Which Investments May Pay Dividends?

Dividends can be a great way for investors to generate passive income. In today’s low interest rate environment, the dividend yields of stocks and funds are often much higher than bond yields. But not all investments pay dividends, so you need to choose wisely.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Common stocks, preferred stocks, closed-end funds, ETFs, REITs, BDCs, MLPs, and royalty trusts are some of the main investments that pay dividends.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take a deep dive into various dividend-paying securities. We’ll discuss their dividend features, risks, pros and cons, and top picks for dividend investors.

Understanding Dividends

Dividends are a way for companies to distribute a portion of their earnings to shareholders. When you invest in a company’s stock, you become a partial owner of that company. As a shareholder, you are entitled to a share of the company’s profits, which are paid out in the form of dividends.

What are dividends?

Dividends are payments made by a company to its shareholders, usually in the form of cash or additional shares of stock. These payments are typically made on a regular basis, such as quarterly or annually.

The amount of the dividend is determined by the company’s board of directors and is based on factors such as the company’s earnings and financial health.

Dividends can be a great way to generate passive income from your investments. They provide a steady stream of cash flow that can be reinvested or used to supplement your income. Many investors, particularly those nearing retirement, choose to invest in dividend-paying stocks to help fund their living expenses.

Key dividend dates

There are several important dates to be aware of when it comes to dividends:

  • Declaration date: This is the date when a company’s board of directors announces the upcoming dividend payment. It is usually accompanied by an announcement of the dividend amount.
  • Ex-dividend date: This is the date on which a stock begins trading without the dividend. If you purchase shares of a stock on or after the ex-dividend date, you will not be eligible to receive the upcoming dividend payment.
  • Record date: This is the date on which a company determines which shareholders are eligible to receive the dividend. You must be a shareholder of record on this date to qualify for the dividend.
  • Payment date: This is the date when the dividend is actually paid to eligible shareholders. It is typically a few weeks after the record date.

Dividend types

There are different types of dividends that companies may choose to pay out:

  • Cash dividends: This is the most common type of dividend, where shareholders receive cash payments directly into their brokerage accounts.
  • Stock dividends: Instead of cash, shareholders receive additional shares of stock. This can be a way for a company to reward shareholders without depleting its cash reserves.
  • Special dividends: These are one-time, larger-than-normal dividends that are typically paid out when a company has excess cash or wants to distribute profits from a one-time event, such as the sale of a subsidiary.

It’s important to note that not all companies pay dividends. Some companies may choose to reinvest their earnings back into the business for growth and expansion. If you’re looking for dividend-paying investments, it’s a good idea to research and select companies that have a history of consistent dividend payments and a strong financial track record.

For more information on dividends and how they work, you can visit www.investopedia.com.

Stocks That Pay Dividends

When it comes to investing, there are various options available to individuals looking to grow their wealth. One popular investment strategy is to invest in stocks that pay dividends. Dividends are regular cash payments made by companies to their shareholders as a way to distribute profits.

These payments can be a great source of passive income and can provide investors with a steady stream of cash flow.

Common Stocks

Common stocks are the most well-known type of stock and are widely traded on stock exchanges. When you invest in common stocks, you become a partial owner of the company and have the right to vote on certain matters.

Common stocks are known for their potential for capital appreciation, but they can also pay dividends.

Dividends from common stocks are typically paid out on a quarterly basis. The amount of the dividend may vary from company to company and can be influenced by factors such as the company’s profitability and financial health.

It’s important to note that companies are not obligated to pay dividends, and the decision to do so is at the discretion of the company’s board of directors.

One way to identify common stocks that pay dividends is to look for companies with a history of consistently paying dividends. These companies are often well-established and have a track record of generating stable profits.

Additionally, you can research dividend yield, which is the annual dividend payment divided by the stock price. A higher dividend yield may indicate a more attractive investment opportunity.

Preferred Stocks

Preferred stocks are another type of stock that can pay dividends. Unlike common stocks, preferred stocks do not come with voting rights in the company. However, they often have higher priority when it comes to receiving dividend payments and in the event of liquidation or bankruptcy.

The dividends paid on preferred stocks are typically fixed and paid out at regular intervals. This can make preferred stocks an attractive option for investors looking for a consistent income stream. However, it’s important to note that preferred stock dividends may be subject to certain conditions, such as the company having sufficient earnings to make the payment.

