Dividend as passive income

Dividend from investments into listed companies forms one of the passive income streams. Whenever this concept of dividend as income is talked, that too from shares, the immediate thought is that, it will be very less returns and the next one is, how to rely on a company for a longer period. Because every person who has a fairly good period of exposure to stock investing will know in their memory itself, many companies have vanished from their business.

Whereas, on the other side, there are people who are having dividend as a regular income stream. A couple of years back when the Tata Sons board had a thought of reducing dividends, there was big concern raised by elderly people who said that, they had commitments in their life based on the dividends and reducing it will impact their lifestyle.

What this shows is that, there is a possibility to have dividend as regular income which can take care of our livelihood expenses. In that case, how is it sustainable if a company gives ₹5 as dividend for a stock that is quoting ₹250. The dividend yield comes to only 2% of the investment.

Yes, most of the good, familiar and companies that have long track record of existence generally pay out about 2% of their prevailing value of the stock as dividend. While these are companies that are growing in their business consistently and that growth takes the stock price higher as time passes.

So, today if we buy a stock for dividend the return will be lesser, whereas holding on to that stock for a longer period increases the value of the stock as also its dividends. A ₹250 stock will become ₹2000 over a period and at the time the 2% dividend will work out to ₹40. So you will be getting ₹40 as income from your original investment of ₹250, which becomes attractive.

Only criteria here is to chose a stock that has been there in the market for a fairly long period and also continue to be in existence for an even longer period. Do we have businesses like that in our country?

Yes, there are many. Like ITC, BATA, TITAN, Hindustan Lever, Godrej, Bajaj Auto, Maruti to name a few. Look at these names, most of them or producing daily use products that you and I consume. When will we stop consuming and these companies can run out of business? For example, ITC has been there for more than a century now. In almost every corner of your city you will find Bata store, probably you will be using a Bata product too.

Investing in these kind of businesses will help get a good dividend income over a longer period and these investments will become legacies which you can leave for your children. If not to have all your income coming from dividends, one can look at having a portion of his or her income from dividends.

This is passive, because you are not required to put any kind of effort in making these investments work, people consume & growth these companies. So long the consumption continues, your investment grows and keeps giving you returns.

I did a working on ITC to find if it is viable. The stock price of ITC was about ₹850 in 2000. Over the last 18 years ITC has given many bonuses and splits in its stock price. If someone had bought 100 shares of ITC in 2000 by investing ₹85000. His dividend in 2001 was only ₹1000. It is just a little above 1%.

After all the splits and bonuses, today the 100 shares have grown to 4500 shares and the stock is priced at ₹300 today. The value of ₹85000 invested in 2000 is now ₹13.50 lakhs. The dividend that came for these shares in 2018 is ₹23500.

₹85000 investment in 2000 is now fetching 23500 per annum which is close to 30% of the investment & it will keep increasing.

If you have thoughts of having dividend as one of your sources of income in your retirement years, you can think of accumulating stocks like ITC to create a legacy. One more advantage is that, the feeling that you own a part of the countries economy. As you go across town in your older days, as you keep seeing brands across and people consuming, your mind will say, “I own a part of these businesses and every minute it is earning me income.”

What a feeling right?

 

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Ramesh Sigamani

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