One question that I often get about dividend investing is where I go about finding all the stock and dividend data. In my posts about dividend investing, I talk about yield, payout ratio, rising dividends, and watching earnings to make sure that they are rising as fast (or faster) than the dividend growth. Some of these elements can be extracted from various websites, but others require a manual calculation. Not sure what the heck I’m talking about? Here is a primer on dividend growth investing that may help.
Now that you are caught up on the strategy of dividend investing, let’s talk a little about dividend data. What is the key data that I’m looking for?
- Current share price – The current trading price of a dividend stock.
- Dividend/share – The annual dividend per share is useful when calculating yield and tracking dividend increases over time.
- Yield – This can be calculated by using the formula (dividend per share/current share price).
- Notification’s on dividend increases – If you are manually tracking dividend increases (like I am), then getting real-time notifications are important.
- Number of consecutive annual dividend increases – Knowing how many consecutive years of dividend increases will help separate the star dividend companies from the rest.
- Payout ratio – This ratio helps determine the sustainability of the company’s dividend. This is a ratio of the annual dividend divided by the annual earnings. A higher ratio may indicate an unsustainable dividend.
I track my dividend portfolio via Google Spreadsheets which does a great job of pulling some of the data automatically especially when combined with a few basic formulas, but most of the key information still requires manual input.
Key Sources of Dividend Information
- Company websites and financial statements – No question, the best and most accurate information about a dividend stock is the company website. However, not all websites are made equally. Some websites will be very intuitive with dividend and earnings history information, while others will make you dig through their financial statements. For me, I like to start with data aggregate sites like some of them listed below, but I typically dig a little further into financial statements if the information seems off.
- Google Finance – I use Google Finance for tracking my trading portfolio and dividend stocks in general. Google Finance will give you access to company financials and other key stats like market cap, earnings, price/earnings (P/E), What I really like about Google Finance is that they give you real-time quotes for US stocks (15 min delay for TSX) and they give you the ability to track historic performance of your portfolio vs the index.
- BigCharts.com – This is by far my favorite charting website on the web. In terms of dividend data, I like to use this for a quick check of current trading price (delayed quotes) and the dividend yield.
- DividendInvestor.com (US/Canada) – This website is a great resource for dividend stocks, but it the accuracy of the dividend increase history appears to be a little off. I use this website primarily for the annual dividend/share which has been accurate. The Canadian version is ca.dividendinvestor.com.
- Dividend Growth Investing and Retirement – This blogger has put a lot of work into keeping a dividend growth spreadsheet up to date with a load of information. Most importantly, it lists stocks by the number of annual dividend increases.
- DividendHistory.org – This is a fairly new resource that I came across that lists dividend raises as they are announced.
- Twitter – I use Twitter daily as a news feed and often get updates of dividend raises in real time. I typically retweet important dividend news, so you can follow me on twitter to get the latest.
- Top Yields – This is a dividend resource that lists dividend stocks by index. For instance, you can list companies from the TSX60 sorted by yield. This is what I use to get the dividend list for the Dogs of the TSX strategy (also known as Beating the TSX).
To summarize the websites listed above in what they can offer:
- Current share price – BigCharts.com, Google Spreadsheets
- Dividend/share and Payout Ratio – ca.dividendinvestor.com for Canadian stocks, dividendinvestor.com for US stocks.
- Yield – BigCharts.com and Top Yields.
- Notification’s on Dividend Increases – Twitter and DividendHistory.org.
- Number of Annual Dividend Increases – Company website, DividendGrowthInvestingandRetirement blog.