February 23, 2024

When an organization has extra earnings, it may possibly reinvest the money, pay down debt, or share the income with shareholders by paying a dividend. Dividends reward shareholders for his or her investments and are often paid quarterly on a per-share foundation. For instance, if an organization pays a $2 dividend and also you personal 100 shares, you’ll obtain a $200 dividend. In case you personal 1,000 shares, your dividend can be $2,000.

Whenever you personal a dividend-paying inventory, you may obtain the dividends in money or reinvest them. Money dividends present instant earnings you may spend, save, or make investments nevertheless you select. Reinvestment allows you to accumulate extra shares of the identical firm over time, resulting in increased potential long-term returns. Listed below are the professionals and cons of dividend reinvestment that can assist you resolve if this wealth-building technique is best for you. 

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How does dividend reinvestment work?

Whenever you elect to reinvest your dividends, the cash from the dividend cost is used to purchase extra shares of the identical dividend-paying inventory. Every dividend you obtain buys a special variety of shares resulting from various dividend funds and share costs. For instance, in the event you obtain a $1 dividend on a $50 inventory, the dividend reinvestment would purchase 0.02 (1 ÷ 50) shares for every share you personal. A $2 dividend on a $20 inventory would purchase 0.10 (2 ÷ 20) shares.

Many firms provide dividend reinvestment plans ( DRIPs), which robotically use your dividends proceeds to purchase extra firm shares. DRIPs provide a number of advantages, together with discounted share costs, commission-free transactions, and fractional share purchases. You can even reinvest your dividends by your dealer by enrolling in its DRIP program or manually putting a purchase order for the specified variety of shares whenever you obtain a money payout.  

What occurs when you do not reinvest dividends?

Whenever you select to not reinvest your dividends, you obtain a money payout as a substitute. This may make sense if you would like extra management over your funding selections or earnings to spend, save, or make investments elsewhere. The draw back is that pocketing the money means you will not profit from the ability of compounding and potential long-term development.

What occurs whenever you do reinvest dividends? 

Whenever you reinvest your dividends, the cash you earn from these dividends goes towards shopping for extra shares. This technique allows you to compound your features to construct wealth over time. Nevertheless, you miss out on potential money stream you possibly can put to work elsewhere—whether or not to fill an instantaneous monetary want or diversify into different belongings.

Dividend reinvestment execs and cons

Dividend reinvestment is usually a sound funding technique. Nonetheless, it is important to contemplate the professionals and cons earlier than choosing dividend reinvestment versus a money payout.


  • You’re compounding earnings. Some of the important benefits of dividend reinvestment is that it means that you can purchase extra shares and construct wealth over time. As you reinvest your dividends, the funding grows, and also you earn much more dividends—and so forth.
  • You may decrease threat by dollar-cost averaging. You may reap the benefits of dollar-cost averaging by reinvesting over time in equal parts at common intervals, limiting the inherent dangers of timing the market.
  • It is simple and handy. When you register with the corporate’s DRIP or arrange your brokerage account to reinvest your dividends, the method is automated and continues till you decide out.
  • There aren’t any buying and selling charges. Dividend reinvestment by the corporate’s DRIP or your dealer’s program is often fee free.
  • You may rating DRIP reductions. Some firms provide reductions of 1% to five% off the latest inventory worth whenever you reinvest dividends by a DRIP.


  • It may restrict diversification. Whenever you reinvest your dividends in an organization you already personal, your portfolio can turn into unbalanced. 
  • There could also be share minimums. Some firms have minimal share necessities to take part in a DRIP. 
  • Your money is tied up. By reinvesting your dividends, you miss out on money you possibly can spend, save, or make investments elsewhere. 
  • You would possibly nonetheless owe taxes. Dividends are taxed whether or not you’re taking a money payout or reinvest them. Nevertheless, with no money payout, it’s important to pay the tax invoice out of pocket. 
  • It is simple to neglect. You would possibly follow a dividend reinvestment technique as a result of it is easy and handy—even when your funding targets have modified. 

Concerns earlier than reinvesting dividends

When deciding whether or not or to not reinvest dividends, it is useful to contemplate the next components:

  • Your funding targets. In case your purpose is long-term portfolio development, dividend reinvestment is smart: Reinvested dividends assist develop your funding. In case you goal to generate an earnings stream or fund an instantaneous monetary want, you are higher off taking money dividends.
  • Your funding model. In case you’re a buy-and-hold investor, you would possibly wish to reinvest dividends to extend your place measurement and probably get pleasure from bigger income down the highway whenever you promote. Energetic merchants could want money dividends to spice up their buying and selling accounts.
  • Your time horizon. Reinvested dividends want time to compound. You could be higher off taking money dividend payouts if in case you have a short while horizon. Reinvestment makes extra sense if in case you have time to let compounding do its magic. 
  • Market situations. Inventory costs rise throughout bull markets, so that you would possibly profit from reinvesting your dividends. Alternatively, many buyers want to maintain extra of their cash in money throughout bear markets.
  • The kind of IRA you may have. Conventional IRAs are tax deferred, which means you may pay taxes in your dividends ultimately. You may keep away from taxes by holding your dividend-paying shares in a Roth IRA and taking certified distributions in retirement, which aren’t taxable.

How do you reinvest dividends?

