5. Dividend stock funds
Overview: Dividends are portions of a company’s profit that can be paid out to shareholders, usually on a quarterly basis. So, dividend stocks are those stocks that offer a cash payout — and not all stocks do — while a fund packages up only dividend stocks into one easy-to-buy unit.
Who are they good for? Buying individual stocks, whether they pay dividends or not, is better suited for intermediate and advanced investors. But you can buy a group of them in a stock fund and reduce your risk. Dividend stock funds are a good selection for almost any kind of stock investor but can be better for those who are looking for income. Those who need income and can stay invested for longer periods may find these attractive.
Risks: As with any stock investments, dividend stocks come with risk. They’re considered safer than growth stocks or other non-dividend stocks, but you should choose your portfolio carefully.
Make sure you invest in companies with a solid history of dividend increases rather than selecting those with the highest current yield. That could be a sign of upcoming trouble. However, even well-regarded companies can be hit by a crisis, so a good reputation is finally not a protection against the company slashing its dividend or eliminating it entirely.
However, you eliminate many of these risks by buying a dividend stock fund with a diversified collection of assets, reducing your reliance on any single company.
Rewards: Even your stock market investments can become a little safer with stocks that pay dividends.
With a dividend stock, not only can you gain on your investment through long-term market appreciation, but you’ll also earn cash in the short term.
Where to get them: Dividend stock funds are available as either ETFs or mutual funds at any broker that deals in them. ETFs may be more advantageous because they often have no minimum purchase amount and are typically commission-free.
In contrast, mutual funds may require a minimum purchase and your broker may charge a commission for them, depending on the broker.