Increase Dividend Income
WHY INCREASE DIVIDEND INCOME?
We all can build wealth by creating a gap between our income and expenses. Most importantly, by increasing income, reducing expenses or a combination of both, free cash flow is created.
With free cash flow, you can do a number of things.
- Build up your emergency fund
- Pay off debt
These are the basics to create wealth and achieve financial independence.
You can find a lot of information about reducing costs. Housing, cars and food are usually the big targets. Much of it is common sense and self discipline.
On the other hand, I like to focus on increasing income. Why? Costs can only be decreased by so much. In contrast, the potential to increase income is unlimited. So, let’s get on with some methods to increase dividend income.
PORTFOLIO OF DIVIDEND STOCKS
First of all, you need a portfolio of dividend stocks.
- It can be as few as 3.
- A foundation of 5 is better.
- In addition, solid diversification is achieved by owning 20 to 25 companies.
A dividend focused mutual fund or ETF is also fine. Most of the ways to increase dividend income still apply. My favorite is the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM).
With your portfolio of dividend stocks in place, here are the four primary ways to increase your dividend income:
INCREASE DIVIDEND INCOME – #1 ADD NEW CASH TO YOUR PORTFOLIO
If you make more money from your job than you spend during the month, you have created free cash flow. Increase dividend income by using that free cash flow to
- Add to one of your dividend stocks, or
- Initiate a position in a new dividend stock
As a result, your dividend income increases. The increase is the amount invested times the stock’s dividend yield at time of purchase.
If you want to check the pulse on who is buying what in the dividend stock blogging community check out Jason’s More Dividends blog. Jason posts weekly on who is buying what! It is a great feature to see what stocks other dividend investors are buying.
INCREASE DIVIDEND INCOME – #2 RECEIVE DIVIDEND INCREASES
Dividend increases are my favorite way to increase dividend income. Many dividend paying companies raise their dividend on an annual basis.
The actual amount of the dividend increase depends on a number of factors. The increase can range from a few percentage points to 8% or even more. Some companies have increased their dividend payment annually for many, many years with out interruption. They are the kind of companies I like in my portfolio. Hence, buy, hold and let the company do the work to increase dividend income.
INCREASE DIVIDEND INCOME – #3 REINVEST YOUR DIVIDENDS
It’s a great idea to reinvest the dividends you receive right back into your portfolio of dividend stocks. There are 2 ways to go about it.
- Tell your broker to automatically reinvest the dividend back into the stock that paid it
- Let your dividends accumulate in cash and periodically reinvest them in a stock of your choice.
INCREASE DIVIDEND INCOME – #4 PORTFOLIO SWAPS
Finally, you have the option of selling one portfolio holding and replacing it with another. I’m not a huge fan of this method since I prefer to buy and hold forever. However, sometimes the best plans do not work out.
Let’s assume a stock in your portfolio has increased in value by a significant amount. This is great news. As a result, it may have created a very low dividend yield. A stock’s dividend yield moves in the opposite direction of the stock price. You may decide to sell all or part of this stock. Then, reinvest the proceeds in a different stock with a higher dividend yield. As a result, you increase dividend income.
Increasing income is a key element to building your wealth. To increase dividend income, consider implementing these methods:
- Invest new cash in dividend paying stocks
- Receive dividend increases from the companies you own
- Reinvest your dividends
- Swap lower yielding companies with those that have higher dividend yields.
In addition, some investors use options to increase dividend income. I have never personally used this strategy. If you would like more information on the topic, check out the Engineering Dividends blog.
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