated by posters here, and can provide a full history so we can understand what we are getting into. I don't expect you can or would do that.

edit/add: Not sure that this helps, but if you subbed SPY for VTI, you'd see a very similar result they track closely. COuld probably throw some Q's in there too, but I have not looked at that in a while.

Not to be facetious, but I could answer that with a paraphrase of Will Roger's line, ' Just buy good stocks regardless of their dividend, when they go up, sell 'em. If they don't go up, don't buy 'em'.

But I can, and do, buy broad-based index funds/ETFs. And I can explain that to anyone in 10 minutes. I'm still looking for evidence, not hearsay, that I can reliably beat that. I haven't seen a sector that can, including a focus on div-payers.

-ERD50
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You do realize that you first replied to me when I disagreed with dividends being management failures. And I stand by that. You twisted it into a dividend vs no-dividend performance argument, and I unwisely took the bait. My argument is that I don't think paying dividends is always a management failure and that there are a lot of good companies that pay dividends, which is why I don't shy away from dividend-paying companies. In fact, I like them. But I don't want to get into the unwinnable argument on either side.

And I like Will Roger's line you quoted above... except the selling part. I prefer to take Warren Buffett's approach of "our favorite holding period is forever."
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Old Today, 01:32 PM   #40
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbiker View Post
You do realize that you first replied to me when I disagreed with dividends being management failures. And I stand by that. You twisted it into a dividend vs no-dividend performance argument, and I unwisely took the bait. My argument is that I don't think paying dividends is always a management failure and that there are a lot of good companies that pay dividends, which is why I don't shy away from dividend-paying companies. In fact, I like them. But I don't want to get into the unwinnable argument on either side.

And I like Will Roger's line you quoted above... except the selling part. I prefer to take Warren Buffett's approach of "our favorite holding period is forever."
I really have/had no opinion on "dividends being a management failure". I'm not even sure what that means.

I'm not interested in trying to figure out what dividends mean, or how a company manages them or anything else, until someone shows me there is an advantage there that I can use.

So far, I haven't seen this data. So dividends-shmividends, I'll just buy the Total Market, which is made up of a range of dividend and non-dividend payers, w/o bias, not some sector with no data to back it up as being superior overall.

And Buffet said "favorite holding period", not "exclusive". BRK pays no dividend, and I don't care - well, actually I do care, I hold some in my taxable account to help control income while I do Roth conversions. The cap gains will likely be passed on to my heirs, so no taxation to me or my estate.

Saying "I like them" is all well and good. But w/o some data to back up why you feel that way, what are posters supposed to take away from this? I like turtles.

-ERD50
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