Investors interested in preferred stocks should research the terms and conditions of the preferred stock offering. This can include information such as the dividend rate, payment frequency, and any special features or rights associated with the stock.

When considering investments that pay dividends, it’s important to conduct thorough research and consider your individual financial goals and risk tolerance. Dividend payments can be a valuable source of income, but they should not be the sole factor in making investment decisions.

By diversifying your portfolio and seeking professional advice, you can build a well-rounded investment strategy that aligns with your financial objectives.

Funds With Dividend Distributions

Mutual funds

Mutual funds are a popular investment option for those looking to receive regular dividend distributions. These funds pool money from multiple investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities.

Mutual funds can be actively managed, meaning that a fund manager actively selects investments, or passively managed, where the fund aims to replicate the performance of a specific index. Dividends from the underlying securities in the mutual fund are distributed to investors in the form of cash or additional shares.

According to a study conducted by Investopedia, mutual funds can offer a higher level of diversification compared to individual stocks, reducing the risk of a single investment negatively impacting the overall return.

Additionally, some mutual funds focus specifically on dividend-paying stocks, aiming to provide investors with a steady income stream.


Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are similar to mutual funds but are traded on stock exchanges like individual stocks. Like mutual funds, ETFs pool money from multiple investors and invest in a diversified portfolio of securities.

However, unlike mutual funds, ETFs can be bought and sold throughout the trading day at market prices.

ETFs can be an attractive option for investors looking for dividend distributions as some ETFs focus specifically on dividend-paying stocks or have dividend-focused strategies. These ETFs may track dividend indexes or invest in companies with a history of consistent dividend payments.

Closed-end funds

Closed-end funds are another type of investment fund that can provide dividend distributions. Unlike mutual funds and ETFs, closed-end funds have a fixed number of shares that are traded on stock exchanges.

These funds are actively managed and typically invest in a specific sector, region, or asset class.

Closed-end funds may distribute dividends to shareholders based on the income generated from their investments. These funds can be an interesting option for investors looking for higher dividend yields, as some closed-end funds focus on high-yield securities or alternative income sources.

It’s important to note that the dividends received from these investment funds can vary and are not guaranteed. Investors should carefully review the prospectus and historical performance of the fund before making any investment decisions.

Other Dividend-Paying Securities

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

REITs are a popular choice for investors looking for dividend-paying securities. These companies own and manage income-generating real estate properties such as apartments, office buildings, shopping centers, and hotels.

By law, REITs are required to distribute a significant portion of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. One of the advantages of investing in REITs is that they offer a way to invest in real estate without the need to directly own properties.

Additionally, REITs often provide higher dividend yields compared to many other investment options. It’s important to note that REITs are subject to market fluctuations and investors should conduct thorough research before investing.

Business Development Companies (BDCs)

BDCs are another type of dividend-paying security that investors may consider. These companies typically invest in small and mid-sized businesses and provide them with capital in exchange for equity or debt.

BDCs are regulated investment companies that are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders. This makes them an attractive investment option for those seeking regular income.

BDCs can offer diversification benefits as they invest in a variety of sectors and industries. However, like any investment, there are risks involved, including the potential for loss of capital.

Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)

MLPs are publicly traded partnerships that are primarily involved in the energy sector, particularly in the transportation, storage, and processing of oil, natural gas, and other energy products. MLPs offer investors the opportunity to benefit from the steady cash flows generated by the energy sector.

One of the key advantages of investing in MLPs is the potential for high dividend yields. However, it’s important to note that MLPs have complex tax implications and investors should consult with a tax advisor before investing.

Additionally, MLPs can be influenced by commodity prices and other industry-specific factors, which can impact their performance.

Royalty Trusts

Royalty trusts are investment vehicles that generate income from royalties received from the production of natural resources, such as oil, gas, and minerals. These trusts typically own the rights to receive a portion of the revenue generated from the sale of these resources.

Investors in royalty trusts receive regular distributions, which can make them an attractive option for income-focused investors. However, it’s important to note that the performance of royalty trusts is closely tied to the underlying production and prices of the natural resources they are associated with.

Therefore, fluctuations in commodity prices can impact the dividends received by investors.

Key Factors in Choosing Dividend Investments

When it comes to investing, one option that many individuals consider is dividend investments. These investments can provide a steady stream of income in the form of regular dividend payments. However, not all dividend investments are created equal.

