Save. Invest. Learn. Repeat.
So this blog post will fall under the “Learn” category. It’s just a tidbit of information about organic dividends to add to your investing armamentarium. Do with it what you will.
Long-time readers know that I’m a huge fan of dividend ETFs (exchange-traded funds). Since the start of my investment journey, I’ve relied on DRIPs (dividend re-investment plans) to re-invest all of my dividends automatically. I time my investment purchases to take advantage of each ETF’s ex-dividend date. I felt very smart about dividends. As always, the universe has much more to teach me.
Lately, I’ve been coming across the term “organic dividends” more frequently. Every time I see this term, I ask myself questions: What are these? Do I need them? If so, how do I get them?
First question – what are organic dividends?
From what I’ve gathered, organic dividends are the dividends that are generated when the dividend-issuing company raises the dividend-payout per unit. If I have 1000 units that pay me $0.10/unit in dividends, then I earn $100 in dividends. Fantastic! Those aren’t the organic dividends though.
When the company raises the dividend payout to $0.15/unit, then I get to benefit from organic growth in my dividends… My dividend increase directly as a result of the increased dividend payout. That $0.05 increase in the payment – from $0.10 to $0.15 – results on my dividend payment increasing to $150, without any effort on my part.
Instead of buying 500 more units to get that $150 dividend payment (=1500 units x $0.10/unit), I earned more dividends per unit simply because I own the units. Yay, me! In other words, I didn’t have to invest any money increase the amount of my dividend payment. Instead, my dividend grew organically because the dividend-payout increased. Essentially, I earned more money without doing any more work.
Mind blown! Organic dividends are as wonderful as my DRIP for increasing my dividend cash flow.
Second question – do I need organic dividends?
The short answer is “Hell, yes!”
My portfolio benefits anytime one of my dividend-paying companies raises its dividend payout. I can’t imagine a situation where organic dividend growth would be bad for me. Again, I earn more money without doing more work. Obviously, I’m going to like this fantastic feature of organic dividend growth.
Even if my taxes go up, so what? Dividends are taxed so much less than earned income. Getting an increase in my dividend payments, via organic growth, is similar to getting a raise at work. The organic dividends are way, way better than the raise, because the raise is taxed much more than the dividends are. The tax treatment of dividends is much better. If you want more details, talk to a tax professional.
If you’re fortunate enough to benefit from both organic dividends and a raise at work, then count your blessings, pay your taxes, and go on about your day.
Third question – how does one get their hands on organic dividends?
Well, my sweet… we have to go back to first principles to answer that question.
- First, you live below your means. If your spend every nickel you earn, then you won’t have any money to invest. You need to have some disposable income to direct towards wealth creation.
- Second, you automatically transfer a portion of your paycheque to your investment account every single time you are paid. Start where you’re at and increase that amount over time. I started with $50 every two weeks from my first part-time job. Now, I’m investing twice that much every day… on top of the monthly dividends that are automatically re-invested.
- Third, you buy dividend-paying investments. I like to buy dividend ETFs, but there are also dividend-paying mutual funds and dividend-paying index funds out there. (Never forget that mutual funds are far more expensive than ETFs and index funds so you’re paying more to own them. You should probably stick to ETFs and index funds.) You can even buy stock in companies directly, if you think that’s best.
- Four, set up a dividend re-investment plan so that your dividends are automatically re-invested for you every time you are paid.
You continue to live below your means so that you always have money to invest. The dividends will start as a trickle, then compound over time. Eventually, they’re a virtual waterfall showering you with money every year. The more you invest, the faster your dividend payouts will grow. When the dividend-issuing companies increase their dividend payout amounts, each of your ETF units (or stock) will pay you more money.
You cannot benefit from organic dividends without first having dividend-paying products in your portfolio. Never, ever forget this.
That’s it. That’s the post. Organic dividends are a great way to increase your passive cash flow. You cannot control when they’ll show up, but you can definitely control whether you’re positioned to receive them. Do with this information what you will.