An important yet sometimes overlooked aspect of investing in the stock market or other investment markets is the payment of dividends by the investment.
Many people who invest only part-time or have investment plans through their workplace may not even be aware that dividends exist; they may even be confused by the sudden payment of dividends that appears periodically. For those individuals who aren’t sure what dividends are or what you should do with dividend payments, this guide is for you.Below you’ll find some basic information on what dividends are, as well as ideas of when you should reinvest your dividends and when you shouldn’t.
At its most simple, a dividend is an additional amount that an investor receives when the stocks or bonds that they are invested in perform well enough so as to give a profit to the company that they are issued from. Many companies pay dividends based upon a portion of their profits, which is that portion divided up among all of those who have invested in it as a way to thank their investors for having faith in them and to share their profits with those who help them to stay in business.
Dividends are paid per share, so the more shares of a particular stock that you have the more you’ll receive when dividends are paid usually quarterly, as that’s when business report their earnings and profits or losses. Some dividends are also paid on certain bonds or other investments that are done through a money market account; these dividends are a form of interest for the investment. In most cases, dividends are paid into a money market account so that you can choose to reinvest or withdraw them per your prerogative.
Some investments automatically reinvest all dividends paid, however, and many investment firms give you the option of having all of your dividends reinvested automatically into the stock or investment that paid them.
Reinvesting dividends is an easy way to make more money off of a particular stock or investment… after all, the investment is doing well enough to be paying dividends, and the reinvestment means that you have more of the stock or investment than you did before. If the dividends that you receive are paid to a money market account, you may also choose to reinvest them into other stocks or investments than the one that originally paid them… this can be especially useful if you are receiving dividends from one of your investments that you have a lot of shares in, but you have another investment that you don’t have much of.
You can use the dividend from the larger investment to slowly build up the smaller one, or you can split the dividends among several different investments so as to build them all up over time.
When Not to Reinvest Dividends
Sometimes, however, it’s just as wise to not reinvest your dividends. This is especially true when you’re holding a balance in your money market account to take advantage of a high interest rate that’s being paid to it, or when you’re receiving dividends from short-term investments that you’re going to cash out soon anyway. Even if you decide not to reinvest your dividends, they are still an advantage of investing in certain companies or certain types of investments.
Remember to check and see whether your investments pay dividends and to investigate the options available to you in regards to reinvesting or gaining interest off of any dividends that are paid from your investments.