As has been well-documented, global dividends reached $1.03 trillion last year.
Emerging markets pitched in on that growth, contributing $1of $7 of that total, according to Henderson Global Investors. U.S. stocks were prodigious raisers of payouts as well with dividends paid by S&P 500 members rising to a record of nearly $312 billion. [Inflation Fighting With Dividend Growth ETFs]
Investors looking for another developed market dividend destination should consider looking down under to Australia, the world’s 12th-largest economy. Citing the Henderson Group, Adam Haigh for Bloomberg reports Australian companies paid $40.3 billion in dividends last year, nearly double the amount paid in 2013.
That’s the largest increase among the 10 biggest developed equity markets and compares with a 43 percent increase in payouts worldwide in that period, Bloomberg reported. Although that is small piece of the aforementioned $1.03 trillion pie, the iShares MSCI Australia ETF (NYSEArca: EWA) and the WisdomTree Australia Dividend Fund (NYSEArca: AUSE) remain compelling as dividend growth options. Year-to-date, EWA, the largest Australia ETF, is up 5.4% while AUSE is up 6.3%. EWA has a trailing 12-month yield of 4.59% while the WisdomTree Australia Dividend Index, AUSE’s underlying index, yields 4.32%.
In either case, those numbers are more than double the paltry 1.8% trailing 12-month yield on various S&P 500 index ETFS. In the third quarter of 2013, Australia’s average payout ratio was 70%, more than double that of the S&P 500. [Aussie Stocks Look Inexpensive]