To make the most informed decisions, it’s important to consider several key factors.

Dividend Yield

The dividend yield is a crucial factor to consider when choosing dividend investments. It represents the annual dividend payment as a percentage of the stock price. A higher dividend yield indicates a higher return on investment.

However, it’s important to note that a high dividend yield can sometimes be a red flag, as it may indicate that the stock price has significantly dropped. It’s essential to strike a balance between a high dividend yield and the overall stability and growth potential of the investment.

Dividend Growth

Another important factor to consider is the dividend growth rate. This refers to the percentage increase in dividend payments over time. Investing in companies with a consistent track record of increasing dividends can be beneficial in the long term.

Dividend growth demonstrates the company’s financial stability and its ability to generate consistent profits. It also helps to hedge against inflation and can lead to significant returns over time.

Payout Ratio

The payout ratio is a measure of the percentage of a company’s earnings that are paid out as dividends. A low payout ratio indicates that the company retains a larger portion of its earnings for reinvestment in the business, which can lead to future growth.

On the other hand, a high payout ratio may indicate that the company is distributing a large portion of its earnings as dividends, leaving less room for potential growth and expansion. It’s important to find a balance between a reasonable payout ratio and the company’s financial health.

Business Model Stability

Lastly, it’s crucial to consider the stability of the company’s business model when choosing dividend investments. Companies with a strong and stable business model are more likely to generate consistent profits, which in turn supports their ability to pay dividends.

It’s important to research and analyze the company’s financial statements, market position, and competitive advantage to assess its long-term stability and growth potential.

By carefully considering these key factors, investors can make more informed decisions when choosing dividend investments. Remember, it’s always important to do thorough research, diversify your portfolio, and consult with a financial advisor to ensure your investment strategy aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Top Dividend Stocks and Funds

When it comes to investing, one strategy that many investors find appealing is investing in dividend stocks and funds. These types of investments can provide a consistent stream of income, making them particularly attractive for those looking to supplement their regular income or build wealth over time.

In this article, we will explore some of the top dividend stocks and funds that investors may consider.

Blue chip stocks

Blue chip stocks are well-established companies with a history of stable earnings and a strong market presence. These companies tend to be leaders in their industries and have a track record of paying dividends consistently.

Examples of blue chip stocks include companies like Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble. Investing in blue chip stocks can provide investors with a reliable source of income and the potential for long-term capital appreciation.

Aristocrat stocks

Aristocrat stocks are companies that have a history of increasing their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. These stocks are known for their ability to generate consistent and growing income for investors. Some well-known aristocrat stocks include companies like McDonald’s, Walmart, and 3M.

Investing in aristocrat stocks can be a smart choice for those seeking a reliable income stream that keeps up with inflation.

High yield ETFs

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are investment funds that trade on stock exchanges like individual stocks. High yield ETFs focus on investing in companies that offer high dividend yields. These ETFs can provide investors with exposure to a diversified portfolio of high dividend stocks.

Some popular high yield ETFs include the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF and the iShares Select Dividend ETF. Investing in high yield ETFs can be a great way to gain exposure to a broad range of dividend-paying companies.

Closed-end funds

Closed-end funds are investment funds that issue a fixed number of shares through an initial public offering (IPO). These funds are managed by professionals and invest in a diversified portfolio of assets, including dividend-paying stocks.

Closed-end funds often trade at a discount or premium to their net asset value, providing opportunities for investors to buy shares at a discount. Some popular closed-end funds that focus on dividends include the PIMCO Dynamic Credit and Mortgage Income Fund and the Nuveen Preferred and Income 2022 Term Fund.

Investing in closed-end funds can offer investors the potential for high income and the opportunity to buy assets at a discount.

It’s important to note that while dividend stocks and funds can provide a steady stream of income, they also come with risks. Investors should carefully research and consider their investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon before investing in any specific stocks or funds.

For more information on dividend stocks and funds, you may visit Investopedia or The Motley Fool.


Dividends can boost total returns and provide steady income for investors. But not all dividends are equal – it’s important to analyze dividend sustainability and potential growth.

By selectively choosing stocks, funds, and other vehicles with stable dividends, investors can prudently build a portfolio that generates both capital gains and regular cash payments.

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