Should dividend investors sweat interest-rate risk?

Owning quality companies that regularly return cash to shareholders is a solid strategy for all rate environments

Ben Johnson, CFA 15 November, 2019 | 2:03AM

Worried person looking out a window at a lake

There's a lot to like about dividends. Getting a regular check in the mail from the companies you own is a testament to their discipline, the health of their business, and their confidence in its future. But the stock prices of firms with stable cash flows tend to be more sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates than those with more-volatile cash flow streams. Here, I'll examine this relationship in more detail to understand whether it's something investors should sweat over.

Asset prices and interest rates down by the schoolyard
Imagine interest rates and asset prices as kindergarten pals mounted on either end of a seesaw in the schoolyard. As rates rise, asset prices tend to fall. When rates come down, asset prices get a lift. These ups and downs are most pronounced for long-lived assets that produce predictable cash flows, like long-duration bonds.

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About Author

Ben Johnson, CFA

Ben Johnson, CFA  Ben Johnson, CFA, is director of global ETF research for Morningstar and editor of Morningstar ETFInvestor, a monthly newsletter.