GIPHY / istock / getty

What Is DRIP Investing?

Many investors buy dividend-paying stocks for the joy of being rewarded with cash payments quarterly or annually. But DRIP investing offers a lucrative alternative: reinvesting those dividends right back into your portfolio. 

DRIP investing, explained

Dividend reinvestment plans, or DRIPs, are optional programs that automatically reinvest your dividends instead of sending out cash payments. Through DRIP investing, you can boost your holdings and long-term earning potential without fronting more capital yourself. 

(Bear in mind that dividends are taxable income, even if you reinvest them immediately. Generally, that means you must report and pay taxes even on dividends you don’t receive as cash.) 

Example of DRIP investing

Let’s look at a simple example of DRIP investing to see how it works. 

Assume that you own one share of company A, which currently trades for $100. The stock pays out a dividend of $1 once per quarter. 

With a DRIP in place, that $1 would automatically reinvest into Company A, and you’d receive 1/100th of one share. Over the course of the year, your dividends would add up to a total of 4/100ths of a share. (Assuming the stock price didn’t change.)

Multiply your number of shares by 10, 20 or 100 and it’s easy to see how DRIPs add up quickly. 

Where to invest in DRIPs

Historically, DRIPs were primarily offered by individual companies, and your dividends only bought shares of the issuing stock. Company-sponsored DRIPs came with perks like low or no commissions, fractional investing and even share discounts. 

But with the rise of modern, no-commission brokerages and widespread fractional investing, those perks are less relevant. Now, you can opt into a variety of DRIP programs through many brokerages, including for ETFs, mutual funds and even ADRs. 

How does DRIP investing affect you?

DRIP investing helps investors put their dividends to good use and removes the temptation to spend those cash payments. But they also come with some potential negatives to consider, too. 

Pros of DRIP investing

  • Dollar-cost averaging smooths out purchase prices over time
  • Fractional share investing lets you purchase partial shares of stock
  • Increased compound returns as you buy more holdings
  • Some company-based programs offer discounted stocks for DRIP purchases

Cons of DRIP investing

  • Your DRIPped funds can accumulate too much of one investment, leading to a lack of diversification
  • Inflexible reinvestment schedules, as automatic reinvestments usually only occur when you receive dividends
  • Dividend payments are taxable in the year you receive them
  • Some DRIPs set minimum share purchase requirements

What this means for you

DRIP investing helps investors of all stripes boost their long-term return potential. Think of dividend reinvestments as a way to get “free” shares that entitle you to more dividends (and possibly voting rights) in the future. 

If you’re not sure where to start with DRIP investing, Q.ai makes it easy. With a wide variety of AI-backed Investment Kits, automatic reinvestments, Portfolio Protection, and more, it’s never been easier to seek long-term financial security. 

Disclosures

Q.ai is the trade name of Quantalytics Holdings, LLC. Q.ai, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quantalytics Holdings, LLC ("Quantalytics"). Quantalytics offers automated financial advice tools through Quantalytics Investment Advisors, LLC ("QAI"), an SEC-registered investment advisor. QIA’s investment advisory services are ONLY available only to residents of the United States. Disclosures concerning QIA’s investment advisory services are available on its Form ADV filed with the SEC. The content in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a comprehensive description of Q.ai's investment advisory services.

Hands-free approach to investing

Our AI manages your money with commission-free, institutional-grade, AI-powered investment kits.