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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn everything about Q.ai Investment Kits and how they help build wealth
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