Small Caps for Income – When investors think of dividends, they tend to think of mature large-cap companies as the primary source. As a result, I feel that many investors mistakenly overlook small-cap equities as attractive income options. I find it impressive that the WisdomTree SmallCap Dividend Index has more than twice the weight of the S&P 500 in stocks with a dividend yield higher than the 10-Year Treasury. WTSDI has over 50% of its weight in equities with a higher dividend yield than the 10-Year Treasury.

Conclusion

I believe one of the supporting points for equities during the last few years was the income advantage they provided compared to the traditionally low yields available in fixed income securities. There is still a healthy part of the broader market that can offer higher yields than U.S. Treasuries, but it is no longer the majority of stocks in the market.

If one wants to focus on equities for their income potential, the dividend growth prospects are becoming a more important component of the returns—as equities not only offer the current dividend but also the future growth potential. As I discussed in an earlier blog post, this year was the fourth consecutive year of double-digit dividend growth, and I believe we will continue to see elevated dividend growth due to dividend payout ratios still being near historical lows. Now would be a good time to evaluate various dividend strategies, and I’d point out that compared to large caps, small caps had a greater percentage of stocks with higher yields than the 10-Year Treasury.

Important Risks Related to this Article

Dividends are not guaranteed and a company’s future abilities to pay dividends may be limited. A company currently paying dividends may cease paying dividends at any time. Investments focusing on certain sectors and/or smaller companies increase their vulnerability to any single economic or regulatory development. This may result in greater share price volatility. Fixed income investments are subject to interest rate risk; their value will normally decline as interest rates rise. In addition, when interest rates fall, income may decline. Fixed income investments are also subject to credit risk, the risk that the issuer of a bond will fail to pay interest and principal in a timely manner or that negative perceptions of the issuer’s ability to make such payments will cause the price of that bond to decline.