If you're like most people, you're probably looking for ways to make your money work for you. One way to do that is by investing in dividend-paying stocks. But how can you be sure that you're getting the most out of your investments? By tracking your dividends, of course! In this guide, we'll teach you how to track your dividends so that you can ensure that you're making the most of your portfolio.
What is a dividend, and what are the benefits of receiving them?
A dividend is a payment that a company distributes to its shareholders from its profits or earnings. Dividends give investors regular cash payments from their investments, which can then be reinvested or used to purchase more shares of the same stock.
There are also tax benefits to receiving dividends, as they may be eligible for preferential treatment under the federal government's dividend tax credit.
Why use a dividend tracker?
Tracking your dividends is an essential part of taking full advantage of your investments and making sure that you're getting the most out of them. There are many benefits of tracking your dividends, such as:
- Being able to track the amount of money you are receiving from each company.
- Getting an overview of how well your investments are performing.
- Having a better understanding of which stocks and funds are paying out more in dividends than others.
- Having a clear idea of when you will be paid and how much.
- Being able to track the dividend history of a particular stock or fund over time.
- Staying organized for tax time.
How do I track my dividends?
Tracking your dividends is as simple as keeping track of the amount of money you receive from each dividend-paying stock. You can track this information manually using a spreadsheet or an online platform such as TrackYourDividends. In this guide, we will discuss both options in detail and provide you with tips and tricks to make this process a breeze.
What to look for in a dividend tracker?
When picking a dividend tracker, you want to make sure that it is easy to use and has all of the features you need. Some features to look for include customizable charts, alerts when dividends are paid out, and the ability to track multiple stocks or funds at once. You should also make sure that the platform is secure, and reliable and that the dividend data is accurate.
The options presented in this article meet these criteria. The decision of which dividend tracking option to choose depends on your preference for customizability versus convenience.
TrackYourDividends (Online Platform)
TrackYourDividends is an online dividend-tracking platform that can help you track your dividends in an easy and efficient way. It has a range of features to simplify the process, including customizable charts, alerts for when dividends are paid out, and the ability to track multiple stocks or funds at once.
It also offers a secure and reliable experience, so you can be sure that your data is safe. Additionally, the dividend data provided by TrackYourDividends is accurate and up-to-date.
The benefit of using this option is that you can connect to your broker and get the dividend information from your portfolio you need, such as the amount and date, and track the dividend history of a particular stock or fund over time. This makes the process simple, and you can ensure your tracking is always up to date. At the same time, you can also use the company's dividend screener to find potential dividend stocks to add to your portfolio.
The downside of this option is that it lacks customizability. You have to use the charts and reporting provided by the platform, and you cannot make your own custom dashboard based on your particular needs. At the same time, gathering all the information for tax time may not be very easy since you have to export the data and perform your calculations separately. Moreover, this option does have a cost of $119.98 per year.
Wisesheets (Spreadsheet Add-On)
Wisesheets is a spreadsheet add-on that can help you track your dividends easily and efficiently. It has a range of features to simplify the process, including the ability to get dividend data such as dividend yield, dividend payments, stock financials, and key metrics for stocks and ETFs. This gives you the flexibility to get all the dividend and stock data you need right on your Excel and Google sheets spreadsheet without wasting time copy-pasting the data yourself. With this, you can track multiple stocks and ETFs in any way you like.
If you like spreadsheets and customizability, then you are going to love Wisesheets. Unlike online platforms, you can build dividend analysis dashboards any way you want by adding charts, dividend data, and any other key metrics you'd like in a single view. Better yet, you can get inspiration from user-made templates and customize them to your specific needs. You can also use Wisesheets to perform fundamental analysis by getting all the stock data you need and screening for potential stock investment opportunities.
Depending on the type of dashboard you would like to build, it may take some time to add the data and look you want. However, once it is built, you can easily update it with new data and refresh the existing data you have in a few clicks. At the same time, you cannot currently connect to your broker to retrieve information about your portfolio, so you need to manually enter if you'd like to have that data be part of your dashboard. Lastly, Wisesheets does have a cost of $60 per year.
Dividend screener – how to use it for better results
Both dividend tracking options have the ability to screen for dividend stocks. However, the most important thing to know is how to screen for this type of stocks. The best way to screen for dividend stocks is to look at the dividend yield, which is calculated by dividing a company's annual dividend payments by its current share price.
Additionally, it is important to keep track of the company's track record when it comes to paying dividends and look out for any changes in the company's fundamentals, such as earnings per share or revenue growth. This will help ensure you are investing in companies that can sustain dividend payments.
Tips for growing your dividend income over time
- Reinvest dividends and track your portfolio performance: By reinvesting the dividends you receive and track your investment's performance over time, you can ensure that the value of your investments are growing.
- Diversify your portfolio: A diversified portfolio will help reduce risk while allowing you to collect multiple streams of income from investments.
- Look for stocks with low volatility: Low-volatility stocks are less likely to experience drastic drops in their price, which means you can collect your dividend income with less worry of a significant loss.
- Keep track of dividend yield and track record: As mentioned before, it is important to keep track of the company's track record when it comes to paying dividends, as well as the dividend yield. This will help ensure you are investing in stocks that can actually pay out the amount of income they promise.
- Take advantage of compounding: Compounding is when you reinvest your gains so that each year your returns will compound on themselves and create more income.
If you are looking to track your dividends and grow your income over time, then there are many resources available. Whether you use an online platform or spreadsheets, tracking your dividend income is essential for creating a successful portfolio. By following the tips listed above, you can ensure that your investments remain safe and that you receive the most out of your dividend income. Just remember to track your dividends and track your portfolio's performance over time so that you can ensure your investments are growing.
To your investing success!