The last couple of posts in The Dividend Key series have covered high dividend stocks and the fact that they have been better market performers than low yield stocks. However, it has not been simply buying all the high dividend stocks that has been the most powerful. A study conducted by Credit Suisse Quantitative Equity Research looked at high yields and payout ratios. Their study found that it is high yields coupled with low payout ratios that have provided the best gains over lower yield investing. Although the study used a shorter time frame (1980 – 2006) than many of the other studies we have looked at, the data is pretty clear in its messaging. Take a look at the chart below:
It is interesting to see that the stocks that had a high payout ratio as a whole produced worse gains than the S&P 500, but the stocks that either paid no dividends, had a low yield, or had a high yield did better than the S&P 500. That payout ratio is certainly more important than I thought it was based on this study. A high payout ratio can certain indicate trouble in a company and must be watched closely.
(Photo Credit: daniel wildman)