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Equity Perspectives

video

Joseph Graham explains the potential benefits of dividend-growth stocks for investors' portfolios.

Transcript

Video: The Power of Dividend Growers -“ Transcript

Welcome to Lord Abbett’s Investment Perspectives:

The Power of Dividend Growers

Joseph Graham, Investment Strategist

Are dividends still important?

Joseph Graham: Through much of history dividends have fueled market returns.

In fact, since the 1930s, dividends have constituted 45-percent of the total return in the US Stock Market. Now, over the last few decades, payout ratios have been declining. The share of returns attributable to dividends has also been declining.

But fast forward to today. Since the global financial crisis, bond yields have plummeted and investors are looking for yield and they are looking at dividends. Companies have responded. They're increasing their payout ratios, and the difference has been dramatic.

Since the end of quantitative easing in 2014, dividends have accounted for 100% of the total return in the market.

What makes dividend growth special?

Joseph Graham: Consistent dividend growth can only happen if the company is able to grow dividends year in and year out. So, that means a dividend growth company has a strong business model, usually a growing business in a defensible competitive position. It also can only happen if the company commits to raising dividends. So that’s usually a sign of a strong management team with a shareholder mindset. So these are the high quality companies.

The stocks of these companies typically outperform when equity risk increases and stocks sell off.

In the biggest peak-to-trough drawdowns over the last 10 years, we find that an index of dividend growth stocks outperforms the S&P 500 by a good deal. In fact, it captures 83-percent of the downside of the S&P 500 on average.

In this most recent selloff in €”January, February of 2016, dividend growth stocks captured only 49-percent of the downside. This is a really important quality that helps diversify portfolios and helps protect them in bad times.

What role can dividend growth stocks play in a portfolio?

Joseph Graham: Dividend growth stocks can be excellent portfolio diversifiers. We have already talked about their historical record in terms of equity downside capture. They also have little to no correlation to rising interest rates, meaning they can add diversification benefits to even balance portfolios of equity and fixed income securities. Dividend growth stocks can help with retirement planning.

Investors at or near retirement are often concerned with something called sequence of return risk and what this is, is the risk of a large drawdown early in retirement that can derail an entire plan. The stability associated with dividend growth stocks can go a long way to help mitigate this risk.

And finally, there are psychological benefits to this. The stability, the smoothness of dividend growth stock returns, it helps investors stay invested, meaning they can realize the long-term benefits of equity market exposure.

This has been Lord Abbett’s Investment Perspectives. Thank you for watching.

For more information on dividend growth stocks, please visit lordabbett.com/dividendgrowers

VIDEO DISCLOSURE

For all charts presented herein: The historical data are for illustrative purposes only, do not represent the performance of any specific portfolio managed by Lord Abbett or any particular investment, and are not intended to predict or depict future results. Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Dividends are not guaranteed and may be increased, decreased, or suspended altogether at the discretion of the issuing company.

Glossary

Dividend policy: A stock is classified as a dividend payer if it paid a cash dividend any time during the previous 12 months, a dividend grower if it initiated or raised its cash dividend at any time during the previous 12 months, and non-dividend payer if it did not pay a cash dividend at any time during the previous 12 months.

Downside capture: The downside capture ratio measures a manager’s performance in down markets relative to a particular benchmark. A down market is one in which the market’s quarterly (or monthly) return is less than zero. For example, a ratio of 50% means that the portfolio’s value fell half as much as its benchmark index during down markets.

Quality stocks: Equities with a track record of earnings and dividend growth are often characterized as high-quality. For example, independent research firm Standard & Poor’s assigns quality rankings to stocks on their 10-year history of earnings and dividend growth.

The S&P 500® Index is widely regarded as the standard for measuring large cap U.S. stock market performance and includes a representative sample of leading companies in leading industries.

S&P 900® 10-Year Dividend Growth Index is a subset of the S&P 900 Index. The index consists of large and mid-sized companies that have a 10-year history of dividend issuance and growth, and that meet certain other criteria. The Dividend Growth Index represents a considerably narrower investable universe than the S&P 900 Index because of these stringent criteria. The Dividend Growth Index is a custom index that was developed at the request of Lord Abbett. The Dividend Growth Index is the exclusive property of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. Under a contract with Lord Abbett, Standard & Poor’s administers, maintains, and calculates the Dividend Growth Index. Standard & Poor's and its affiliates shall have no liability for any errors or omissions in calculating the Index.

Risks to Consider
The value of investments in equity securities will fluctuate in response to general economic conditions and to changes in the prospects of particular companies and/or sectors in the economy. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results. Please consult your investment professional for additional information concerning your specific situation.

Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.

This broadcast serves as reference material for information purposes only; does not constitute an offer to acquire, solicitation for an offer to acquire, an offer to sell or solicitation for an offer to buy, any securities, nor is intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, or investment advice on any securities, and cannot be used for any of the foregoing.

The views and opinions expressed by the Lord Abbett speaker are those of the speaker as of the date of the broadcast, and do not necessarily represent the views of the firm as a whole. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and Lord Abbett disclaims any responsibility to update such views. Neither Lord Abbett nor the Lord Abbett speaker can be responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered.

This broadcast is the copyright © 2016 of Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC. All Rights Reserved. This recording may not be reproduced in whole or in part or any form without the permission of Lord Abbett.

RELATED TOPICS

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

RELATED FUND
The Lord Abbett Affiliated Fund Class A invests primarily in dividend-paying stocks of large U.S. companies. Access performance and portfolio information.
RELATED FUND
The Calibrated Dividend Growth Fund invests primarily in stocks of large U.S. companies that have a history of increasing their dividends. Learn more.

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