Whenever you reinvest your dividends, you purchase extra shares with the dividend as a substitute of pocketing the money. There are three major methods to reinvest dividends:

  1. Take part within the firm’s DRIP. Many firms provide DRIPs to robotically purchase extra shares along with your dividends. It is a commission-free transaction, and a few firms even provide DRIP shares at a reduced worth.
  2. Reinvest by your brokerage account. Most on-line brokers provide a no-fee, no-commission DRIP. To enroll, change your preferences within the “dividends” part of your dealer’s settings web page—typically no later than the day earlier than the ex-dividend date. Many robo-advisors, together with M1 Finance, additionally provide automated dividend reinvestment.
  3. Manually reinvest your dividends. With this strategy you utilize a money dividend to purchase extra funding shares by way of your dealer. You would possibly go for this if you would like extra management over your investments or your dealer does not provide a DRIP (for instance, TradeStation is a sturdy buying and selling platform, however you may should reinvest your dividends by hand).

Shares aren’t the one funding that gives dividend reinvestment. For instance, you can even reinvest dividends from exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, and American depository receipts (ADRs). 

Dividend reinvestment development instance

Dividend reinvestment may also help you develop your funding portfolio over time. This is an instance. Say you purchase $20,000 of XYZ inventory at $20 per share, so you may have 1,000 shares. The corporate pays a dividend of $2 per share, which will increase by $0.25 a 12 months, and the share worth goes up 10% yearly.

On the finish of the primary 12 months you obtain a $2,000 dividend ($2 dividend X 1,000 shares). The inventory worth has elevated by 10% to $22, so your reinvested dividend buys 90.91 extra shares. You now personal a complete of 1,090.91 shares price $24,000.02.

On the finish of the second 12 months the corporate pays a per-share dividend of $2.25. Since you reinvested your dividends the earlier 12 months, the dividend is predicated on 1,090.91 shares. Your dividend is $2,454.55 ($2.25 dividend X 1,090.91 shares). The inventory worth has elevated to $24.20, so reinvesting buys one other 101.43 shares. You now personal 1,192.34 shares valued at $28,854.63.

On the finish of the third 12 months the corporate pays a dividend of $2.50 per share, totaling $2,980.85 ($2.50 dividend X 1,192.34 shares). As a result of the inventory worth has elevated to $26.62, the dividend buys one other 111.98 shares. You now personal 1,304.32 shares valued at $34,721.

After simply three years your authentic 1,000-share funding has grown to 1,304 shares. And because of the inventory’s features and your extra shares, the worth has grown from $20,000 to $34,721—a 73% improve.

In fact, not all dividend-paying shares have the identical development potential. The features you get pleasure from depend upon the corporate’s dividends, share costs, the variety of shares you personal, and the way lengthy you maintain the funding.

DRIP investing: Dividend reinvestment plans 

A DRIP takes your dividend and makes use of it to purchase shares robotically. Because of compounding, you develop your place over time with little to no effort: You purchase extra shares with every dividend, which may result in a bigger dividend subsequent time—and so forth. You may enroll in a DRIP instantly by the issuing firm or your dealer.

One of many major advantages of dividend reinvestment is its capability to develop your wealth quietly and steadily if the shares do properly. Whenever you want additional earnings—often throughout retirement—you may have a steady stream of funding income on the prepared. 

TIME Stamp: Money vs. dividend reinvestment: Know when to take the money

Dividend reinvestment could be a part of a long-term wealth-building technique. As you reinvest your dividends, your funding grows, leading to much more dividends—and extra shares. This creates a snowball impact that may enable you to construct wealth with little effort over the long run.

Regardless of the advantages of dividend reinvestment, it isn’t the only option for each investor. You would possibly wish to take the money as a substitute if:

  • You are at (or close to) retirement and wish the earnings. Tally your retirement earnings sources—Social Safety, required minimal distributions (RMDs), pensions, annuities, reverse mortgages, and the like—earlier than deciding in the event you want the dividend earnings. In case you come up brief, you would possibly wish to take your dividends in money. In any other case, take into account reinvesting to proceed rising your funding.
  • You want the money to succeed in a purpose. It would make sense to pocket the money to repay debt, fund a house enchancment, or cowl one other appreciable expense—particularly if the choice is racking up bank card debt or taking out a high-interest mortgage.
  • You wish to diversify. Taking dividends in money allows you to diversify into different belongings as a substitute of including to an current place, which may mitigate volatility and threat in your portfolio.

In fact, weighing the professionals and cons earlier than deciding to reinvest your dividends or pocket the money is important. As with every funding determination, it is a good suggestion to seek the advice of along with your dealer or monetary advisor (similar to somebody you discovered by WiserAdvisor). You may discover the professionals and cons of every choice and decide which strategy aligns greatest along with your threat tolerance and monetary targets.

Ceaselessly requested questions (FAQs)

How do I reinvest dividends if the dividend is not sufficient to purchase a complete share?

DRIPs typically permit you to reinvest dividends of any quantity, even when it solely buys a fractional share. For instance, in the event you get a $10 dividend and a share prices $20, you may reinvest the $10 to purchase 0.50 shares.

How do I cease reinvesting dividends?

If you wish to swap to money dividends, notify the issuing firm that you just now not wish to take part in its DRIP. In case you arrange the DRIP by your dealer, you may change your preferences within the “dividends” part of your dealer’s settings web page.

What are DRIPs?

Whenever you personal a dividend-paying inventory, the issuing firm could provide a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP), which robotically reinvests your dividends at no additional price. Some firms provide reductions on DRIP shares, providing you with a greater worth than you possibly can get on the open market. Many brokers and robo-advisors additionally provide DRIP packages to reinvest dividends in your behalf.

When do you have to not reinvest dividends?

Taking a money dividend is usually a higher choice whenever you’re at or close to retirement and wish the earnings—or wish to diversify your portfolio as a substitute of including to an current place. When doubtful, speak along with your monetary advisor to find out the best choice in your monetary targets.