Category Archives: Dividends & Income

How To Choose Stocks For Your Defensive Dividend Portfolio

The U.S. market has been led by the bull for pretty much 10 consecutive years. So, it’s better to take a more defensive stance to prepare for attacks from the bear. A core component of a defensive portfolio is it can utilize conservative dividend stocks as its foundation.

Here are some tips for choosing your foundation conservative dividend stocks.

Earnings or Cash Flow Stability

Healthy dividends are paid from earnings or cash flow. So, stable earnings or cash flow generation improve the dividend safety of a stock.

Typically, utilities, REITs, the big Canadian banks, the big Canadian telecoms, and energy infrastructure stocks are good places to search for businesses that generate stable earnings or cash flow.

Dividend Safety

When checking for dividend safety, the first 2 things to look at are the payout ratio and dividend track record of the company. Typically, the lower the payout ratio, the safer the dividend.

However, certain industries like REITs and utilities tend to have higher payout ratios. So, it’s best to compare a company’s payout ratio to that of its industry peers.

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This is One of the Biggest Safe Dividends You Can Get

Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (TSX:BEP.UN)(NYSE:BEP) just increased its cash distribution by 5.1% to an annualized payout of US$2.06 per unit. That implies a yield of 7% at US$29.29 per unit. 

A Sustainable Dividend

In 2018, it increased its funds from operations (“FFO”) per unit by nearly 14%, resulting in a payout ratio of <91% for the year, which was a meaningful improvement from 2017’s payout ratio of 98%. The lower payout ratio makes a safer dividend.

Management aims for cash distribution growth of 5-9% per year in the stock. It’s conservative to assume a cash distribution growth rate of 5% because, since 2011, its distribution has compounded at a growth rate of 5.4%.

Hydroelectric generation
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