Dividend Stock Portfolio Building: How Big Should Your Stock Position Be?

You build a dividend stock portfolio one stock at a time. But how much should you buy the stock of a quality company until you stop? 

You might stop when the stock is no longer attractively priced or when you’ve bought a big enough position.

If you are relatively new to investing, you might be confused about these terms: “starter position”, “partial position”, and “full position”. I’ll explain them real soon (in the section after the next one).

Dividend Stock Portfolio Building Examples

Portfolio building is about spreading risks. You might refrain from buying more than 25% of your stock portfolio in a sector or 5% in a stock. For example, banks, insurance, and asset managers fall under the financial services sector. 

Under the 25% rule, these holdings cannot make up more than 25% of your portfolio when you make purchases. Under the 5% rule, you won’t have more than 5% in Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY) or Brookfield Asset Management (TSX:BAM.A)(NYSE:BAM) when you buy their shares.

You might also limit how much you invest in a dividend stock by the yield it provides. For example, a high-yield dividend stock that pays a 10% yield could be risky. If so, you might only limit it to contribute to only 1% of your annualized income. It could be a great move to just avoid risky, high-yield stocks altogether. 

Not all high-yield stocks are risky. You’ll need to perform fundamental analysis on potential ideas to determine if they’re risky or not, given the economic condition or situation at the time. During a market crash, a nice bunch of quality dividend stocks could provide nice yields of 5-10%.

Here’s a concrete example. A new $11,000 dividend portfolio that’s focused on growth (or dividend growth) might look like this with $1,000 invested in each of the following:

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Stock Market is High: Time to Stop Buying Stocks?

The stock market is trading near its all-time high. Morningstar revealed that of the 682 U.S. stocks that its equity analysts cover, “only 5(!) have 5 stars, while 83 receive a single star.”

For those who are not familiar with Morningstar’s star system, 5 stars represent super undervalued while 1 star represents super overvalued. 

The Volatility Index, the “Fear Gauge” or “Fear Index” is a 30-day forward-looking measure of the volatility of the market. The lower the VIX is at, the less fear or more complacent the market is and vice versa. The Volatility Index also suggests there’s little fear in the stock market right now. 

Source: Stockcharts – Volatility Index

Although Morningstar covers less than 20% of the stocks on the U.S. market, its coverage includes many prominent names across different industries.

Should investors stop buying stocks in a high market? As the stock market has ascended to new heights, it has become more difficult to find value, but they do exist if you look for it.

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How to Deal With Laggards in Your Dividend Stock Portfolio

We would love to invest in winners only. But that’s not how real-life investing is like. Sooner or later, it’s inevitable to run into a laggard in your dividend stock portfolio.

Sometimes, laggards provide underperformance but still a positive return. Other times, laggards outright decline over multiple years, standing out like a sore thumb in an otherwise well-performing diversified dividend portfolio.

Here are several ways to deal with laggards. Below, I’ll revisit some of my mistakes as examples to learn from.

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